Top 5 supermini car buying tipsOur guide to buying the best small car

10 August 2011

Buying a supermini might seem simple, but with dozens of models available ranging from the very basic to the very posh, it's much more complicated than you'd expect.

So take a look at our top five tips for buying a supermini to help decide which suits you best.

If you would like more advice, then read our full top 10 tips for buying your next supermini - and visit our free buying a car advice guides for all you need to know.

Audi A1

If you're after a supermini with a top-end interior, the Audi A1 is a good choice

Downsizing? It's not just about the Audi A1 or Mini

If you’re used to a large car but have decided to move into something smaller and still want big-car quality, then the Audi A1 is one of the best in the supermini class.

However, standard versions are surprisingly ill-equipped so you’ll have to hit the options list to kit it out fully. The same goes for the Mini.

Lots of more everyday superminis like the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta can be specced with gadgets like touchscreen sat navs, MP3 connections and other toys at a lower cost.

See our car options guide for more advice

Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex

Eco-branded versions of superminis, like the Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex, are especially frugal

Running costs are key

Superminis are generally cheap to run, but eco-branded models are usually especially frugal.

Popular models include the Seat Ibiza Ecomotive and the Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex – read our superminis reviews to find out which are the best for cutting your fuel bills.

Don’t assume that car insurance will be cheap, though – top-end versions of the Mini are in higher insurance groups than most BMW 3 Series models.

Beware the ‘brochure special’

Most carmakers build a super-basic version of each car that can be touted at a low price, simply to get people into showrooms.

In reality, very few people buy this 'brochure special'. That's because dealers are taught to sell-up to pricier, better-equipped models. Make sure you know what you’re looking for before buying, and what the real price will be.

Small cars can be reliable

The Which? Car Survey has shown that superminis tend to be more dependable than larger cars due to them having fewer things to go wrong.

But there’s still a big difference between the best and worst in class – read the results of our reliability survey to find out the models that should be avoided.

Taking the kids?

Superminis might not be ideal family transport, but if you need to transport children then a five-door model with Isofix attachments for child car seats will save lots of time and effort.

See our family car buying tips for more help.


Like these tips? Read more in our full superminis buying guide.


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