Buying an Eco Car
In a nutshell, buying an eco friendly, green car will save you money and help preserve the environment at the same time! Below are so many reasons we can think of and there are even more reasons on the left in that little blue box. Check out what we mean in this overview and feel free to read on for extra eco inspiration!
Saving You Money
- Save Money On Fuel
- Save Money On Taxes
- Save Money On Parking
- Save Money On Insurance
- Save Money On Maintenance
- Save Money On First Year Rates
- Save Money On Congestion Charges
Running an eco car on a daily basis is one of the best ways of saving you money and giving your conscience a bit of a boost too!
As I’m sure you’re aware, the price of fuel and road tax now is becoming ridiculous, and unfortunately it is only going to get worse in the near future. By getting yourself an eco friendly, green car, it could literally halve your weekly fuel bill and significantly reduce your road tax and overall travel expenses by saving on things such as insurance, maintenance and congestion charges to name but a few.
Don’t be put off by the ‘green’ theme either by the way, just because a car is great on fuel and has low maintenance costs does not mean it will be boring. We class our cars as eco or green if they fall under emission band G or lower. This, for example, allows you to hop into a fantastic 2011 320d BMW 3 series Coupé and still be rolling green. Or if you really wanted to push the boat out, a Tesla Roadster, that has zero emissions and can give a Porsche 911 a run for it’s money, so it doesn’t have to be boring!
At Eco Forecourt we strive to make it as easy as possible for you to buy or sell an eco friendly car that suits you best, because it really is the future. And while we are at it, we try our best to keep the whole process as environmentally responsible, and super friendly as we possibly can.
But we aren't just saying this, we promise that you will not find a car with a C02 rating above 130g/km on here, meaning the maximum amount of road tax you will ever pay by finding a car on Eco Forecourt is £90. All of the cars found on our site fit into A, B, C & D emissions bands only, meaning they are categorically classed as green, eco friendly vehicles, that are more beneficial to the environment and your wallet! Many of our cars even have zero road tax, super low emissions and even low or no congestion charges for those of you who live in London ;)
There is more information on why you should go eco up there on the left in the blue box...
Choosing the right car for you...
Ok, first and foremost buying your car should be a fun and exciting experience - come on this is awesome, it’s your next car!
That said whether you already have a particular car in mind or not, it is always worth reading up on the other possibilities of new or used cars for sale, you might just pick up on something you haven’t considered yet like the benefits of extra the MPG you will probably get from a diesel as opposed to a petrol, or even come across a car that alters your decision entirely, for example, practicality or cost issues.
The best way for us to help you make the right decision about your next car, is to show you the different types of vehicles available generally, highlight the pro’s and con’s of each and explain why they may or may not appeal to you, as opposed to us simply recommending cars from each class that we think are good. This way you can use our search facility to look for the type of car you want from any class and from all sorts of manufacturers. Enjoy!
We know Minis are pretty super, but it’s not the only car in this category! There are all sorts of small cars classed as ‘Super Minis such as the Volkswagen Polo, the new Audi A1, the very popular Renault Clio and Peugeot’s 207 are but a few of these great little run arounds available in the super mini range.
- Eco friendly
- Easy to drive
- Cheap to buy
- Cheaper to insure
- Low maintenance
- Great for young or first time drivers.
Super Mini’s, if you haven’t already guessed, are by nature some of the smallest cars on the road. But this isn’t a bad thing, it makes them ideal vehicles for learner drivers or young motorists as they are really easy to drive and manoeuvre. Also, super minis all have relatively small engines too which makes them some of the most eco friendly, green cars you can drive, often boasting some of the lowest C02 emissions on the market. This in turn makes them cheap to buy, cheaper to insure and saves you money on fuel and other running costs.
- Low on power
- Not much space
- May feel less safe
Ok so depending on how you look at it, the size of super minis can be an issue as they don’t always offer much in the way of space. Yes, you can drop the seats to make more room on the odd occasion you are picking up your Ikea furniture, but this isn’t always ideal if you have a little one to drive around with you or even just your friends in the back. These little cars also have small engines which make for a lack in power and performance. Due to the small size of cars in the super mini class people sometimes feel less safe than in larger vehicles but this can come down to personal preferences.
