The Honda Jazz has been crowned the most budget-friendly car, with a full tank costing £62.04 and an average three-year depreciation rate of 35%, according to new research by Confused.com car insurance which ranked the 50 most popular car models.
It looked at the 50 most popular cars made in the last five years based on data from the Department for Transport and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to determine which have the most cost-effective running costs, which took into account cost to fill the tank, cost of a full service, car tax, fuel efficiency and depreciation over three years.
Assigning each car a score out of 10 to show which is the most cost-effective, it revealed the Honda Jazz is the most cost-effective car. In a separate by What Car? survey, the Honda Jazz (2015-2020) also achieved a 100% score for overall reliability.
Honda Jazz: 8.69/10
- Estimated cost to fill tank: £62.04
- Average full service cost: £156
- Average annual car tax: £170
- Miles per pound: 9.2
- Average 3-year depreciation rate: 35%
Confused.com said the Honda Jazz strikes a balance between fuel economy and service costs and keeps its value over time. Its 9.2 miles per pound shows it has good fuel economy, and a low value loss of 35% over 3 years means it keeps its value well.
Toyota Yaris: 8.49/10
- Estimated cost to fill tank: £65.14
- Average full service cost: £177
- Average annual car tax: £170
- Miles per pound: 9.3
- Average 3-year depreciation rate: 29%
Confused.com said the Toyota Yaris is close behind the Honda Jazz, with better fuel efficiency at 9.3 miles per pound. It also has a 3-year depreciation rate of 29%, among the lowest for the most popular cars in the country. But it has higher service and fuel costs than the Honda Jazz.
Toyota Aygo & Citroën C1: 8.41/10
- Estimated cost to fill tank: £54.28
- Average full service cost: £184 (Aygo) / £182 (C1)
- Average annual car tax: £90
- Miles per pound: 8.3 (Aygo) / 8.1 (C1)
- Average 3-year depreciation rate: 40%
Confused.com said the Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1 share third position with identical cost-effective scores of 8.41/10. Among the top 3, they have the lowest yearly car tax and the cheapest cost to fill a tank, though their fuel efficiency is lower. Their 3-year depreciation rate is 40%, which is reasonable but higher than the 2 cars ranked above them.
Assessing the cars on individual categories, Confused.com said the cheapest cars to fill were: the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1, Fiat 500 and Kia Picanto which each has a fuel capacity of 35 litres, costing £54.28 based on an average petrol cost of £1.55 a litre (as of October 16, 2023).
The car with the lowest average service cost was the Honda Jazz at £156. while the cars cheapest to tax were the Toyota Aygo, Nissan Micra and Citroën C1 and C3 which share the lowest average annual car tax.
Louise Thomas, motor insurance expert at Confused.com car insurance, said: “Choosing your first car is an exciting yet critical decision. It gives you mobility but can also affect your finances and even your safety. “Choosing your first car well is key to helping manage how much you have to spend on its ongoing running costs. It’s not just about owning a car, but one that doesn’t strain your wallet, keeps you safe and meets your needs. This choice sets the tone for your future car decisions, teaching you to prioritise the essentials over looks or speed. It’s a long-term investment that should match your lifestyle and financial situation.”
Confused.com car insurance looked at the following factors for each car, giving each a score out of 10 for each factor, then averaged these scores. For factors that change based on the model version, like car tax and miles per pound, it used the middle value of the range. Confused.com applied the following metrics: