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The cheapest family cars to run in 2022

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

3 min read

  • Advice
  • cheap
Seat Leon Cupra 2

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

Buying a new car is often an exciting experience, and it’s easy to get carried away with the idea of a particular model without considering the practicalities of owning it. So, if it’s time to upgrade the family car in 2022, WhoCanFixMyCar is here to make the process as straightforward as possible by looking closer at the annual running costs. 

Find out which cars are the most and least affordable to run for the year ahead in this guide based on average MOT, full service, interim service and aircon regas prices from 2021.


Now in its fourth generation, the SEAT Leon is a close rival to the perennially popular Volkswagen Golf. Not only is it cheaper to buy and just as good to drive, it’s also cheaper to run. On average, the Leon costs £381.57 a year - £15 more than the Golf - putting it in first place on our list. As far as family cars go, we think it’s a great choice, offering comfort, a smooth drive and plenty of tech as standard.

Seat Leon

SEAT LeonAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£58.69
Full Service£169.88
Interim Service£112.70

Toyota Corolla

Returning to our roads after a gap of more than ten years, the new Corolla has a sharp look and feel, providing everything you want from a family hatchback without the “Made in Germany” premium. It’s faster than the Honda Civic - a close rival - but never compromises on economy. The good news is that it’s also cheap to run, costing £385.22 a year on average.

Toyota CorollaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£64.69
Full Service£169.53
Interim Service£109.97

Ford Puma

Like the Corolla, the Puma is Ford’s attempt to revive an old name - one that hasn’t been around since the 1990s. Fortunately for Ford, it has taken the crossover class by storm. It’s great to drive - something which many crossovers have struggled with in the past - with a bold design that’s intended to steal business from more premium brands. The appearance of the Puma can be an acquired taste to some people but one thing that isn’t up for debate is the model’s impressive running cost at just £385.72.

Ford Puma

Ford PumaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£58.69
Full Service£169.88
Interim Service£112.70

Citroen C3

It’s comfortable, efficient, a little bit quirky and comes with plenty of tech as standard, which is why the Citroen C3 has proven itself a worthy family car year after year. Despite being compact, the cabin is spacious and the most recent iteration has seen a huge improvement in interior quality, too. When it comes to annual running costs, the C3 holds its own, taking fourth place on our list with an average cost of £386.07.

Citroen C3

Citroen C3Average Cost
Aircon Regas£65.03
Full Service£169.10
Interim Service£111.42

Dacia Duster

Rounding off our Top 5 cheapest family cars to run for 2022 is the Dacia Duster. It might not be the best looking family car on the market, but the Duster performs well where it counts the most; it’s dependable, affordable to buy and cheap to run at just £389.21 a year on average. 

Dacia Duster

Dacia DusterAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£69.45
Full Service£168.67
Interim Service£110.42

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Renault Captur

Hugely practical with a spacious cabin, the Renault Captur is unsurprisingly one of the most popular small SUVs on the market with families. And at just £391.01 a year to run, there’s very little not to like about this model.

Renault Captur (2)

Renault CapturAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£75.14
Full Service£168.78
Interim Service£107.24

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus is one of the most popular hatchbacks on UK roads, and with good reason. Fun to drive and brilliant to handle, the latest iteration of this car offers even more legroom, boot space, and a better quality interior build. Plus, it costs just £391.72 a year on average to run, meaning it ticks all the boxes that make it a great family car.

Ford Focus (3)

Ford FocusAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£65.99
Full Service£172.23
Interim Service£112.62

Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall’s stylish Mokka recently won the TopGear 2021 Design of the Year award, and it isn’t just the Mokka’s appearance that’s impressive; it’s also pretty cheap to run, coming in at £396.24 a year on average.

Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall MokkaAverage Cost
Aircon Regas£64.67
Full Service£174.75
Interim Service£116.28

Audi A3

Finishing off our list is the Audi A3. If you’re looking for a premium family car with a sporty feel, this might be the one for you. At its heart, the A3 is simply a VW Golf repackaged in a smarter looking suit - and with a bigger price tag attached. In terms of annual running costs, there’s just 85 pence between them, with the A3 costing £396.52 a year on average.

Audi A3

Audi A3Average Cost
Aircon Regas£65.72
Full Service£174.44
Interim Service£115.40

Family Car Annual Running Costs

ModelAverage Annual Cost
Seat Leon£381.57
Toyota Corolla£385.22
Ford Puma£385.72
Citroen C3£386.07
Dacia Duster£389.21
Skoda Octavia£390.68
Renault Captur£391.01
Ford Focus£391.72
Vauxhall Mokka£396.24
Audi A3£396.52
Volkswagen Golf£397.37
Peugeot 2008£399.11
Honda Civic£399.15
Suzuki Vitara£403.25
Honda CR-V£411.21
Kia Sorento£420.02
Hyundai Santa Fe£429.37

The Cheapest Family Cars to Run for 2022

Based on our 2021 data, the cheapest family car to run for 2022 is likely to be the SEAT Leon, while the Audi A3 just about knocks the VW Golf out of our top 10.

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