Cars With The Best Fuel Economy For First Time Drivers in 2024

This post is a roundup of some of the cars with the best fuel economy in 2024. Any of these cars would be a good choice for a first time driver.

first car

What’s the Best Car for a First Time Driver?

Something that’s easy to handle and inexpensive to run. A lot of this comes down to fuel economy. Usually, the cars with the lowest running costs are also in the lower insurance groups. This means that a car with a good fuel economy should also cost relatively little to insure, making fuel efficient cars a perfect choice for first time drivers.

Peugeot 208

Get the Peugeot 208 1.5 litre BlueHDi 100 and you’ll get a truly astounding 71.4mpg (miles per gallon). It’s also a highly compact supermini with a range of advanced yet intuitive features as standard.

The bad news? It’s a diesel. This may mean that you’ll have to pay more upfront for your fuel. But depending on your mileage, you may only need to refuel once a month, or even less!

Skoda Octavia

Many first time drivers take it easy. After they pass their test, they slowly build up their confidence behind the wheel through driving relatively short distances whenever they can.

But some first time drivers jump in at the deep end. Immediately after passing their test, they start driving as often as possible – usually through commuting to and from work every day.

If you expect to cover multiple miles in your first car, look to the Skoda Octavia. It’s spacious, comfortable, and loaded with safety features that will help you feel secure and in control on the road. It’s 2.0 litre TDI engine is also capable of returning 64.2mpg, so you’ll get the best of both worlds – good performance with an impressive fuel economy.

Yes, it’s another diesel. The fact is that many diesel cars manage a good mileage. But we know that most first time drivers worry about the cost of fuel, so this will be the last diesel we recommend in this post. Promise.

Mazda 2 Hybrid

Currently, the most fuel-efficient cars on the road are plug-in hybrids, and it’s hard to beat the Mazda 2 Hybrid’s 74.3 mpg.

But there’s a catch, with hybrids: to get this sort of mileage, you do need to plug them in. When they have sufficient charge, they can go for miles without using any fuel at all. They’ll only start using fuel once they’ve depleted their charge.

So if you can plug in your hybrid every day, and if you’ll only ever be driving short distances, then you’re basically looking at the most fuel-efficient car that money can buy. But if you don’t have a reliable means of charging your car, or if you’ll be driving longer distances, then you might not get the sort of mileage you expect.

Citroen C1

The Citroen C3 and C4 models deliver impressive MPGs, but you do need to pick the diesel models. As we’ve seen, this will mean you’ll end up paying more at the pump, which may defeat the point of prioritising fuel economy.

The “standard” 1.0 litre Citroen C1 petrol engine will deliver up to 58.9mpg. So you’ll pay less upfront for fuel, and depending on how often you drive, you’ll get good miles out of every penny you spend. If you just want a compact, reliable, low-maintenance city car, look no further!

Fiat Panda

As well as being one of the cheapest cars to insure, the Fiat Panda also happens to be one of the cheapest cars to run. There’s a choice of trims, but each one promises an MPG of up to 58.9mpg. It’s not the biggest of cars, which could make long journeys uncomfortable. But as with the Citroen C1, if you just need something compact and reliable as your first car, the Panda is a winner.

If you’re undecided or still trying to work out the best car for new drivers, be sure to check our other guides to choosing your first car too:

First Time Drivers – Get Comprehensive Cover For Less With Go Girl

We get it – fuel isn’t cheap, and things can be particularly tight for first time drivers. That’s why we’re committed to making things as affordable as possible for new drivers. We offer competitive cover for new drivers with a range of extras, including personal belongings cover and optional RAC breakdown cover.

If you want cheaper car insurance, give us a call. Get a quote for first time driver insurance and buy online in minutes.


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