Guest post Jacob Little: Top 5 most economical cars for under £1000

Jacob Little picks out the 5 most economical cars you can get your hands on for under £1000

There’s no getting away from it – drivers these days need to save money wherever they can. It goes without saying that fuel is one of the UK’s biggest collective expenditures, but with an entirely new breed of engine being produced by modern car manufacturers which provides excellent economy for both petrol and diesel platforms, could we be seeing a way out of the doom?

Well, yes, many do believe this to be the case. However, the only downside is that you need to invest a fairly considerable sum in the first place to get a new car with such an engine and many people don’t have that kind of money to spend all at once. If you’re on a budget a need an economical, user friendly car at the flick of a switch, here are 5 cheap and widely available options to consider.

Citroen C5 2.2 HDI Citroen_C5

Okay so this isn’t the most economical of HDI Citroen’s you could get – but it probably is the one that’s going to return the most enjoyment. Y, 51 and 02 plate C5’s are now going for well under £1,000 and many of them have motorway miles only. Excellent performance – and the 2.2 litre engine still returns approximately 45 mpg. If you go for the 1.6 or 1.9 HDI models, it’s likely you’ll see in excess of 55 – 60 mpg.

Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI

Skoda_OctaviaIf you find an Octavia that hasn’t been flogged or used as a taxi, the lower mileage examples can be excellent value for money. Expect to pay been £700 – £900 for a usable version, but the brilliant VW 1.9 diesel can go for ever and still returns good horsepower and torque figures through all 6 of the gears. Unlike some of the French cars listed here, the electronics tend to stay in good shape too.

 VW Polo 1.9 TDI

VW_Polo

If you require a smaller car than the majority of the saloons that operate within this category, it’s definitely worth considering a VW Polo – which shares the same engine as the Passat and Octavia within its diesel range. Good for 50+ mpg, with additionally cheaper running costs than bigger cars. Expect VW build quality and excellent handling – although be prepared to shell out close to £1,000 or slightly more for any usable examples.

Renault Laguna II 1.9 Diesel

Renault_LagunaAlthough many will blast the Laguna as an unreliable misfit – many people have enjoyed their diesel variants well into the upper 100,000’s without problem. Although build quality and electronics are certainly not up to Germanic standards, you can pick these up dirt cheap these days, with £500 a good starting point.

 Ford Mondeo Mk. III 1.9 Duratec

Ford_Mondeo

There’s no doubt about it, for performance and reliability, it’s hard to beat the Ford Mondeo in this sector. The availability of these and its common usage has seen early examples stay at relatively low prices – and with a bit of looking it should be doable to find one that you’d want to drive for under £1000. Expect high miles, but bear in mind that they return well over 50 mpg and can go on forever.

It’s obvious from this list what dominates the cheap economical ‘banger’ sector – saloon diesels with excellent engines. Petrol anomalies do exist but tend to be higher on tax – for bargain basement motoring you can’t go wrong with many of these cars. You may not want to keep them for long, but if it’s got an MOT then you shouldn’t have to worry about spending much more on them.

Jacob Little is a website content writer who writes and blogs about travel, transport and all things automotive. Connect on Google+ or Twitter

Why not have a look at last weeks most popular story: Hales vs Piper, what it means for motoring journalism

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