There’s a simple way to cut the amount of money you spend on your car. If you’re looking for a new car, simply buy one which qualifies for free road tax in the UK.
Luckily, there are plenty out there.
Green car technology is getting better and as a result, so are car emissions, in fact the average car emissions for 2011 where 4.2 per cent lower than 2010.
With these on-going improvements there are many cars out there on the road that emit less than 100g/km worth of CO2 emissions.
As well as these sub 100g/km being better for the environment, they also come with the added perk of road tax exemption.
This buyer’s guide will talk through the top ten road tax free cars for 2012 with each model offering a different platform for better emissions, and different functionality on the road.
Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1
Both of these small new city cars have been developed by the PSA group, so they are undoubtedly very similar models.
The 107 and the C1 use the same three cylinder petrol engine and emit the same 99g/km of C02 emissions. However, the 107 returns slightly better mileage of 66mpg compared to the C1’s 65.7mpg, hardly worth the comparison.
As competition goes these models will be going up against the Fiat 500 TwinAir model, a popular sub 100g/km option in the city car segment.
Peugeot 107 prices start from £7,995. Prices for the Citroen C1 are expected to be around the same level.
The Peugeot 107 will be released in February and the Citron C1 in April.
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The second generation Picanto, a three- or five-door city car, is a much more economical and stylish edition to the Kia range, a fact which has led to a presitgious iF Product Design award last year.
The Picanto offers two road tax exempt engines in the range. First is a 1.0-litre petrol engine which emits just 99g/km and returns an impressive 67.3mpg.
The other is a slightly larger 1.25-litre petrol which emits 100g/km and returns 65.7mpg. Although 100 isn’t technically sub 100 it still qualifies for road tax exemption as 100g/km is classed as band A tax, the same band of a car with 80g/km for example.
Although the Picanto is a city car it stands out amongst a select few in the segment as a highly customisable car with a sporty appeal which could give it a possible edge, especially amongst younger buyers.
Kia Picanto prices start from £7,545.
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The Seat Mii has a few similar competitors in its segment (Volkswagen Up! and the Skoda Citigo are essentially the same car) it brings the unique Seat style and design to the small car segment.
The Mii uses a 1.0-litre petrol engine which emits 97g/km and has power outputs of 59hp and 69hp.
A lot like the Up! and Citigo the Mii has been labelled as a ‘highly customisable’ city car with features like satellite navigation and an array of exterior paint jobs. In fact, according to Seat the Mii’s interior equipment is said to be more generous and unique than that of the Up! and Citigo.
Seat Mii prices are expected to be under the £10,000 mark. It is expected to be released sometime in spring.
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The Fiat Panda is pretty much in a class of its own as it sits in the city car segment, yet offers spacious qualities of a small family car.
As the Fiat 500 Twin Air engine continues to gain popularity and success it seems very likely that the new Panda model will use the TwinAir derivative and deliver sub 100g/km of C02 emissions. The third generation Panda model is also expected to return up to 70mpg.
As well as general city car qualities like sharp handling the Panda offers plenty of interior space, ranging from its boot space of 225-litres, to 870-litres with the rear seat backrest folded down.
Fiat Panda prices are expected to be under the £10,000 mark.
It is expected to be released sometime in spring.
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The 208 is Peugeot’s new supermini set to replace the current 207 model with a new design and better emissions.
The new supermini emits just 87g/km with aid of an e-HDI micro-hybrid system. This new system works alongside stop & start technology and gives the engine a slight electrical boost when restarting.
The 208 has been designed with the Citroen DS range in mind, Peugeot has basically looked at the DS3 supermini and thought ‘how can we make the 208 better’. With this new design the 208 includes features like an elevated instrument panel and a large touch screen.
Peugeot 208 prices are expected to be similar to the Fiesta and Corsa, which is around £10,000.
It is set to be released in June.
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The new Kia Rio, a supermini aimed at taking on the Ford Fiesta, has recently been praised in a survey as being the greenest car out of both petrol and diesel models.
This is thanks to its 1.1-litre Ecodynamics diesels engine, which delivers 74hp and 169Nm of torque. However, more impressively is its 88.3mpg capability.
Alongside the Rio’s great economical abilities it has its famous seven year/100,000-mile Kia warranty. It has also been awarded a five star Euro NCAP safety rating, which is very impressive for a car its size.
The Rio also keeps the competition at bay with up to date features like steering wheel mounted controls and Bluetooth compatibility.
Kia Rio prices start from £9,495.
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The B-Max, a small, Fiesta-based people carrier, was originally just a concept when it was revealed last year, but it is now well on its way to being released.
The new B-Max will offer a 1.0-litre EcoBoost three-cylinder engine, but is also expected to offer similar diesel and petrol options as the Fiesta range, which has sub 100g/km emissions.
The five-seater includes sliding doors and the lack of the central door pillar, meaning there is great accessibility to the B-Max. It also has a front end similar to the Fiesta of which it is based, although it is slightly bulkier as it is a small MPV.
Prices for the Ford B-Max are expected to be around £13,000. Its release date is unknown, but is expected to be released sometime in 2012.
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The Mokka is a Corsa based SUV that is set to challenge the likes of the Nissan Juke in the newly invigorated small SUV market.
It is expected to offer two petrol engines: 1.6-litre (114hp) engine and a turbocharged 1.4-litre (138hp) Turbo. There is also a 1.7-litre (128hp) turbo diesel offered.
Although emission figures have not yet been released it is expected to emit similar sub 100g/km emissions as the Corsa model it is based on. This is thanks to Vauxhall’s Ecoflex diesel engines and stop-start technology.
The Mokka also offers generous storage space of up to 1,372-litres, a competitive size in the SUV market.
The Vauxhall Mokka is expected to be released at the end of 2012.
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The DS5 retains the premium DS range feel seen in the DS3 and DS4, but packages it in a larger, more executive car.
As well as the DS5 being a great family car it is looking more likely that it will be the ideal fleet car with its three per cent BIK benefit-in-kind exemption.
The DS5 uses a diesel-hybrid (a mix of electric motor and diesel engine) system that emits just 99g/km worth of CO2 emissions, which for a car its size is very impressive.
With features like a sporty steering wheel and cockpit like cabin you can expect the DS5 to give the family car market, as well as the business fleet car market, a run for its money.
Prices for the Citroen DS5 are expected to be around the £20,000 mark.
It is set to be released in spring 2012.
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A lot like the C1 and 107, the 3008 is a very similar model to its slightly smaller brother, the DS5.
The new Peugeot 3008 uses the same Hybrid4 engine and was actually first to feature it before the DS5. This means that the 3008 produces the same CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
It also means it is exempt from the three per cent BIK benefit-in-kind tax, which is good news for businesses.
However, the 3008 hybrid’s estate-like styling offers more space and a storage capacity of up to 1,435-litres, which make it quite a good large family car.
Prices for the new Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 start from £26,995.
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