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It’s back to school today and for many mums this can be a very stressful affair. Not only do you have to make sure you leave the house with everything but the kitchen sink in tow, the school run can actually add a substantial amount of money to a family’s annual fuel bill.
In fact, in 2012, Telegraph.co.uk claimed that the school run could add as much as £52 to the average family’s annual fuel bill, attributing to the fact that roads can be congested and the cold starts and short journeys simply don’t allow the car’s engine to warm up.
In a survey in 2012 conducted by What Car? on four popular family cars, it was discovered that the Nissan Qashqui 1.6 diesel returned as little as 29.8mpg from a cold start as opposed to its official urban figure of 51.4mpg. The petrol-powered Hyundai i20 and 2.0-litre diesel Seat Alhambra both managed 26.5mpg, rather than 46.3mpg and 38.7mpg respectively, while VW’s Golf Bluemotion returned just 41.5mpg which was a lot less than its 60.1mpg Urban figure.
Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “Engines take at least 10 minutes to warm up, so on short, traffic-clogged runs to school they’re running a lot less efficiently. On the majority of school runs, cars deliver on average 15 per cent fewer miles per gallon than their official urban figures suggest, and emit 20 per cent more CO2.
“When shopping for your next school run vehicle, go for a car that works best in town. That way it’ll still deliver good economy even when it’s running less efficiently.”
Trusted Dealers has put together a list of their top three best cars suited to the school run:
The Skoda Citigo shares the same engine as the popular Volkswagen Up! but is quite a lot cheaper to buy. It’s a fantastic city car to drive about town and offers great fuel economy too. It is also incredibly well built to transport your little ones to school safely, offering a high-quality, attractive interior and plenty of features as standard.
The Ford Fiesta is currently the UK’s most popular car and won the Best Supermini accolade at the What Car? awards this year. Not only is it a great car to drive, it also rides comfortably and handles well, so your passengers will be comfortable too. Its stylish both inside and out and a super car for driving around and about the city. Watch out for some cracking deals on used cars now the new 63-plate is on sale.
If a city car simply won’t do for the school run, the Seat Alhambra is our pick of the best MPVs currently on sale. The Alhambra is incredibly spacious and offers a practical solution to seat seven people at an affordable price. It’s refined to drive and prices to buy this model are competitive against other models in this class.