Hatchbacks are one of the most popular types of car out there because of their good overall performance and useful space. You will probably be most familiar with hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus, BMW 1 Series the Audi A3 or Renault Megané.
- A good boot
- Great passenger space
- Cheap to run and maintain
- Good all-round performance
- Still maintains eco credentials
Hatchbacks could be considered the all-rounders of the road, they have great seating with plenty of leg room and often a middle seat for even more passenger accommodation and include the extra bonus of a proper boot for all your shopping, football kit or both! They mostly feature larger engines than their super mini cousins giving them better performance yet still maintaining great green credentials with very low C02 output. Running costs are still minimal too and being a popular car their spares are also readily available and cheap. Hybrid versions of hatchback cars are also being introduced so extra brownie points on carbon dioxide emissions and MPG can be granted in these cases.
- It’s hard to say really...Not quite as good on fuel as super mini’s but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Ok they don’t offer blinding performance and there are lots of hatchbacks on the road but they do the job and they do it well. If anything the fuel consumption is not as good as super mini’s but it’s still good compared to most.
If looking to buy second hand, try to look for the lowest miles possible within your budget, preferably still under warranty, and try to avoid any modified cars, hatchbacks are popular for modifying because they are so accessible to people, but 9 times out of 10, it invalidates the warranty leaving you with a potentially large bill if things go wrong.
Saloon Cars & Coupes
Offering more performance and further extensions of luxury, saloon cars and coupés are a step towards the premium in all-round vehicle capability. The leaders in the sports saloon and coupé market are the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen, offering models like the BMW 3 series coupé, Mercedes E-Class saloon, Audi’s A4 range and VW’s Passat.
Saloon cars and Coupés from todays top manufacturers have very high standards in every aspect of the vehicles design. Luxury, performance safety and particularly efficiency are high on the agenda, making for a fantastic over all driving experience. Technology is at it’s peak on the later models and recently their engines have been developing really impressive figures by combining both performance and economy into the same package, particularly in diesel models. Look at most descent manufacturers models in this class and their level of comfort and detail is leagues ahead of your average hatchback. Ideal as executive transport or as a more luxurious family car.
- Costly to buy
- Higher Insurance
- Higher maintenance costs
- Not as economical as smaller engined vehicles.
All this technology comes at a premium, both in cost and weight. Even though a lot of these cars have great performance, many saloon and coupé models are still pretty efficient in their class, however the majority of these cars are notorious for their gas burning abilities as they require larger engines to get the performance out of typically heavier vehicle, which is going to hit your wallet on a weekly basis. As sports saloons and coupés are also more expensive than most cars the price of insurance tends to be higher too as does the cost of servicing so look into the long term costs of jumping into one of these cars.
Estate cars have all the benefits of hatchbacks plus the added bonus of extra boot space. With the likes of Audi launching various estate cars such as the A4 Avant, and at the more affordable end of the scale Peugeot’s 307 estate, there are practical cars available from most car companies manufacturers today.
- 4 door convenience
- Lots of practical boot space
- Often available with a plethora of options
The main perk of an estate car is of course the extra boot space for transporting lots of stuff around. They are versatile vehicles, great for simply picking up the shopping to more substantial tasks like going on long family travels with plenty of luggage. Most estates are based around their saloon counter parts and so their weight and performance is similar making fuel consumption and drivability comparably good.
- As with hatchbacks, estates are largely hard to fault as a practical car, if anything they probably aren’t a car you would buy for performance and arguably their looks are compromised from their saloon or coupé origins but on the whole these are reliable and practical cars that are great for any occasion. Perhaps look out for any interior damage on second hand estate cars in the boot area, as they are after all, used for transporting all sorts of things around.
MPV’s (Multi Purpose Vehicles) & People Carriers
The people carrier, so called because of it’s capability to transport many passengers at once, generally have lots of space and are ideal for larger families, such models include the Ford C-MAX, Citroen C4 Picasso and the Vauxhall Zafira.
- Great for larger families
- Loads of space for transporting stuff
- Lots and lots of seating for passengers
MPV’s, or people carriers as they are often referred to, have loads of space, particularly for passengers where most people carriers feature six to eight seats. They are also ideal for larger families or for transporting lots of stuff as most models have removable or folding seats making for even more space!
