Cheap car PCP deals

Want the lowest monthly payments but don't want to compromise on substance? Pick the right car and you can have the best of both worlds

John Evans
Jul 20, 2020

The term ‘value for money’ was once code for 'cheap and cheerless' but the pressure to succeed with today's drivers means few cars can afford to be cheerless - even if they are cheap. So 'value for money' has acquired a new meaning and now generally refers to models that may not be super-desirable or have the latest kit, but may be well equipped and fantastic all-rounders for many motorists.

We've tracked down eight such cars here that offer you tonnes of car for the money - whether you're after an affordable small hatchback a super-practical family car, or a low-cost, high-riding SUV. Yes, most of our selection are roomy hatchbacks with good equipment levels but there's also a family saloon and even an SUV, so don't think you have to narrow your choices too far if you're on a budget.

The cheapest option here starts at around £100 per month on PCP finance and the most expensive around £140 per month. These figures are calculated for a 48-month PCP finance contract and assume you have an excellent credit rating and put down a deposit of 10% of the cash price.

They’re not oldies, by the way, with the most senior being around five years old and the youngest registered just three years ago. It goes to show just what value for money you can find when you ignore your heart and follow your wallet. If you're lucky you may just be able to satisfy both with one of the cars we've selected below.

Cheap PCP finance deals

1. Skoda Octavia

Used deals from £7,350
Monthly finance from £143

The Octavia is the epitome of value, being solidly built, reliable, well-equipped, good to drive, roomy, especially in the rear and in the boot, and above all, inexpensive. Early on in its life the model was sneered at by some drivers - who probably paid many thousands more for a similar car - for being a Skoda but very quickly buyers began to realise just how good it is, so that today, a used Octavia is considered to be a smart buy.

Here’s an example. For just £140 per month you could get a 2016 2.0 TDI SE diesel, which offers strong performance and fuel economy. It’s a 'Euro 6' diesel engine so there’s no need to worry about inner-city emissions penalties, where they exist.

SE trim is the intelligent choice and features not just air-conditioning but dual-zone climate control where you can set a temperature and forget about it. There’s also a digital radio, split-folding rear seats opening onto a class-leading boot, and even umbrella compartments complete with brollies. Value for money was never so clear.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Toyota Avensis

Used deals from £7,100
Monthly finance from £122

Undemanding drivers seeking a car with safe and predictable driving manners, space for the family, turnkey reliability and a decent level of equipment all for a reasonable price, need look no further than the Avensis.

Never heard of it? That’s because rivals including the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia shout louder and are around in greater numbers. The Avensis, on the other hand, just goes quietly and reliably about its business, as thousands of taxi operators will attest.

Your £133 per month buys a 1.6 D Active with only around 40,000 miles. The 2.0-litre version is more powerful but the 1.6 is lighter on fuel and a comfortable motorway cruiser. Don’t expect the poshest interior plastics or the most stylish fittings but do expect plenty of room to relax.

TOYOTA AVENSIS BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Vauxhall Astra

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

Having a strong image has never been the Astra’s priority and for seekers of value that’s just fine. Instead, they’re drawn to the model’s sheer ubiquity (there are thousands to choose from), easy but engaging driving manners, suspension tuned for UK roads and a tough if unexciting interior.

They’re drawn, too, to its low prices. Take our example, a 2015 1.4i 16v Design. The 1.4-litre petrol engine is sufficiently powerful and economical for most drivers saddled with a typical mix of urban and commuter driving, while Design trim enlivens the car’s muted styling with dashes of two-tone colouring, a smart, multi-function steering wheel and body-coloured exterior fittings.

VAUXHALL ASTRA BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Suzuki Baleno

Used deals from £6,499
Monthly finance from £121

Like the Avensis, we’ll wager here’s another car you’ve heard little about. Suzuki is probably best known for its Swift and Vitara models but sandwiched between them is (or was until it was dropped in 2019) the Baleno.

It’s a family hatchback featuring forgettable styling, an interior that you won't mistake for an Audi or BMW, but is surprisingly fun to drive and nippy, too, if you go for the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine. And there is another flipside to those unexciting looks.

The Baleno is also terrific value for money with a genuinely roomy interior front and back, a good level of standard equipment (air-conditioning, sat-nav and 16-inch alloy wheels to name just three features) and a punchy and economical engine in the form of the that turbocharged 1.0 Boosterjet option.

SUZUKI BALENO BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Dacia Duster

Used deals from £4,995
Monthly finance from £101

In light of the premium most car makers ask for their in-demand SUVs, the decidedly un-premium Dacia Duster is like a blast of fresh air.

You really do have to look twice at finance costs that begin at just £101 per month. Your money buys a thrifty 1.5 dCi in mid-spec Ambiance trim. Don’t expect the last word in luxury but all the essentials are here including split-fold rear seats, electric front windows and Bluetooth.

In many ways, it’s the best trim because where more expensive rivals lay on the chrome and alloy wheels, the Duster retains a workmanlike air that’s entirely in keeping with its functional, no-nonsense mindset. If you want a sturdy car that feels like a scaled up Tonka toy and don't mind if it doesn't feel particularly luxurious, though, you’ll love it.

DACIA DUSTER BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Fiat Tipo

Used deals from £6,990
Monthly finance from £127

Money talks, they say, and if that’s true, then the Fiat Tipo has a lot to say. For example, a 2017 1.4 Easy with less than 40,000 miles costs just £6,498 or £119 per month on PCP finance.

Your money buys a handsome car with lots of interior space and a roomy 440-litre boot. Even entry-level Easy trim comes with air-conditioning, a digital radio and decent connectivity.

Easy Plus brings rear electric windows, parking sensors and alloy wheels for not much more. Don’t expect the last word in driving fun but the Tipo is at least safe and predictable.

FIAT TIPO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Nissan Pulsar

Used deals from £7,388
Monthly finance from £138

In many ways, the Pulsar is like a Japanese version of the Fiat Tipo. A little less handsome perhaps but just as roomy, if not more so thanks to a remarkably large rear interior.

It has more kit as standard, too, and livelier engines. But where it really trumps he Tipo is in its superior refinement. The ride is genuinely plush while it’s also very easy to drive.

Cars in popular Acenta trim have a 5.0-inch colour media system, air-conditioning, steering wheel-mounted controls and electric rear windows as standard.

NISSAN PULSAR BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Citroen C4 Cactus

Used deals from £5,999
Monthly finance from £120

The Cactus is that rare thing: a genuinely interesting car that’s also great value for money. It represents Citroen’s return to its roots thanks to its distinctive styling (check out the 'Airbumps' on the doors that protect them from casual parking dings), squishy ride comfort and novel front light arrangement.

It’s a 'crossover' - essentially a high-riding car blending SUV-style chunkiness (although it’s not four-wheel drive) with hatchback-cum-estate practicality. As a true Citroen it has its peculiarities, though. For example, the rear windows pop open rather than slide, the gearbox as five gears rather than six gears - which typically enable better fuel economy - and the rear bench seat only folds rather than splits.

Fortunately, these eccentricities pale into insignificance beside a price that opens at just £7,000 for a 2015 car with around 30,000 miles. It’s powered by an efficient 1.2  petrol engine and is in Touch trim so comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system, a digital radio and electric front windows.

CITROEN C4 CACTUS BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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