What is a city car?

  • Pros and cons of a city car
  • Should I consider buying one?
  • Parkers explains the genre of car

A city car is a compact, efficient vehicle that is smaller than any other class of car. It’s normally the tiniest car in most manufacturers’ ranges – no surprise it’s named after its suitability for urban work in busy city streets.


Cheap to run, cheap to buy, easy to park. They’re built for the city, see?


Not suited to long-distance drives, low power levels, limited level of equipment. And being so small, space and practicality are at a premium…


The Fiat 500 is one of the most popular city cars, the Volkswagen Up and Toyota Aygo being two of its rivals.

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to our Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions