With petrol prices nearly 50% more than they were just a few short years ago, and mileage per gallon becoming one of the most popular factors in buying both new and second hand vehicles (alongside the cost of road tax and average insurance cover), I’ve put together a list of five of the most fuel-efficient vehicles of all. Note that I’ve included a spread of trade vehicles as well as family cars, as these are the two most efficiency-conscious markets.

The Vauxhall Ampera

You may have seen this car starting to appear on roads near you – it looks a lot like an update of the Vectra, and it develops a very respectable average of 234mpg. Unfortunately, all that energy saving tech (the Ampera is a dual fuel vehicle, which runs a 1.4-litre petrol engine that powers a generator) takes up a lot of space – for the size of the thing, there are disappointingly only four seats and a smaller boot than it looks like you’re getting. According to Vauxhall, the twin drive technology means you get more efficiency out of the fuel – and if you switch to electricity alone, you’ll make it for 50 miles before you conk out.

The Hyundai i20

The Hyundai i20 is an overlooked efficiency legend, which can often get missed by the new car buyer because it costs more than the entry-level i10. The i20, though, develops a pretty respectable 88mpg with its diesel engine, and emissions are so low you don’t have to pay any road tax at all. That’s right – no road tax, and with a starting price of just over 10k, you won’t be breaking the bank either. With a diesel engine, you’re looking at a longer life and lower maintenance too.

The Volvo V60

The V60 has been given a makeover for 2013, which makes it one of the best looking cars in this list. Its hybrid drive gives you a whopping 155mpg, and with all the trademark Volvo elements (massive boot spaced, safer than a Sherman tank) the V60 is a family car to reckon with. In theory, you can go 560 miles before you need to fill up again. The engine takes diesel fuel, and if you switch to just electricity you ought to be able to do 31 miles before you have to recharge. All of the above said, the V60 costs just shy of 50k to buy, which makes it less than economical overall.

The Volkswagen Caddy BlueMotion

Just launched and already turning heads, the VW Caddy BlueMotion develops a theoretical 62.8mpg. Even more impressive is the total range for a single fill-up – around 800 miles, which ought to satisfy even the most demanding fuel consumer. The consumption boost is created by combining a more aerodynamic body shape with a stop-start engine setup and a new range of engine management technologies. Expect to see the Caddy BlueMotion in the UK shortly.

The Citroen Nemo

The delightfully named Nemo keeps cropping up on best van lists at the moment – and that is, in part, due to its theoretical range of 84mpg. It’s tiny, funky and fun to drive too. So not the vehicle for big jobs, but a great commercial alternative for city couriering and one-person maintenance companies. The starting price is less than 9k, too. Vans A to Z can tell you more – visit site for details.