Best cars for less than a gym membership

Feeling flabby and thinking of joining a gym to shed the weight? For the same monthly cost, you could drive away in a new car

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jan 4, 2022

While we all have the best intentions when it comes to sticking to the gym routine, but the cost can sometimes be the nail in the coffin. A gym membership fee can be from £80 to £120 per month, and for that money you could get yourself a nice new car. You could drive yourself to a picturesque spot in your car and go for a long run to give yourself a change of scenery along with the exercise.

It seems crazy to imagine, but a car PCP finance deal from £80 to £120 or less is more than enough to get into the driver’s seat of a wide variety of cars. For some of the below monthly car plans there’s no deposit to hand over - although if you can afford to, the monthly payments could be even lower.

Of course, you don’t have to forego the exercise entirely to afford it - sign up to a cheaper gym without the sauna and swimming pool or work out for free. You could get the old bike out of the garage and take up cycling again, walk the dog or take up jogging - all the while benefiting from the convenience of a new car while you fight the flab.

We’ve put together a list of eight small cars that are cheap to insure with low running costs and could be yours for less than the cost of a gym membership. So before you waste all that money on a gym membership you know deep down you won’t use, check out these cars that might even encourage you to get some exercise outdoors further afield!

Best cheap cars on finance

1. Fiat 500

Used deals from £4,690
Monthly finance from £0*

While your mates will be getting hot and sweaty at the gym - or more likely, lazing on the sofa and coming up with reasons not to go to the gym - you could be keeping cool in style in a Fiat 500, many of which come with air-conditioning. No small car is as fashionable as the 500, but looking good needn’t break the bank.

We’d recommend upgrading from Pop to Lounge trim, as this adds some must-have features, such as air-conditioning, a seven-inch touchscreen media system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and 15-inch alloy wheels.


2. Citroen C1

Used deals from £4,990
Monthly finance from £0*

The Citroen C1 might not be as fashionable as the Fiat 500, but because there are more for sale, there’s a greater selection of cars to choose from. You might also find that you get more for your money, with the option of five door models making this a better car for carrying several passengers.

In fact, you could get your top off for the cost of the cheapest gym membership. The Citroen C1 Airscape features a convertible fabric roof, so you’ll be ready for the hottest summer day or nice and cosy with the roof up when the temperature plummets.


3. Peugeot 108

Used deals from £6,288
Monthly finance from £224*

The 108 shares a great deal in common with the Citroen C1 above, including a pair of efficient and frugal petrol engines. The 1.0-litre is fine around town, but soon runs out of puff on the motorway. For longer work outs on the motorway, we’d suggest the more muscular 1.2-litre version. Like the C1, there's a 'Top' version with a folding fabric roof.

Even the basic Active trim boasts a seven-inch touchscreen media system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and air-conditioning, while Allure adds image-friendly 15-inch alloy wheels and a host of tasty options to the mix. Be aware, though, that entry-level Access models don't come with much equipment, so you may want to spend a few pounds more every month on an Active model.


4. Seat Mii

Used deals from £5,000
Monthly finance from £0*

The Seat Mii is closely related to the Volkswagen Up and Skoda Citigo, but as it's less popular than these, used prices are often lower, making it super value. There are still plenty to choose from on the BuyaCar website and those low prices mean you could get a better specification Mii for your money.

Subjectively, it’s the most stiking looking of the three, especially if you opt for the sporty FR Line or fashionable Mango trim levels. There’s a three-door version available, but your friends will thank you for buying a five-door Mii, as it’s much easier to get into the back. Once there, there's enough space for two adults.


5. Dacia Sandero

Used deals from £6,250
Monthly finance from £0*

It’s Britain’s cheapest car to buy new, which means the Dacia Sandero is also an inexpensive used car. Because it’s bigger than the average small car, there’s a sense that you’re getting more for your money - more space for passengers plus a larger boot.

Unless you enjoy the sound of your own voice or the feeling of sweaty armpits, you should avoid the Access trim, as this lacks a radio and air-conditioning. The petrol engines are best around town, while the efficient 1.5-litre diesel engine is the best choice if you have to travel long distances for work.

The sensible Sandero might not make you a social media star, but the five seats and large boot might enhance your social life with plenty of space to invite friends along on your travels.


6. Suzuki Celerio

Used deals from £5,750
Monthly finance from £0*

When it was new, the Suzuki Celerio was one of the few cars that could rival the Dacia Sandero for its low price. Although it’s smaller than the Sandero, the Celerio could boast a more impressive list of equipment, with even the basic SZ2 trim featuring six airbags, electric front windows, a digital radio and central locking.

The more lavish SZ3 and SZ4 add alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a USB port to make them a more realistic ownership proposition. The Celerio is also more practical than many other city cars, with five-doors as standard and a large boot for your shopping.

Staying within the city limits is recommended, however, as the 1.0-litre petrol engine is a little lethargic out of town, but it’s nippy enough in town and should be economical.


7. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £4,000
Monthly finance from £0*

There are thousands of Vauxhall Corsas for sale on the BuyaCar website, so grabbing a bargain should be a piece of cake. All versions are well-equipped, while the 1.4-litre petrol engine is flexible enough to be as at home on the motorway as it is in the city.

Better still, opt for the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which offers the double-whammy of punchy performance and excellent fuel economy. With a relatively small premium to go for the 1.0-litre you may want to spend just a little more to get one of these models if you regularly drive on the motorway or want a car that feels a little faster from behind the wheel.


8. Toyota Aygo

Used deals from £4,695
Monthly finance from £0*

It’s not immediately obvious from the looks, but the Toyota Aygo is closely related to the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1. The daring styling divides opinion, but you’re guaranteed to stand out in Toyota’s smallest car.

For the Aygo, ‘X’ marks the spot, as not only does a large ‘X‘ grace the front end, it’s also used to prefix the wide choice of trim levels. The X-Play is the second trim in the range and it offers the best balance of price and equipment.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

Buyacar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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