Cars with the cheapest monthly payments

Need the lowest possible monthly payment - whatever type of car you're after? Here are eight of the cheapest and best cars in each category

Sam Naylor
Jan 4, 2021

We live in an era when the very cheapest cars, especially if you pay monthly with car finance, can be an appealing option - and often that's the case even if you do have more to spend. It used to be that the cars at the bottom of the market were basic with very little kit and unpleasant to drive, but that’s no longer true. So, whether you’re going new or used, a car that costs very little per month can be a great choice.

It’s not that all modern cheap cars are as good as each other - that’s certainly not true. It’s just that there are fantastic cars available at rock-bottom costs - if you know which ones to look at, that is. To give you a helping hand we've lined up some of those in our list below.

We’ve picked out models from several popular types of car to make sure there’s something for everyone here. The list starts with a tiny city car and ends with a large but affordable family SUV, and every model here comes with a recommendation from our car testing experts.

For the two smallest cars here we’ve set a limit of £100 per month on PCP finance, as there’s a lot of choice with this very modest budget. Then for most of the bigger cars we’ve gone for models available for under £150 per month, and finally our larger SUV option comes in from less than £200 per month.

Those budgets gave our experts a wide range of choices and they’ve picked out the best deal in each category. The cars we’ve picked are all great in their own right, and not just because they’re cheap. There are plenty of each for sale on BuyaCar too, so you can have a good range of options should you decide to order one and have it delivered to your door.

Cars with the cheapest monthly payments

1. Skoda Citigo

City car with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI Colour Edition
Used deals from £7,700
Monthly finance from £0*

If you want to keep running costs as low as possible then the Skoda Citigo is a fantastic choice. Its small engine is really economical and makes it cheap to insure, so costs over the tiny monthly outgoing to purchase the car are unlikely to be a problem.

The Citigo is the same underneath as the Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up so those cars can make great choices too if you can find a better deal on one of those. All three models are enjoyable to drive, as they are quiet inside, comfortable and make it easy to nip around town.

There’s even a good amount of space inside, especially in the five-door models. The boot is small but you can fold down the rear seats if you need to carry something big in the back. The Citigo makes an excellent first car but it’s also appealing to those looking for a way of cutting motoring costs without having to resort to an old banger.


2. Ford Fiesta

Supermini with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec
Used deals from £4,990
Monthly finance from £178*

You’re bound to know someone who has had a Ford Fiesta, because it’s one of the best-selling cars in Britain and has been for many years. You’re also bound to know someone who’s fond of them, because the Fiesta is also a great car for all sorts of reasons.

The most obvious one is how good it is to drive - the Fiesta is certainly the most fun you can have for less than £100 per month, no matter which version you go for. All are a delight from behind the wheel - with precise steering and impressive agility around corners - though the turbocharged 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol models are the most fun. Overall then, the Fiesta is great on a country road.

Yet the Fiesta is also comfortable, well equipped, spacious enough for small families and cheap to run. Buying one should be straightforward as there are so many about that prices are competitive and if one used model isn't for you, there are bound to be many others in the same specification that are in much better condition.


3. Seat Leon

Family hatchback with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Seat Leon 1.2 TSI 110 SE Dynamic Technology
Used deals from £9,395
Monthly finance from £0*

The Seat Leon is based on similar mechanical parts to the Volkswagen Golf, but it’s even better value than the German model. Some say it’s better-looking too, and its angular bodywork is certainly distinctive. The interior has a neat design as well.

The Leon is big inside, with lots of rear head and legroom and a large boot that will easily swallow a substantial family shop each week. There’s plenty of equipment if you go for an SE Dynamic Technology model including sat-nav and cruise control.

Best of all is the Leon’s turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine option. This motor is super-smooth and very quiet, especially on the motorway where you can barely hear it at all. The manual gearbox is just as good, as it’s easy to use and very light, so it’s not tiring in traffic. There are automatic (DSG) versions but they’re not as reliable so we’d avoid them if possible.


4. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Estate with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi SRi Nav
Used deals from £8,300
Monthly finance from £0*

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer was cheap as a new car, yet even then it looked like great value - so a used model for less than £150 per month is a steal. It looks slightly awkward from the outside but if you can forgive that there’s a great car underneath.