- Lacking in performance
- Not so good on fuel but...*
- Not the best car if you are image conscious (Personal preference)
MPV’s do have loads of space but as a result the image of these cars has been tarnished in the past by being notoriously boring and clunky, and with the aerodynamic properties of a house brick, fuel economy can be compromised and therefore C02 emissions are often higher, having an impact on ones green credentials, which, are typically not as good as the likes of the hatchback or supermini. *However if you find one on Eco Forecourt it will have passed our strict emissions policy and be one of the better eco performers with regard to fuel consumption and carbon output :)
4x4‘s and SUV’s (Sports Utility Vehicles) are generally associated with being terrible on fuel and bad for the environment. Which by enlarge is true, a good old 4x4 such as a supercharged Range Rover Vogue drinks fuels with 2 straws and really kicks out the carbon! However, times are changing, manufacturers of 4x4’s are recognising the need for reform and are already selling vehicles with significantly reduced emissions, better MPG and an all round friendlier approach toward the environment. This is in part due to hybrid technology found in the likes of the Lexus RX 4x4 and more recently Porsche’s new Cayenne hybrid. BMW is also offering some great models from it’s X range featuring their Efficient Dynamics technology, greatly reducing consumption and emissions.
- Lots of space
- Fun driving experience (sitting higher up)
In large 4x4’s are generally deemed to be safer than a lot of other cars due to their sheer size and solid construction, so if you want to feel safer or have piece of mind that your family is in one of the safer vehicles then a 4x4 is a good option. Of course they have four wheel drive too! Perfect for if you live in rural areas or dealing with off-road, rough or snowy conditions. Four wheel drive cars of today tend to have high standard of luxury too. And of course the unique feature of the 4x4 are their inherently high ride heights which people often say makes them more interesting to drive or be a passenger in simply because they “sit up high”
- High buying price
- High running costs (Hybrids help)
- Not so good eco credentials (higher C02 emissions though a hybrid can help)
The four by four is sounding like a great car then!? Well yes and no. These vehicles can be more expensive due to fancy 4wdr systems and premium interiors unless you are looking for older models but then these are really bad on fuel and running costs. Unless you get a newer hybrid one then, which will cost more money you are not going to find one that offers very good economy and it will be pretty bad for the environment too.
Now you wouldn’t think we would be mentioning the like of sports cars and certainly not super cars on Eco Forecourt, but you would be surprised! The Tesla Roadster sport model for example is an all electric performance car that has a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds! This is fully in the realms of the fastest supercars out there and of course with an electric car, there are zero emissions so it is more than eligible for our listings. Oh yeah and they also have loads of torque and every last drop of it is available 100% of the time.
Lotus has also recently released their most efficient version of the famous Elise which has now been scaled down from a 1.8-litre engine to a 1.6-litre unit while still maintaining the same performance but drastically reducing emissions by 16% to just 149g/km! For a sports car this is impressive stuff and great news for you!
Amongst others the future is looking bright for eco-performance cars with Porsche releasing the jaw dropping 918 Spyder at this years 2010 Geneva motor show it is the first true hybrid hyper-car, capable of lapping the Nurburgring faster than the Carrera GT, with only 70g/km of C02 output - incredible.
This sort of technology is only going to filter down through the mass production vehicles of the future and we are in for some really exciting sports cars soon.
- Great looks
- Makes you smile
- Often sound good
- Thrilling experience
- Brilliant performance
Supercars are generally a lot of fun, they offer brilliant performance and are nearly always a car that you simply cant wait to get into each day. Supercars in particualr can open great opportunities to you, not saying you can't go on driving trips in another car, but a supercar really adds a whole new dimension to the open road!
- Not a lot of room
- Expensive to run
- Higher insurance
- Higher Road Tax
- Traditionally not so good on fuel
Sports cars and supercars can be more expensive to run than most other cars, they often drink petrol with 2 straws and the insuranve and maintenance is generally higher. There are supercars being introduced now with more eco credentials however, such as the Tesla Roadster that reduce these costs and still offer mega performance, just expect ot pay a lot of money for the car in the first place! That said, the joy of driving a supercar often out-weighs all of the above and brings a big smile to your face!