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What cars to buy to save money on fuel

Saving money on fuel has to be a major consideration when shopping for a new car these days. Here’s the most fuel-efficient cars currently
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman
June 15, 2021

I’m currently in the market for a new car. I want one that works well for business and family but most importantly, I want one that doesn’t cost me a fortune on fuel.

The price of new and old cars appears at an all time high at the moment due to a shortage of new cars as a result of COVID-19. For example a new diesel Mitsubishi Triton ute will set you back $45-56k, and the new Toyota Hybrid Rav4 will cost you about the same price.

What’s also making these prices sting a bit is that fuel costs are also going up. Put the two of these together and it’s not a great time to be driving.

What perhaps annoys me most about this, is that it’s also only a matter of time before the price of cars decreases.

Supply resumes back in Australia, fuel prices come down, and there are more electric or hybrid cars on the market – which should theoretically put fuel driven cars in less demand.

While that’s nice to know about the future, what’s important is the here and now, and for many of us, we need a car to drive pronto!

Here’s what you can do to cut prices:

A recent report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows Australian drivers could have saved $485 million in 2020 just by switching from high to low-priced petrol retailers.

Sydneysiders could save the most over one year ($445) by switching from the highest to lowest priced petrol retailer. This is followed by Adelaide ($330) and Melbourne ($317).

Earlier this year, Finder analysed the cost of owning a car – including petrol, registration and insurance – and found some drivers could be spending up to 133% more per year.

Those driving smaller cars and getting a good deal on insurance spend around $3,413 per year on average.

Meanwhile those driving larger cars typically spend more on insurance, fuel and registration at $7,963 per year on average – a difference of 133%.

Considering switching from a larger car, to a small vehicle (IF YOU CAN!).

Larger cars can consume substantially more fuel per year than smaller cars, and in most states vehicle registration and insurance will cost more too.

So as part of my investigations into finding the most fuel-efficient cars currently available, I asked Finder to run some comparisons and here’s what they found:

L/100Km: How many litres of fuel is used to travel 100km


Fuel economy

Driveaway from (NSW 2000)


Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in hybrid





Kia Niro S Plug-in hybrid





MG HS PHEV Essence





Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ES





Mercedes-Benz C 300 e





BMW 330e Plug-in hybrid





Volvo XC90 Plug-in Hybrid Recharge





Volvo XC40 Plug-in Hybrid Recharge





Source: Finder

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Bianca Hartge-Hazelman
June 15, 2021
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