The interior is a bit drab, so like the exterior you need to see past that. Yet there’s lots of standard equipment and the Astra is great to drive. It’s comfortable even on bumpy country roads, and surprisingly fun to drive as well.

Being an estate car it has a huge boot with easily enough room for a couple of dogs or, with the seats folded down, some mountain bikes. The 1.6-litre diesel engine is a bit rattly but is economical and makes the Astra feel pretty fast, so it’s impressive on the motorway as well.


5. Citroen C3 Aircross

Small SUV with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2 PureTech Flair
Used deals from £11,500
Monthly finance from £210*

The Citroen C3 Aircross is a relatively new car so it’s great to see that you can get into a high-spec Flair model for less than £150 per month. This is a small SUV that has strengths in areas that buyers are likely to value most, and its quirky looks should add some appeal as well.

Firstly the C3 Aircross is very spacious inside. Clever design makes the most of the cabin, and with a touchscreen media system in every model, it’s a nice modern look as well. Cloth seats that look upmarket are really good to see, too, and they’re comfy to sit in.

The C3 Aircross is also comfortable, flowing over potholes nicely, and the 1.2-litre petrol engine is punchy. It’s not a very exciting car to drive but most won’t mind that and if you are gentle with the throttle, the engine should prove to be reasonably economical. Make sure to get a Flair model instead of the lower-spec Feel if you can, as it offers a more appealing spread of equipment.


6. Ford C-Max

MPV with the cheapest monthly payments

Ford C-Max front three quarters view

Our pick Ford C-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Zetec
Used deals from £6,295
Monthly finance from £0*

MPVs, or people carriers, used to be a popular type of car, but they're going out of fashion these days. We can’t work out why, though, because a car such as the Ford C-Max offers superb value for money - especially at less than £150 per month.

The C-Max has loads of room inside - much more than a similarly-priced SUV, despite the latter looking bigger on the outside. The cleverly-arranged interior means it’s easy to get kids (and car seats) in and out quickly, which means it’s perfect for families. The big boot, meanwhile, is perfect for holidays and big shopping trips.

The C-Max is also surprisingly good to drive - a trait of many Ford models - especially with the peppy and enjoyable turbocharged 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines. This engine works best for doing local trips rather than long motorway runs, but it’ll handle whatever you can throw at it while keeping running costs low.

If you're after maximum passenger space, on the other hand, you'll be better suited with the larger seven-seat Grand C-Max.


7. Abarth 595

Hot hatch with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Abarth 595 1.4 T-Jet
Used deals from £8,390
Monthly finance from £0*

The Fiat 500 is a decent small car and there are plenty available for less than £150 per month, but if you're after a speedy small car, have you considered the Abarth version? Despite being very similar in look and feel to the 500, it's far less obvious as a fast small car than the 500 is as a city car.

The Abarth 595 is a hot hatchback - it has much more power than the normal 500s, and changes to the suspension to make it more fun to drive, too. The 1.4-litre engine in the Abarth does the job brilliantly - it’s fast, fun and sounds great, building on the endearing character of the standard car.

Since the suspension is quite stiff in the Abarth 595 it’s not all that comfortable over bumps, however, but if you can live with that, as well as the slightly cramped interior, it’s still well worth considering for those after a fun car on the driveway.

Despite being sporty and fast it’s not all that expensive to run and the low monthly finance cost should mean it’s pretty affordable overall. There are plenty for sale as well, so you should be able to find one in the colour you want. Handy, since there are so many colours to choose from.


8. Mazda CX-5

Mid-size SUV with the cheapest monthly payments

Our pick Mazda CX-5 2.0 SE-L
Used deals from £9,494
Monthly finance from £330*

If you need a large family car and are able to bring your budget closer to £200 per month, then the Mazda CX-5 is a great choice. It’s a stylish SUV with a big boot that’s easy to load and lots of room in the back seats for kids and adults alike.

The CX-5 is also great to drive, thanks to its comfortable driving position and fantastic manual gear shift. There are petrol and diesel options - petrol works best for shorter trips around town, while diesel is much better for motorways, as it makes the CX-5 more economical and feels quicker as you’re getting up to speed.

This Mazda may not have an upmarket badge on the bonnet, but the interior is certainly just as good as anything you’ll find from BMW or Audi at a similar price point. It feels luxurious yet robust inside, which is exactly what you want from a family SUV.


*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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