First car finance: starting at less than £100 a month

Find a modern car at an affordable price with first car finance

BuyaCar team
Dec 11, 2019

You might have passed your theory and aced your practical, but the most daunting test could still be to come: applying for finance on your first car.

If you haven't got a large savings pot, finance can provide an affordable way of getting a first car, particularly if you're looking for one with modern features and the latest safety equipment.


There are a range of options providing affordable repayments and flexibility on a wide range of new and used cars. And if your credit rating isn't yet strong enough to apply for finance on your own, then there is also the possibility of guarantor finance, where a relative agrees to meet the repayments if your situation changes and you're unable to do so.

Scroll down for more information on your options, or click below to search for cars that are available with finance.

First car finance options

First things first, we'll make sure you're clued up on all the technicalities of car finance. Whether you decide to go with PCP or HP, you'll be up to speed in no time and ready to start planning your course to your first car.

Our finance guides will give you all the information you need to become something of an expert on all things car finance.

Alongside typical finance options, you could also be looking at Just add fuel deals. In this case, monthly payments include not only the cost of the car, but also insurance, breakdown cover and servicing, so all you have to do is put the fuel in. This kind of deal can make budgeting for your first car a much simpler process, with just the single number to worry about.

You can currently get deals of this kind with Peugeot, Citroen (SimplyDrive), DS and Volvo (Care by Volvo).

Being accepted for first car finance

If you’re one of the 447,442 drivers aged 17-21 who have passed their test recently, you might think that you’ll have some difficulties getting finance because of a relative lack of credit history.

Rules vary between lenders, but, generally speaking, finance can still be given to young drivers if they can afford the repayments and haven't got a history of financial trouble.

Saving enough for a ten per cent deposit will give you a much higher chance of being accepted. The same can be said for picking a car with monthly repayments that are 15-20% or less of your post-tax income a month. It’s also wise to keep monthly repayments to £200 a month or below, regardless of how much you earn.

Even if all those boxes are ticked, young drivers aren't guaranteed to be accepted for finance at a low rate because lenders place a high value on having a history of credit and steady repayments, which is not always possible at a young age. In this case, guarantor finance may help.

Guarantor finance

Using a guarantor finance scheme can relieve some of the pressure on young drivers. This works by allowing a guarantor, who is typically a family member, to guarantee the payment of a loan. The loan is paid to the guarantor, and they release it to you.

You’re responsible for making the repayments, but the guarantor has final responsibility for your loan. BuyaCar works with a panel of lenders which offer guarantor car finance. Our in-depth guide will give you all the details on how you can make use of guarantor finance.

Best first car finance under £100 a month

1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £4,465
Monthly finance from £84

Vauxhall's supermini is one of the best all-round cars that you can buy for this price range. Cars like this offer so much space, equipment and performance that people wonder why they’d need a bigger car. It's not as nimble as a Fiesta, or as fashionable as a Fiat 500, but it's a great in-between.

Vauxhall Corsa buyers' guide

2. Dacia Sandero

Used deals from £4,290
Monthly finance from £84

The Dacia Sandero is officially the cheapest new car for sale in the UK, with an eye-catching price tag of £6,995. And while that is inexpensive, you won’t find a new one for less than £100 a month.

On the used market you can expect to find three-year old models for less than £100. These are better equipped than a new £6,995 Sandero too - as they typically come with alloy wheels, air con, and electric windows.

Dacia Sandero buyers' guide

3. Skoda Citigo

Used deals from £4,465
Monthly finance from £91
The little Citigo is a fun and stylish enough first car for the image-conscious youth, but safe and sensible enough to appeal to those downsizing from a larger car. And while it’s a tiddly city car, the interior has a big car feel to it too.

Skoda Citigo buyers' guide

4. Fiat Panda

Used deals from £4,199
Monthly finance from £86

The Fiat Panda is a fun and affordable city car that is very similar mechanically to the more expensive Fiat 500. Its upright shape gives plenty of space inside and a light and airy feel, while it’s also cheap to run and has a certain no-nonsense charm about it.

Fiat Panda buyers' guide

5. Kia Picanto

Used deals from £4,250
Monthly finance from £87

If this car was on The Apprentice, it would say that it’s USP (Unique Selling Point) is its seven-year warranty, which is unmatched by any of its rivals and ensures buyers’ peace of mind in case anything goes wrong. Team that with neat and squatly stylish looks and it’s a real contender for your first car.

Kia Picanto buyers' guide

6. Seat Ibiza

Used deals from £4,700
Monthly finance from £95

The Seat Ibiza’s sharply defined lines ensure that it looks distinctive and is one of the most fashionable cars in this price range. It’s fun to drive, and is practical enough for most young families, let alone young people. Petrol engines are zippy and there are a slew of hi-spec options available

Seat Ibiza buyers' guide

7. Vauxhall Astra

Used deals from £4,970
Monthly finance from £93

The Astra is one of the best in its class for running costs, with very efficient turbocharged petrol and diesel engines delivering highly impressive mpg and emission figures. A large touchscreen display dominates the dashboard and there’s been a general step up in quality compared to previous generations. Bigger than other cars in this price range, too.

Vauxhall Corsa buyers' guide

Best first car finance under £150 a month

1. Suzuki Swift

Used deals from £4,545
Monthly finance from £92

The little Suzuki might just be the most agile and fun car on this list. It’s well known for its ability to dart in and out of traffic with ease, and even the least powerful petrol engine is smooth and quick to rev, which makes the car feel zippy. The car's boxy shape makes it easy to get into, but it does cut interior space.

Previous-generation models are cheapest, but some versions of the latest car (pictured), which went on sale in 2017, have just started to sneak under the £150 barrier and into the £125 a month range.

Suzuki Swift buyers' guide

2. Ford Fiesta

Used deals from £4,765
Monthly finance from £97

The Ford Fiesta was britain's best-selling car before it was replaced by a new model in 2017 (which instantly became the UK's best-seller). It's easy to see why. The small hatchback matches the Suzuki Swift mentioned above in terms of agility and being fun to drive, but it’s also stylish and comfortable with low running costs. Better overall quality than the Suzuki too.

Diesel and petrol engines provide good fuel economy, but its downfall is its dated interior and lack of space in the back. Otherwise it’s a class act through and through.

Ford Fiesta buyers' guide

3. Audi A1

Used deals from £7,599
Monthly finance from £148

With a budget of £150 a month, you're able to afford a more upmarket badge on your bonnet - such as the four rings of Audi. The company's A1 has a beautifully finished interior in comparison to other small cars, and its Audi junior styling makes it one of the best looking cars in this segment. A brand new A1 has just been released too, which should drive down the price of this old model.

It has a huge selection of petrol and diesel engines on offer, too. Best avoid the Sport suspension; it’s too hard for town driving around the UK.

Audi A1 buyers' guide

4. Mini Hatchback

Used deals from £6,499
Monthly finance from £127

With more character than most cars this size, along with sporty performance that will put a smile on your face, the Mini Hatchback is a fun first car that's reasonably affordable. Strong demand means that it holds its value well, making some finance repayments low too.

Mini Hatchback buyers' guide

5. Volkswagen Polo

Used deals from £5,800
Monthly finance from £117

We’ve possibly left the most sensible car for last. The Volkswagen Polo is brimming with safety technology such as automatic emergency braking at low speeds, as well as boasting a very high quality interior. The inside of the car is also relatively large in comparison to rivals, so this is definitely a first car for the more rationally minded.

The latest model only went on sale last year, so prices are still relatively high, but expect base-spec models to dip below £150 a month.

Volkswagen Polo buyers' guide


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