The cheapest and most expensive cars to own revealed

A survey conducted by car insurance comparison service MoneySuperMarket has revealed which cars are the most cost-effective to own – and which require seriously deep pockets. The study found that on average, car ownership can cost £37,554 over six years – but Brits seriously underestimate the costs involved.

The study found UK drivers believe their average yearly expenditure on a car is £1,494 – when it's really £2,264. Despite this high price, British motorists wouldn't be without their cars – 80 per cent of those surveyed view it as an essential item.

With car ownership so expensive, MoneySuperMarket analysed data from over 200,000 vehicles registered in the UK to figure out which are the most and least expensive to own.

Coming in cheapest were:

1. Aixam 500 (£9,281 (over six years))

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(pictured: Aixam City)

This tiny French microcar is incredibly cheap to buy and uses barely any fuel. It's hardly a real car though, so its inclusion on this list is rather contentious.

2. Daihatsu Charade (£11,714)
No longer available in the UK, the Charade was surprisingly decent to drive and a bargain to run and insure.

3. Suzuki Alto (£11,856)
Still popular with newly qualified drivers today, the tiny Alto costs peanuts to fuel and insure, making its lifetime cost impressively low.

4. Smart ForTwo (£12,266)

The two-seater Smart is an icon of European city centres, and its tiny rear-mounted three-cylinder engine is impressively efficient.

5. Peugeot 205 (£12,678)
Once a symbol of France, the 205 remains one of the best cars ever to come from the country. It's ancient history now, but in its time was impressively cheap to buy and run.

At the other end of the scale, MoneySuperMarket found that luxury motors do come with a luxury pricetag even after purchase. Despite manufacturers such as Ferrari claiming 'our cars are cheap to own', the total cost of owning a supercar or luxury limo was still found to be as much as 38 times higher than the cheapest cars around.

The bottom five cars were:

1. Rolls-Royce Phantom (£379,104)

The British icon that is the Phantom costs over £300,000 to buy, though personal touches can cause that number to shoot up. It's also very pricey to fuel and insure, as well as tax.

2. Maybach 62 (£370,683)
Mercedes-Benz' answer to the Phantom is the Maybach 62. No longer produced due to poor sales, high running costs could have been to blame – though insurance is remarkably cheap.

3. Lamborghini Aventador (£342,119)
Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini isn't exactly known for creating low-cost, fuel-efficient cars, and it's no surprise that its flagship Aventador is as expensive to run as the rest.

4. Bentley Azure (£319,747)

Bentleys under the ownership of the VW group are thoroughly modern cars, but long ago they used to be old-fashioned, as heavy as a small country and cost a bomb to run. The Azure is firmly in the latter camp.

5. Ferrari F12 (£299,041)
No Ferrari is cheap to run, despite the brand claiming free servicing and good residual values make it so. The massively powerful F12 is just another car that's pricey to buy, insure and fuel.

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