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The cheapest small cars to run in 2022

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 month ago

3 min read

  • Advice
  • News
Citroen C1 2

WhoCanFixMyCar reveals which small cars you should be looking to buy over the next 12 months if you want to save money on running costs

2022 is almost upon us, and if you’re looking to buy a car in the new year, WhoCanFixMyCar is here to help you work out which model to choose based on how much the running costs are likely to be. 

For this guide, we looked at nineteen of the most popular small cars on UK roads today and how much they cost on average for an MOT, full service, interim service and aircon regas in 2021. Here are the top 10 cheapest small cars to run according to WhoCanFixMyCar data!

Citroen C1

Life in the city is busy, which is why you need a car that’s agile enough to get around without costing the earth. Citroen’s answer? The C1. It’s compact but spacious, with a turning circle of just 4.8 metres and a colourful, modern design. 

But the best news of all is that it’s also the cheapest small car to run, costing an average of £372.90 a year.

Citroen C1Average Cost
Aircon Regas£64.55
Full Service£164.60
Interim Service£103.15

Citroen C1 2

SEAT Ibiza

Next up we have the Seat Ibiza, a popular car with young drivers thanks to its fun, sporty design and affordable price tag. Parkers went as far as to describe it as “one of those rare cars that absolutely nails it in just about every regard”, and clearly that extends to running costs, too, since the Ibiza works out at just £378.63 a year on average.

SEAT IbizaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£64.39
Full Service£167.49
Interim Service£106.46

Peugeot 208

In recent years, Peugeot has improved the appearance of its cars considerably, and the latest iteration of the 208 is no exception. In fact, it looks radically different to its predecessors, which we think can only be a good thing. And if that hasn’t tempted you to consider buying this French supermini, the annual cost of running one might - it comes third on our list at £378.97.

Peugeot 208Average Cost
Aircon Regas£65.87
Full Service£165.94
Interim Service£106.67

Peugeot 208

Skoda Fabia

Fourth on our list is the Skoda Fabia, a supermini that’s not only cheap to buy and run - it costs £380.28 on average a year - but is also, according to Autocar, 17% more efficient than its predecessor.

Skoda FabiaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£67.04
Full Service£169.13
Interim Service£103.18

Skoda Fabia

Volkswagen Up

Completing our Top 5 cheapest small cars to run for 2022 is the VW Up, a nifty city car that packs a big punch thanks to its luxurious interior and smooth ride. It gets thumbs up all round from the likes of AutoTrader and AutoCar, and it also happens to be very affordable to run, with an average annual cost of £380.34.

VW UpAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£68.87
Full Service£166.85
Interim Service£103.66


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Toyota Yaris

A firm favourite with Brits looking for their first car, the Toyota Yaris is renowned for its unparalleled reliability and affordable price tag. And while it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing small car out there, it certainly scores points for being cheap to run, costing £380.35 a year on average. If you’re looking for a new small car in 2022, the Yaris should definitely be a contender.

Toyota YarisAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£65.09
Full Service£166.64
Interim Service£107.23

Toyota Yaris

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the most popular cars on our roads today. It manages to be both dependable and fun - a rare but winning combination - and boasts generous equipment levels as standard. The average annual running costs are a respectable £380.91, less than a pound more expensive than the Yaris.

Vauxhall CorsaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£65.92
Full Service£167.87
Interim Service£106.51

Vauxhall Corsa

Renault Clio

Like a fine wine, the Renault Clio has only got better with age, and its latest iteration is a far shout from its humble beginnings - at least in terms of appearance. In fact, the Clio appears in AutoCar’s list of Top 5 superminis, so it’s certainly worth shouting about - especially given the relatively low running cost that comes along with it, working out at £381.91 a year on average.

Renault ClioAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£67.84
Full Service£167.34
Interim Service£106.37

Renault Clio

Nissan Micra

We know what you’re thinking. The Micra has long been synonymous with, well, words such as “boring”, “dull” and “ugly”, to name but a few. However, not any more! Nissan has managed to turn what young people once shuddered at the thought of driving into a much more palatable small car with a reputation for being efficient. It might not be the most exciting vehicle, but it’s cheap to buy, reliable to drive and affordable to run, costing £382.10 on average a year.

Nissan MicraAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£66.68
Full Service£168.16
Interim Service£106.21

Volkswagen Polo

Rounding off our top ten is the VW Polo, a high-quality supermini with a reputation that precedes it. Not only is it highly efficient, it’s also cheap to run, with an average cost of £382.50 - just £9.60 more expensive than the C1 that took the top spot.

Volkswagen PoloAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£67.67
Full Service£167.38
Interim Service£106.30

VW Polo

Small Car Annual Running Costs

ModelAverage Annual Cost
1.Citroen C1£372.90
2.Seat Ibiza£378.63
3.Peugeot 208£378.97
4.Skoda Fabia£380.28
5.VW UP£380.34
6.Toyota Yaris£380.35
8.Renault Clio£381.91
9.Nissan Micra£382.10
10.VW Polo£382.50
11.Ford Fiesta£384.16
12.Nissan Note£385.16
13.Fiat 500£386.57
14.Suzuki Swift£388.84
15.Honda Jazz£391.79
16.Dacia Sandero£392.87
17.Audi A1£392.93
18.Hyundai i20£397.88

The Cheapest Small Car to Run for 2022

There you have it! If you want a new car that’s agile enough to handle city life and is affordable to run, the Citroen C1 comes out on top.

For more advice on how to save money as a driver, click here!