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'Green' cars don't save you money

  • So called 'Eco' cars can take years before you save
  • Higher list price can outweigh savings
  • Standard models could be cheaper to run

Buyers who opt for so-called 'green' cars could have to wait an incredible 28 years before they actually save any money.

Despite lower running costs the higher price of eco cars mean buyers will have to wait years before they make a saving. This is largely down to the premium that buyers have to pay for 'green' cars compared to other models which can be up to £800 on some cars.

Parker's found a number of examples where an eco model would take years before any saving was made compared to other models in a manufacturer's range.

The worst offender is the Skoda Octavia Greenline. At £16,960 it is £690 more than the Ocatvia 1.6 TDI SE, yet the cost of road tax is the same at just £35 a year. The difference in fuel economy is just 2mpg and at the current price of diesel you would save just £17.72 a year based on covering 10,000 miles. While the Greenline does get cruise control over the SE, it will still take 28 years before you started to make up the difference and save any money.

Even choosing between two different eco models can prove costly. The latest Ford Focus Econetic comes with a choice between one with Auto-Start-Stop and a version without. Road tax is free on the start-stop version, but only £35 on the other. Yearly fuel saving is also minimal at just £68. However, the start-stop model costs £511 more meaning it will take almost seven-and-a-half years for the savings to start.

Other eco models that fail to help you save include the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion that could take up to four years before you start to save and the Fabia Greenline that would also take four years to start making any money back on it.

At the same time a Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe S model with start/stop will take up to three years to recoup any cash compared to a 1.6D DRIVe S model without start/stop.

Manufacturers claim that the higher premiums on eco versions are due to extra cost of fitting technology such as start/stop functions that reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy.

There are some exceptions to this though with the Peugeot 207 and the 207 Economique. In this instance the Economique version is actually cheaper to buy in the first place at £14,095 - £100 cheaper than the HDi 90 S model. Road tax is free compared to £35 and on an average of 10,000 miles a year you could save £107 on fuel.

 

  • Skoda Octavia 

Model

On-the-road price

CO2 Emissions

Tax cost

Fuel cost (average 10,000 miles)

Skoda Octavia Greenline 1.6TDI 105bhp

£16,960

114g/km

£35

£795.20

Skoda Octavia SE 1.6TDI 105bhp

£16,270

119g/km

£35

£812.92

  • Ford Focus

Model

On-the-road price

CO2 Emissions

Tax cost

Fuel cost (average 10,000 miles)

Ford Focus Econetic 1.6TDCi Econetic S/Stop 109bhp

£20,427

99g/km

£0

£688.03

Ford Focus Zetec 1.6TDCi 109bhp

£20,171

115g/km

£35

£812.92

Ford Focus Econetic 1.6TDCi 109bhp

£19,916

104g/km

£35

£721.18

  •  Volkswagen Golf

Model

On-the-road price

CO2 Emissions

Tax cost

Fuel cost (average 10,000 miles)

Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.6TDI 3DR

£18,100

99g/km

£0

£687.10

Volkswagen Golf S 1.6TDI 3DR

£17,315

119g/km

£35

£812.92

  • Skoda Fabia

Model

On-the-road price

CO2 Emissions

Tax cost

Fuel cost (average 10,000 miles)

Skoda Fabia Greenline 1.4TDI 80bhp

£12,555

109g/km

£35

£740.95

Skoda Fabia 2 1.4TDI 80bhp

£12,190

120g/km

£35

£831.46

  • Volvo V50

Model

On-the-road price

CO2 Emissions

Tax cost

Fuel cost (average 10,000 miles)

Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe S 109bhp start/stop

£20,545

104g/km

£35

£705.13

Volvo V50 1.6D DRIVe S 109bhp start/stop

£20,195

119g/km

£35

£812.92