How to Buy a City Car

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The automotive market is incredibly varied, and fiercely competitive. Whatever your motoring needs, the chances are good that there’s a vehicle out there that meets them.

For city commuters, this is great news: There exists a huge range of vehicles that have been designed specifically to make life easier when you’re driving through an urban environment.

But if you’re shopping for a car of this kind, what should your criteria be? Let’s assess a few of the more important considerations for a new city car.


While country roads are statistically the riskiest places to drive, the benefits of the right safety features still matter if you’re in a city environment. Accidents are more likely to occur in the city, even if those accidents are less severe; we should therefore look for a car that’s rich in modern safety features. 

Fortunately, there’s an impartial organisation that’s been testing cars in controlled settings. You can check a prospective purchase using the Euro NCAP database, and see how it has performed in crash tests.

Fuel usage

Fuel economy will make a big difference to the overall running costs of your car. If you’re in a city, then your driving behaviour is less likely to be efficient, since you’ll be starting and stopping constantly, and going only on short trips. This is a good reason to favour a manual over an automatic.

Do your research on filling stations, too – you might find that the cheapest fuel is actually some way away from the city centre. Of course, you don’t want to waste time and fuel getting there, so look into stations that fall along your route, anyway. It’s also worth thinking about modifying your driving style to keep your fuel costs down.

Smart features

Modern cars are bristling with smart features designed to improve your quality of life, and reduce your stress levels. Lane assist, automatic emergency braking, and rear paking sensors and cameras can all help you to avoid an unnecessary collision (and the accompanying insurance claim).

Speaking of which, you’ll want to shop around for a decent insurer. There are a number of car insurance quotes to examine, some of which might offer features and clauses that cater specifically to the demands of urban driving.

Good for daily use

This is a car that you’re going to be using regularly. It needs to be practical, too. If there’s limited room for the shopping and the kids, then the car is unlikely to be fun to drive in the long run, however impressive its acceleration and handling might be. Bear in mind also that you might not actually get a chance to push the performance of the car to its limits, especially if you’re driving during rush hour.

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