Our Cars: Hyundai i10 Blue

13 May 2011: Go figure

Before the little i10 Blue was delivered I was getting around in a 2000 X-Reg Nissan Primera 2.0-litre Sport+. It was a large, pink car with a 140bhp four-cylinder engine that simply would not break.

I originally bought it to go up and down the motorway as at the time I lived in the north and most of the work appointments I had were in the south. I needed something sturdy and comfortable - the big Nissan fitted the bill.

I bought it for banger money - £1000 with tax and an MOT. After spending some more on replacement brakes there was little in the way of costs. Or so it seemed. But after doing some research it’s amazing just how much more the Nissan cost compared to the i10.

First up the Primera was insurance group 13, largely thanks to the Sport+ badge giving it connotations of race track fun. I held a third party, fire and theft policy and when I cancelled it, enquired about the difference in cost of insuring the Primera and the i10.

Despite the fact that the i10 is brand new and is worth nine times than the Primera, Admiral would improve my cover to fully comprehensive and yet still give me back £150. I was astounded.

The savings don’t stop there. With the old Nissan I was averaging about 34mpg with very careful driving. In town, or with a bit of heavy right foot, I was achieving a rather paltry 28mpg. In the i10 I don’t have to try and I manage almost twice that. Granted the Nissan was much faster and more fun to drive, but you can’t have everything.

Next, the VED bill for my Nissan was £245 per year thanks to band J and 206g/km of CO2. That’s £245 more than the i10s annual VED bill of zero. And now that I live in London I have the congestion zone to contend with. The Primera would cost a £9 for every day that I took it into the Congestion Zone, whereas the i10 Blue is exempt after a registration fee of £10.

All of these savings add up substantially... If I travelled 10,000 miles per year in the Primera my fuel bill would be £1850 based on London prices. The same mileage in the i10 Blue would cost £1300 with my current economy of 48mpg, and at the official claimed 67.3mpg it would cost just £930.

If you factor in VED, congestion charging on every working day of the year, extra insurance costs and fuel bills, the cost of running the i10 Blue for year comes to £3185 less than cost of running my old Primera, excluding any servicing and maintenance bills. Granted about £2,000 of that difference is down to the Congestion Charge.

But it goes to show how useful a car like the i10 Blue can be in the capital. With expensive tax, the congestion zone and rising fuel costs, buying an old banger on the cheap can be a false economy. If you’re interested in how the i10 is performing on a day-to-day basis, or if you want to ask any specific questions about it, you can follow its Twitter feed at @i10_Blue.

What's good?

The new look: The facelifted i10 looks much, much better than the older model. The updated styling gives the car a lot more character than it used to have.

What's bad?

The image: It might look a lot cuter than it used to, but it still fails to stir the soul in the way some of its rivals might. The Renault Twingo, Ford Ka and Fiat 500 are all prettier. 


View My i10 3 in a larger map

« Earlier: London Love     Later: The award winning i10 Blue »

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13 May 2011: Go figure
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