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What is the best car for city living?

July 25, 2023

What is the best car for city living?

Life in a bustling city requires a car capable of navigating through narrow streets, as well as one that offers excellent fuel efficiency and the convenience of fitting into tight parking spaces. In this blog post, we explore the best car options for city living, taking into account factors such as compact size, urban-friendly features and fuel efficiency. We’ll also introduce you to Drive Fuze’s range of city cars and discover how our car subscriptions can help you choose the perfect car for your city lifestyle.

Characteristics of ideal city cars

It’s a fact of life that UK cities aren’t always the most car-friendly places. In city centres, road systems usually date from long before cars existed, so they’re not designed to take the amount of traffic they experience in the 21st century. The result: traffic congestion and limited parking spaces.

For that reason, there are a number of characteristics to look out for in a city car that will make life easier when you’re regularly zipping around the city. A compact size is a must, as this will allow you to fit into tighter parking spaces. You’ll also need a car that’s easy to manoeuvre for when you need some shuffling to get into a small space, or through narrow gaps left by delivery lorries parked on the kerb.

Of course, when you’re driving in a city, you’ll have pedestrians and cyclists around you all the time. This means that good visibility is essential, as it will make it more likely that you’ll be able to spot them early and keep these more vulnerable road users safe.

And on the subject of safety, air pollution is a real health problem in cities, so it’s also important to choose a fuel-efficient, eco-friendly car to help minimise the environmental impact of your driving (something that’s essential in cities with low emission zones). This will reduce your fuel costs, too.

There are also a number of specific features you can look out for that will make driving easier in an urban environment. Parking assist systems will help you nab that last, tight parking space, while agile handling will help you manoeuvre into spaces and negotiate twists and turns in winding city street networks. Responsive braking is important for those unavoidable moments when a pedestrian steps out into the road unexpectedly, or a cyclist suddenly appears. And auto start/stop will save fuel when you’re inching along in a traffic jam.

At Drive Fuze, our fleet of urban vehicles addresses the specific needs of city living with their compact size, advanced features and fuel-efficient options.

The importance of fuel efficiency in city cars

When you’re living in a city, fuel efficiency is a key concern for a number of reasons. For a start, efforts to improve air quality in cities are increasingly widespread as the public health and economic impacts of air pollution become more widely recognised. Choosing a ‘greener’ car is an important part of reducing your personal contribution to the air pollution problem.

But that’s not all. The need to reduce carbon emissions to meet ambitious climate targets means that more and more cities are now implementing low emission zones. These see steep daily charges for cars that don’t meet the new emissions limits required, potentially adding significantly to the cost of keeping a car in the city.

Low emission zone charges are only one cost-related consideration when it comes to choosing a fuel-efficient car. The more fuel-efficient a car is, the more miles it will do before you need to fill it up, saving you money. Choosing a car with an impressive fuel economy rating – such as the Fiat 500 Pop Hybrid, which does over 60 miles to the gallon – will add up to big savings over a few years of city driving.

You can also improve the fuel efficiency of your city drives by making some adjustments to your driving style to adapt to urban driving conditions. These include accelerating smoothly and reducing unnecessary idling (auto stop/start technology will help with this, but if your car doesn’t have it you can still switch the engine off during prolonged periods stationary in traffic).

At Drive Fuze, we’re committed to bringing you a great choice of fuel-efficient vehicles as part of our car subscription fleet, providing sustainable options for city residents and allowing you to enjoy cost-effective city driving while contributing to a greener environment.

Top car choices for city living

Our fleet of subscription cars has a number of makes and models that are ideal for city living, but which are the best? Here are some of our favourites, along with features to look out for.

If you’re looking for a compact urban vehicle, it’s hard to beat the Fiat 500 Pop Hybrid, which is small enough to fit into tight parking spaces and has a tight turning circle for when you need to turn around in a narrow city street. It also has an extremely fuel-efficient hybrid engine that reduces your emissions while saving you money.

Parking sensors, as found on the Volkswagen Polo, will come in handy when you’re parallel parking in a narrow city street – particularly given all the other obstacles that you’ll need to avoid hitting in an urban environment, such as bins and lampposts. A rear parking camera, such as that found on the Nissan Qashqai, will also help with this.

If you’re living in London, or any other city with a low emissions zone, you’ll want to know that your car meets the requirements to avoid facing steep daily charges. Hybrid and electric cars will be exempt from such schemes, so these are a great choice and also offer reduced running costs. To view all our ULEZ-compliant cars, simply browse our cars and select the “ULEZ” slider in the right-hand filter bar to make sure you only see cars that meet the requirements.

Commuting in a city can mean a lot of time sitting in traffic jams, so you’ll need something to keep you entertained and informed while you wait for things to start moving. Look out for cars with smart infotainment systems that offer excellent connectivity, such as the Renault Clio, which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as wireless charging to keep you connected.

Safety is another important consideration amidst the demands of driving in a city. While you’re less likely to need cruise control when you’re typically in stop-start traffic, there are some advanced safety features to look out for that can help with urban driving such as adaptive cruise control or a rear parking camera. These features are found on the ULEZ-compliant Toyota Aygo X.

All the cars we’ve talked about here are ideal choices for city residents due to their compact size, fuel efficiency and urban-friendly features. But what’s the benefit of having one on subscription?

City living made easy with Drive Fuze

If you’re looking for the perfect urban vehicle, you’ll find that a Drive Fuze subscription simplifies car ownership with flexible services that give you total freedom. With a car subscription, you’re on a rolling monthly contract that you can cancel at any time, meaning it’s easy to change the car or hand it back if your circumstances change.

There’s no long-term commitment, and no large upfront payment – just a month’s subscription fee upfront, which you get back at the end of your contract.

Not only that, a car subscription makes it easy to budget for having a car with you in the city. All your ongoing running costs are included in your single monthly payment, including comprehensive insurance, maintenance, tax, tyres and breakdown cover. This means that the only things you’ll need to budget for are fuel (or EV charging) and the cost of your city parking.

When you’re choosing a city car, the Drive Fuze fleet has lots of options for you to choose from, including a number of compact and fuel-efficient models to help you make the most of city driving. We’re here to help provide a tailored subscription for your urban lifestyle, ensuring that you have access to the right vehicles for your city living needs. Browse our vehicles and you could have your perfect city car at your doorstep in as little as seven days.