Back to Newsroom

Best cars for commuters

People in the UK are commuting further than ever before, and when making a long journey every day, you want to make sure you have the perfect car to suit your needs.

Image by, CC 2.0

Image by, CC 2.0

We take a look at the best cars for a short, medium and long commute, taking into account running costs, driver comfort and entertainment.

Best car for a short commute

Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium

The Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium won What Car? City Car of the Year, and it’s easy to see why. The i20 is an excellent city run-around. It’s small enough to park anywhere, and it can cope equally well for city and motorway driving.

Build quality has been improved in the 2015 model, and ride comfort is excellent, a huge bonus if you’re stuck in traffic on a daily basis. And if you need a jaunt on the motorway during your commute, don’t worry; wind and road noise is kept to a minimum so you can do so with ease.

The 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine gives 87bhp and reaches 0–60mph in just 12.3 seconds.

Running costs are low, as the 1.2 gets 58mpg, and emits just 114g/km CO2. Road tax is just £30, and it puts you in car insurance category 4.

The audio system with CD player, and Bluetooth with phone connection ensures you’ll be kept entertained during your journey.


  • Engine: 1.2-litre 87bhp
  • CO2: 114g/km
  • MPG: 58
  • Road tax: £30

Renault Zoe

If you’ve only got a short commute to work everyday and often have to navigate city streets, why not go electric?

If you’re not doing much motorway driving, then a car like the Renault Zoe might suit your needs. With no need to worry about range anxiety on a short commute, the Renault Zoe’s range of 130 miles should do you just fine. There are plenty of electric charging points around the city, and you can now get one fitted in your home, too.

The silent engine is relaxing around town, and ride comfort is great at low speeds and 0–60mph can be achieved in 13.5 seconds.


  • Engine: 1cc
  • Fuel: Electric
  • CO2: 0
  • MPG: 0
  • Road tax: Free

We also recommend: Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 ecoFLEX, Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi and Renault Twingo.

Best car for a medium commute

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion

The Volkswagen Golf is an excellent all-rounder, with a combination of style, quality, performance and refinement that is rarely seen elsewhere. The more eco-conscious BlueMotion model brings the Golf’s efficiency to a new level.

If you’ve got a fairly sizeable commute every day, you’ll be happy to know that the Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion diesel has emissions of just 85g/km and reaches 88.3mpg. This means your road tax is free, and you also have one of the cheapest cars to run.

If you’re on the road for around an hour every day, you’ll be glad to know that standard equipment is extensive enough to keep you occupied and entertained on your journey. The Golf TDI has a CD player, MP3, aux-in, usb and iPod connection cables, and a five-inch touch screen.

For city driving, start-stop technology means that fuel wastage is minimised, and auto brake and lane departure warning systems are helpful, too.


  • Engine: 1.6-litre 109bhp

  • Fuel: Diesel

  • CO2: 85g/km

  • MPG: 88.3

  • Road tax: Free

We also recommend: Ford Fiesta, ŠKODA Fabia and Seat Leon.

Best car for a long commute

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Sri

The Vauxhall Insignia has everything you could possibly want for a long commute. It’s comfortable, smooth, and has excellent fuel economy figures for its size.

There’s plenty to keep you entertained on a long journey, including Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DMB digital radio, CD/MP3 player, and the centre console makes all of this easy to access.

The 2.0-litre engine gives you enough power on the motorway without adding too much to running costs. Combined mpg is 62.8 and CO2 emissions are 118g/km.

Tweaks to the suspension mean that the Insignia is a pleasure to drive, and takes long journeys in its stride.


  • Engine: 2.0-litre 170bhp
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • CO2: 118g/km
  • MPG: 62.8
  • Road tax: Free

We also recommend: Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 308.

Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Sophie McGraw

Staff writer at Arnold Clark