If you’re in the market for a new car, one of the first considerations is the size of the vehicle. Should you go for a large SUV or a small zippy runaround? A large car will give you more space and towing capacity, but a small car is easier to manoeuvre and cheaper to run.
In the past small cars have had a bad rap for lack of space and safety issues. Nowadays there’s a surplus of small car designs with excellent safety ratings, clever interior design and intuitive driving experience.
While a small car might not be right for everyone, you’ll be surprised how versatile and pleasurable to drive they are. To help you decide if it’s the right move for you, here are 8 perks of driving and owning a small car:
1. Easier to manoeuvre on the road
Tight corners, narrow streets, busy car parks – small cars are able to handle the challenges of city living with ease. On the other hand, large cars can have a harder time navigating tight spots and need more room to perform difficult manoeuvres.
Small cars are often described as zippy and nimble because of how easy they are to manoeuvre on the road. When you get behind the wheel, small cars tend to feel quick and sporty without guzzling the fuel. Due to the lightness and compact nature of the car, you can often get the perfect balance between great performance and excellent fuel economy.
2. Easier to park
Since they are easy to manoeuvre, small cars tend to be easier to park. Whether that’s a forward, reverse or parallel park, easier parking is ideal for busy cities. Plus, small cars fit in more car bays than larger cars which means faster parking and more choice when it comes to where you park.
Many modern small cars also come with parking assist technology to help you park more efficiently. For example, the Mazda 2 comes with a 360 degree monitor and reverse camera to help you manage blind spots, avoid obstacles and stay safe while you’re parking.
3. Better fuel economy
In general, small cars outperform large cars when it comes to fuel consumption and economy. Better fuel economy means more distance covered for less money. This can be a great advantage for drivers who use their car as a daily commuting vehicle or a city runabout.
4. More environmentally friendly
Since small cars don’t take as much fuel to run and release less emissions, they are considered a more environmentally friendly choice compared to large vehicles that run on petrol and diesel.
There are a number of hybrid and full electric small cars on the market nowadays which offer an even greener solution for environmentally-conscious drivers.
Smaller electric vehicles have less space for electric batteries which means they tend to have a lower range than bigger EVs. The upside is that small EVs tend to be more affordable to buy, meaning drivers who want to switch to electric can do so with a smaller budget than ever before.
5. More affordable to buy
Small cars are generally much more affordable to buy brand new than bigger vehicles. This makes them a great first car for young people and a budget-friendly second car for the family.
Just because they’re cheaper to buy, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on luxury. Many new small car models offer luxury features and eye-catching design elements so you can drive in style – think leather seats, modern infotainment systems and minimalist dashboards.
6. Cheaper to maintain
You don’t just save when you purchase a small car – it’s also cheaper to maintain over time than a large car.
A smaller engine usually means less parts to service and less wear and tear for a similar time period. Plus, for most small cars from mainstream brands, parts are easy to source and readily available which means smaller service bills for you.
7. Savings on insurance and registration fees
The cost of owning a smaller car tends to be significantly less than owning a large car. Although there are a number of factors that affect how much insurance premium you’ll have to pay as a car owner, smaller cars tend to have lower premiums.
In Western Australia, your car registration fees are based on the weight of your car. So registration for smaller, lighter cars is cheaper compared to larger and heavier vehicles.
8. Plenty of variety and choice
Whether you’re after a compact hatchback or reliable sedan, a sporty runabout or a sleek city car, there are so many different small car styles to choose from.
When looking for a car that’s right for you, it’s important to weigh up what features are most important for your lifestyle.
If you live in the city and commute through traffic everyday to work, look for a small car with great fuel efficiency and excellent manoeuvrability. If you need a car that’s capable in the city, but also good for longer road trips down south, look for a small car with extra boot space and high safety ratings. For families, opt for a four door car with a roomy interior.
Is a small car right for you?
If you need good towing power, off road capabilities and lots of space for a large family, a small car probably isn’t the best option for you. But if you’re looking for a capable everyday car that’s cheap to own and maintain and easy to handle in the city, a small car could be your best option.
The best way to see if a particular car is a good move is to book a test drive with your local dealership. Modern small cars are often more roomy and pleasant to drive than you might think.