Fuel efficiency is a high priority for today’s motorists. After the recent diesel recall controversy and concerns over petrol costs and rising C02 emissions, manufacturers are constantly developing technology to help protect our bank balances and our planet.
Whilst mpg is extremely important in assessing economy, there are several other elements you should consider.
Here’s Warranty Direct’s advice for finding a fuel-efficient vehicle:
When buying a new car, we can often get carried away with gadgets, luxury extras, and dizzying performance figures. However, before choosing, carefully assess your needs and what types of journeys you’ll predominantly be making. Remember, a more economic car will continue to give you more value for money for the entire duration of ownership.
If you’re going to be doing short journeys around built-up areas, rule out diesel. Small diesel cars often have a high economy but all new models are fitted with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). These function best at a certain temperature and speed, not usually achievable in cities.
In fact, given the new emissions surcharges for diesel cars, drivers should consider whether such additional costs will still make diesel a good, long-term financial investment.
Previously, averaging 30 mpg was highly impressive, however, some of the most efficient models on sale are now doing nearly three times that.
Research suggests the most efficient cars currently on the market are small hatchbacks. This is down to a number of factors including their smaller size compared with saloons or estates, reduced weight, and more efficient aerodynamics. This means they can have smaller engines without losing out on performance.
If a hatchback suits you in terms of size and practicality and you’re conscious of fuel consumption, then this could be a worthwhile choice.
Consider car tax
In April 2017, new legislation came into effect as to how vehicle tax is calculated. This is part of the government’s fight against rising pollution. Your rate of tax is now based on a car’s CO2 emissions the first time it’s registered. The higher the emissions, the more you will pay. Make sure you research what these costs could be, before making your final purchase. If you own a petrol or diesel car, purchasing a warranty policy which covers emissions failures would be a wise investment, given the stricter testing regulations. Remeber, before you purchase a warranty to check any potential policies carefully to understand what is and what is not covered.
Think about hybrids
With Volvo recently announcing all new cars from 2019 onwards will, at the very least, be hybrids, a shift in the market can be expected and this could be accounted for with your next motor.
The economy of some newer hybrids from Volvo and Mercedes is upwards of 130mpg, and batteries are chargeable from home at no higher cost than charging any other appliance.
The value of research
With so many options on the market, it is key to do as much research as possible to source your perfect motor.
Make sure you combine manufacturer research with independent reviews. This provides more of an indication of ‘real-world’ experiences. Consumer insight is also particularly useful when establishing a genuine mpg, as some manufacturers optimise engines for European Commissions testing to produce lower CO2 emissions. This can distort true mpg figures.
As we move into a more fuel-efficient future there will be more options than ever before. It’s essential drivers keep up to speed with as many developments as possible so they don’t lose out financially and remain informed on current legislation.