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.
Research by Warranty Direct has highlighted the used cars aged three years or older which offer the best combination of reliability and economy, as motorists continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of car ownership.
Manufacturers are continually developing new technology which delivers better fuel consumption and lower emissions, but some more complex machines are still prone to going wrong, forcing owners to foot expensive repair bills.
Warranty Direct analysed its 50,000 live policies, using the Company’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) to measure overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.
Ranking cars based on fuel economy in this instance, Warranty Direct used its Reliability Index to name the top ten reliable makes and models of three years or more, as well as the optimal engine and trim combination for the best return at the pumps.
Top ten rated eco cars
(A higher Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run)
The results revealed that the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, with an impressive combined MPG figure of 85.6 had the best mix of fuel economy and reliability. The Smart Fortwo was able to match the Fiesta’s MPG figure and is unlikely to let its owners down, though it suffered marginally more mechanical faults than the Ford.
The SEAT Ibiza, Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Fabia put in a strong showing for the Volkswagen Group with closely matched scores, though the Skoda nudged ahead of its stablemates owing to an MPG return of 83.1. However, the frugal SEAT is statistically more reliable.
David Gerrans, Managing Director at Warranty Direct commented: “the ‘eco’ derivatives of a used vehicle are often desirable, promising economical motoring for the cost-conscious buyer.
“However, savings on fuel and road tax can soon be countered with astronomical bills for mechanical or electrical failure. It is important to take these factors into account when selecting a car based on green credentials.”
Around 26 million motorists* in the UK are unaware that they are risking serious damage to their cars and four-figure repair bills by not keeping an eye on their oil level.
So says car care company, Comma, as it launches National Oil Check Day on Friday 25th July. To support the campaign, the Company has launched a new website at www.checkyouroil.co.uk to offer valuable information and advice.
Research reveals that three quarters of motorists wrongly rely on the dashboard’s oil warning light as a reminder to top up their engine. Typically, the oil warning light actually means the levels are so low that serious mechanical damage is likely to occur.
Although 96 percent of those surveyed “claimed” they knew what the oil warning light signified, only 1 in 4 correctly repeated standard manufacturer advice of stopping immediately and switching the engine off. A third would continue their journey until they could top-up despite the risk of blowing the engine altogether!
National Oil Check Day has been set up by Comma to urge motorists to take simple routine car maintenance more seriously.
Three in five drivers don’t carry out the ‘dipstick test’ to check their oil level every month, as recommended, and one in 10 said they never do.
Young drivers (17-24) showed that motorists are becoming increasingly blasé with over a quarter (26%) admitting they never check their oil.
Meanwhile, the older generation, despite being more mechanically savvy, are not without fault – 22% more of drivers over 65 failed to recognise the severity of the oil light coming on than those in the youngest bracket.
“Too many people think of their oil warning light in the same way as their petrol light when, actually, it’s an awful lot more serious,” says Comma’s Mike Bewsey. “By the time the oil light comes on, it’s probably too late to avoid problems and you may only be a handful of miles away from massive inconvenience and a repair bill just as big!”
For further information and to find your nearest stockist, visit www.commaoil.com and click on the Where to Buy button.