Imagine you had a meter fitted to your car, which clocked up your running costs on a mile-by-mile basis. It would certainly force you to think twice about making unnecessary trips, but how much would each mile cost you? A few pence? Pounds?
According to the car pricing and running cost experts at CAP, even the cheapest city car costs 24.4 pence per mile over the course of a typical three-year ownership period. That’s for a five-door 1.0-litre Kia Picanto Spice.
At the other end of the scale, you can expect to fork out more than £4.23 for every mile you travel in the Mercedes S65 AMG saloon. It’s the most expensive car in CAP’s pence per mile (ppm) rundown. In between, a typical example of the UK’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, is likely to cost around 40ppm depending on which engine and trim level you choose.
Armed with this information and with the help of CAP, we set out to name the cheapest Best Buys for motorists. Instead of sticking with traditional class boundaries, we’ve picked cars that suit a range of typical ownership requirements – so whether you need to carry a large load or cover long distances, there should be something here for you…
How pence per mile figures are calculated
The car pricing and running cost experts at CAP calculate pence per mile data for every car on sale in the UK. This takes account of running costs incurred over the first three years of ownership and factors in depreciation (based on the car’s resale value after three years and 30,000 miles).
Also included are estimated servicing costs for the period, fuel bills based on an average annual mileage of 10,000 miles and road tax for the first three years. That means affordable and economical cars which retain their value strongly are the order of the day.