These are some of the most efficient used cars to buy now

Continued fuel price increases are hitting drivers hard. With the cost of a full tank still rising, many drivers will be considering whether their current vehicle is efficient enough for their needs.

Making a switch to a more cost-effective vehicle could make sense for many motorists. But that doesn’t have to mean a brand-new car – in fact, there are a lot of options on the used market to consider. We’ve taken a look at some of the best options for a variety of budgets.

£2,500 – Ford Fiesta TDCI (2010)

Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta is a tried-and-tested low-cost option

Unsurprisingly it’s small cars which are some of the most economical options on the used market, with many examples of Ford’s popular Fiesta appearing within the classifieds. If you’re a high mileage driver, then a diesel-powered example could be a great idea – these 1.4-litre-powered cars can return close to 70mpg combined on a long run.

They’re also good to drive and come with plenty of standard equipment, too.

£5,000 – Toyota IQ (2010)

Toyota IQ
The IQ is a great city runaround

Toyota’s dinky IQ is a really appealing option, particularly for those living in the city. It’s powered by a 1.0-litre engine too, which as well as making the IQ cheap to tax – around £20 a year, in fact – and it’ll return up to 60mpg as well.

Sure, it may not be the most spacious car here but it’s a solid choice for those looking to reduce their running costs.

£8,000 – Fiat 500 1.2 (2016)

Fiat 500
The 500 is efficient and stylish

Step up to £8,000 and some more stylish options come into play. Take the Fiat 500, which has been a consistent presence in the city car market thanks to its retro-inspired looks and neat handling.

With a 1.2-litre engine it’s a very economical choice, too, and can return up to 65mpg combined. It’s ULEZ exempt, too.

£15,000 – Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI (2017)

Seat Ateca
The Ateca is a spacious and comfortable option

Move up to a £15,000 budget and we’ve got some newer, more spacious options. The Ateca was Seat’s first SUV and a great success at that, combining the Spanish firm’s stylish design with solid Volkswagen Group-backed build quality,

The 1.6-litre diesel Ateca will be the best pick for fuel-sipping abilities, thanks to its combined fuel consumption figure of just over 62mpg.

£20,000 – Audi A4 2.0 TDI (2018)

Audi A4
The A4 offers loads of refinement

Push that budget up to £20,000 and you get a few premium brands appearing. The Audi A4 is a great choice for those after a comfortable, refined and spacious car, while its well-judged ride really helps to take the backache out of longer journeys.

The 2.0-litre diesel-powered model is great in terms of efficiency, too, returning just shy of 70mpg combined.

£35,000 – BMW 330e plug-in hybrid (2020)

BMW 330e
The 330e combines petrol and electric power

Now, as with all plug-in hybrids, the 330e’s claimed consumption figure must be taken with a pinch of salt, as it relies on the batteries being kept fully topped up at all times. BMW claims that it’ll do over 200mpg which looks excellent on paper but is quite hard to achieve during daily driving.

Mind you, even over mixed driving it’ll still be a very economical choice, while an excellent steering setup makes this car a lot of fun to drive too.

£40,000+ – Mercedes-Benz E300de (2019)

E300de
The E300de pairs a diesel engine with an electric motor and battery

Step up over the £40,000 bracket and you’ll notice that it’s plug-in hybrids that dominate the market. However, one of the most interesting is the E300de from Mercedes, as it’s one of the very few plug-in hybrid diesel models around.

It means that even when the batteries are depleted, you’re still left with an efficient 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel to fall back on,