We all know how important it is to look after the environment, and choosing an eco-friendly car can be one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you're just starting your driving lessons or you've newly received your shiny pink driving licence, we’ve created a top 10 guide to some of the very best eco-friendly first cars on the market that will be perfect if you want to start your driving life as an eco-friendly motorist.
Not only does it look great, but the Fiat 500, with its TwinAir engine, has very low fuel consumption, and, in turn, emits an estimated 30% less CO2 emissions than your average car engine. The petrol fueled Fiat 500 may have a small engine, but it’s easy to navigate busy streets in. The Fiat 500 POP starts off at just under £10,000 for a brand new one, but with its up to date safety features may make for the perfect first car.
This small, friendly looking electric car offers a smooth, quiet ride for the driver. Marketed by Mitsubishi as "the perfect car for the urban environment", this eco-friendly vehicle has space for four adults and can fit into the tightest of parking spaces.
Although the i-MiEV, priced at over £20,000, isn’t cheap, it’s exempt from road tax and London’s congestion charge. This car is ideal for anyone driving in the city on a regular basis, and as it’s a zero-emission vehicle, you’ll have nothing to feel guilty about.
Smart fortwo CDI
The Smart fortwo CDI diesel model comes in a hatchback or convertible version, and boasts exceptionally low CO2 emissions. The Smart car has been a common little car on our roads for some time now, but the diesel CDI version is much more economical. Given that the car only has room for two, it’s not ideal for anyone with a family, but it’s perfect for new drivers simply looking for a small run-around.
The Aygo is an urban runabout designed by Japanese car makers, Toyota. Despite its powerful three-cylinder engine, this little car scores very highly when it comes to green points, with impressively low CO2 emissions. After its release, it wasn’t particularly popular, but if you’re looking for a small, reliable and efficient car, the Toyota Aygo could be the vehicle for you.
Honda Jazz Hybrid
The Honda Jazz Hybrid is the cheapest, smallest family Hybrid hatchback. If you’re a new driver, and have a family to fit in the back, the Jazz is a great choice. Whilst other large electric or hybrid cars may be intimidating to a new driver, the Jazz couldn’t look more friendly.
It doesn’t have the most powerful of engines, but will get you from A to B comfortably, quietly and smoothly. Image courtesy of Overlaet
The diesel MINI Clubman has everything a new driver could want: style, reputation and easy-handling. On top of all that, as part of BMW, the MINI’s engine also boasts impressive fuel efficiency. You’ll save on fuel and produce less emissions, giving you the piece of mind whilst you cruise around in your new car.
Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion
As one of the most popular cars on Britain’s roads, the Volkswagen Polo offers reliability, space and design quality. With a great safety rating and firm road handling, it may well be the ideal first car. The Bluemotion is the environmentally friendly version of the Polo, and thanks to some aerodynamics changes, produces less emissions than your standard Volkswagen engine. The Polo Bluemotion qualifies for free road tax, and is deceptively spacious! Image via MORE@Flickr
Skoda haven’t always had the best reputation but in recent years their cars have become increasingly popular. The Fabia, which first hit our roads in 2007, offers a small, sleek and practical vehicle for new drivers. It’s not the most exciting of cars to drive, but in terms of reliability, the Fabia scores top marks.Scoring very well on the eco-friendly front, CO2 emissions from this little Skoda are particularly low. Image courtesy of bbjee
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
A hybrid vehicle is the perfect solution for anyone who needs a car for both short and long distance journeys. The Toyota Yaris hybrid looks great and, as a smaller alternative to the Prius, is popular amongst newly qualified drivers. It’s cheaper than many other electric vehicles on the market, and you can get your hands on one for less than £20,000. Image courtesy of M 93
Smart fortwo Electric Drive
Our second Smart car on the list, the Smart fortwo Electric Drive is a battery-powered, eco-friendly version of the tiny vehicle. Due to be released in 2013, the Smart Electric Drive promises to be easy to drive in built up areas, powerful and distinctive. With consumers asking for faster charging time, the electric Smart car is set to be one of the most popular electric cars on urban roads, so watch this space!