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Buyer's Guide To Small Cars

Choosing a car is a big investment and the decision of which one is right for you is an important one. When taking all the usual considerations into account like price, fuel economy, running costs etc. there are a number of advantages to owning a small car. In this guide we talk you through these advantages and inform you on some of the potential pitfalls to lookout for.


Small cars are a lot cheaper than larger ones because they require fewer materials to build, which means they cost the manufacturers less to make. Another advantage is that some small cars tend to hold their value well and don’t suffer from as much from the dreaded depreciation dips year on year as some larger cars do. So if you’ve got a limited budget why not consider one.

Running Costs

Smaller cars are generally cheaper to run and eco-models can be especially cost-effective. Fuel bills will be lower as smaller cars have smaller engines and can run for much longer between fill ups. This means they emit less CO2 compared to other vehicles on the road which is better for the environment; in fact some eco-cars are even advertised as being able to do 70-80mpg (miles per gallon). When taking into account the constantly fluctuating petrol prices this makes a small car a smart investment, particularly if you have a long drive to and from work each day.


Smaller cars tend to be more reliable and it’s for the same reason there not as expensive as their larger counterparts, they require fewer materials to make which means there are fewer things that can go wrong. An added bonus is that spare parts and repair bills will be cheaper.


Due to their size small cars are much easier to drive than larger ones. They make it easier to park, do a three-point turn if you’ve gone the wrong way, drive down narrow streets, etc. These make them particularly handy if you live in a built up area and have to deal with traffic and narrow roads on a daily basis.

Things to watch out for

While there are many advantages to owning and running a small car there are some drawbacks:

Insurance: Don’t assume that insurance will always be less than it is for bigger cars. Top of the range models of the Mini are actually in a higher insurance bracket than most BMW 3 series models.

Reliability: Although smaller cars are generally more reliable there is still a big difference between the best and worst in class. So if you’re considering buying a small car be sure to look for customer and expert reviews to educate yourself as to which models can be trusted.

Engine Performance

If you’re planning to take to the open road and see just what you’re car can really do, beware that cars with smaller engines, particular those with one litre engines, tend to run out of puff on faster roads. This problem is amplified if the car is full of passengers. If you’re considering buying a small car request a test drive and check it out on a variety of different roads before you buy. You might also want read consumer and expert reviews to give you extra insight.

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