With ever more cars competing for parking spaces which feel like they’re getting smaller every day, having a tiny car which can squeeze into the smallest of gaps has never been more useful.
We’ve rounded up five of the smallest – and most affordable – machines that you can get your hands on, which should make parking a breeze and bring a welcome respite to your wallet too.
All of these cars measure in at under 3.55m long, so even if you’re used to a Ford Fiesta, which measures in at 3.97m, you’ll gain an extra foot-and-a-half of room to aid easy maneouvring around town.
Smart fortwo – 2.70m
When it comes to small cars, they don’t come much smaller than the Smart fortwo, at a miniscule 2.70m. Despite its sheer smallness, this micro machine packs plenty of room inside for two full-size adults – and a little luggage space in the back.
It may the smallest real car you can buy, but you still get the choice of many big car bits of technology, including a system that can keep you in your lane on the motorway and heated seats. Helping to make the Smart even easier to thread around narrow city streets the fortwo has a very tight turning circle of just 6.95m.
With prices starting at around £11,000 the fortwo’s price tag sadly doesn’t quite match its tiny proportions, though fuel economy of around 67 to 69mpg means that fuel bills should be very low.
Toyota iQ – 2.99m
The iQ measures in at the same length as the original Mini and Toyota claims that it is a four-seater, like the identically sized classic small car.
While four passengers may be stretching the truth somewhat, you can fit three adults in this tiny car, thanks to a hollowed out dashboard and a passenger seat that can be positioned further forward than the driver’s to allow much more legroom behind.
As with the Smart, the iQ really can turn on a sixpence, turning many three-point turns into one-point turns and saving less confident drivers the twoing and froing normally required to negotiate the tightest of turns.
Prices are close to the Smart, starting at around £11,000 and fuel economy stands at between 54 and 64mpg.
Toyota Aygo – 3.46m
Despite being the iQ’s bigger brother, the Aygo is still one of the smallest city cars, at comfortably under 3.5m long – which should make it a doddle to park.
The new Aygo sports eye-catching styling, with a bold ‘x’ motif splatted across the front of the car. Another way it differs from its smaller sibling is with the option of five doors, which makes access to the rear seats much easier.
This nippy machine is available with a 1.0-litre petrol engine that matches the smaller Smart for fuel economy with figures from 67 to 69mpg. Where the Aygo does beat the fortwo – and the much smaller iQ – is when it comes to the matter of price, with Aygos available from £7,995.
Suzuki Alto – 3.50m
The Alto may be one of the less glamorous city cars, but with prices starting at just £5,999 – thanks to Suzuki’s long-running VAT free deals – it is just £4 short of being the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, with just the Dacia Sandero pipping it to the cheap car post.
Though the smaller Alto may not get the same affordable car limelight as the Sandero, this compact car returns 17mpg more than Dacia at 65.7mpg and car tax is free making the Alto a better bet for those who don’t need the maximum amount of space for their budget.
VW Up – 3.54m
Where the Alto is back to basics, the Up plays a decent stab at being upmarket, with a good quality and clearly designed interior and a wide array of big car equipment on the options list.
Despite the Volkswagen badge on the nose, the Up is available from just £8,635, though tick every box in the options list and that jumps rapidly. All Ups return more than 60mpg, making trips to the petrol station infrequent, with two of the four models coming in for free car tax.