Low cost cars

Why spend tens of thousands on a car when you could have one of these low cost cars for less than £7,000 or tiny monthly payments?

Sam Naylor
Feb 27, 2021

The definition of a low cost car will vary depending on your own perspective - for some, the only low cost car is an old banger for a few hundred pounds, yet for others a brand-new upmarket SUV may fit the bill and their budget.

However, it’s reasonable to assume that for most people the definition lies somewhere in between the two - let’s say, a car that’s a few years old but less than £7,000. There are plenty of cars available at this low price point on Buyacar.co.uk, and we’ve rounded up some of our top picks below.

We’ve tried to cover as many types of car as possible, so there should be a model here for everyone. So whether you’re looking for a low cost car for commuting, for the school run, for business trips or just to go to the supermarket, we should have a model for you.

Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, there’s so much choice that you should be able to find the right car for you at an affordable price. An SUV might suit you if you often travel on off-road tracks, a city car could work for people who only do short trips, or a large family car could work if you spend a lot of time on the motorway and often have several children to ferry around.

Even if none of the cars below take your fancy, you can use the search and filter functions on BuyaCar to look for cars that tick your boxes and meet your budget - whatever budget constitutes a low cost car for you.

Read on to find our choices of the best low cost cars on Buyacar.co.uk.

Best low cost cars

1. Dacia Duster

Best low cost SUV

Our pick Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi Laureate
Used deals from £5,500
Monthly finance from £105*

The Dacia Duster is the best value SUV around. It’s one of the cheapest new cars you can buy, and that means second-hand examples are even better value. You’ll be able to get a much newer Duster than any other SUV at the same sort of price, so it's a sensible purchase new or used.

The Duster is available with four-wheel drive but most drivers won’t need it - instead they’ll make great use of the car’s spacious interior, big boot and hard-wearing, durable cabin. There’s plenty of room for passengers, too, so it makes a great family car.

It’s also good to drive and comfortable. It’s a bit noisy inside and the cloth seats look a bit drab, but if you can overlook these things then the Duster’s abilities - at a really low price - make it a great choice as a low cost car. There are two different versions to choose from - for the best value go for the older model, but if you'd rather have a more stylish interior and more modern feel, the newer model is well worth spending extra on.

2012 DACIA DUSTER BUYERS' GUIDE
2018 DACIA DUSTER BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Ford Focus

Best low cost family car

Our pick Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec
Used deals from £6,194
Monthly finance from £121*

If you’re not sure what kind of car is right for you, a Ford Focus is well worth considering because it does everything so well. It’s a medium-sized car with enough room for a family and, best of all, it’s available at a low cost.

The running costs are low too thanks to the small 1.0-litre petrol engines, yet performance is still good, as these have power-boosting turbochargers, to give them the kind of muscle you'd normally expect from a much larger engine. The 1.0-litre Focus is fun to drive and is also comfortable over bumps and potholes in the road, so it’s a great everyday car.

The Ford Focus is a clever used purchase because there are many of them for sale at any one time, meaning you can find one that’s right for you. There are also diesel engine options for those doing lots of miles, and automatic models if you find a manual too tiresome in traffic jams. We'd stick with the older model to get more car for your money, but the newer model does offer a more up-to-date cabin if that's important to you.

2011 FORD FOCUS BUYERS' GUIDE
2018 FORD FOCUS BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Fiat 500L

Best low cost people carrier

Our pick Fiat 500L 1.4 Pop Star
Used deals from £5,995
Monthly finance from £118*

If you need a practical family car or people carrier but still want a model that looks stylish, consider a Fiat 500L. It’s a small car but still has room for a family inside, and is much more practical and spacious than the popular Fiat 500 city car it shares a name with.

It was relatively expensive when new, so it’s good to know that a used model can save you a lot of money. The 500L’s engines bring low running costs as well, although they can be a little loud in the cabin and the 500L is much more focused on economy rather than performance - this isn't a speedy car.

The 500L is relatively comfortable, though it’s not as fun to drive as the Fiat 500. Still, if you need space for a family but love the 500’s looks then the 500L makes sense. There were plenty of customisation options when new, so things like contrasting-colour roofs are common, so you should be able to find a version to suit your taste.

FIAT 500L BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Peugeot 308 SW

Best low cost estate


Our pick Peugeot 308 SW 1.6 BlueHDi Active
Used deals from £5,765
Monthly finance from £131*

Those looking for a low cost estate car should consider the Peugeot 308 SW, which is a great value low cost model with loads of space inside - it’s perfect for DIYers, gardeners or dog owners who want a car with a big boot that’s easy to load and unload.

The 308 SW in 1.6-litre diesel form is impressively frugal, so running costs will be low, and it’s good to drive as well - there’s a good amount of performance despite the strong fuel economy. This helps if you plan to tow a trailer as well, as the low engine speed muscle should help you to get up to speed easily.

The boot is big and has a nice square shape so it’s good for getting large items in and out, and there’s plenty of room inside for passengers as well. The 308 isn’t the most exciting car but it’s a great low cost car for practicality.

PEUGEOT 308 SW BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Skoda Citigo

Best low cost city car

Our pick Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI SE
Used deals from £4,195
Monthly finance from £95*

The Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up are all largely the same underneath, so which one you go for doesn’t matter too much - you can feel free to simply choose the one with the best deal available when you're looking - but all three are fantastic small cars that are really cheap to buy and run.

The Citigo’s 1.0-litre engine means it’s cheap to insure and it doesn’t use much fuel. It’s quiet, so even motorway trips aren’t a problem, and the Skoda is also really comfortable over bumps.

The boot is small but there’s plenty of room for passengers especially in the five-door models. Access to the rear seats is much better in these versions as well, but the three-door is more affordable. Finally, the Citigo is fun to drive - it’s not very fast but it’s satisfying on a twisty road.

SKODA CITIGO BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Citroen C4 Cactus

Best low cost small SUV

Our pick Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 PureTech Feel
Used deals from £6,295
Monthly finance from £123*

Small SUVs are all the rage at the moment and it’s possible to get one of the best around, the Citroen C4 Cactus, at a low price. This model brings distinctive looks and a charming interior design, and comes in under budget even with the excellent 1.2-litre petrol engine.

The C4 Cactus is instantly recognisable thanks to its rubber ‘air bumps’ on the doors, which add to its quirky looks and prevent parking dings in tight car parks. Yet its best feature is its interior, which looks modern, smart and is a pleasant place to spend time.

The Citroen is also nicely practical, with room for the family and a decent boot. It’s also comfortable over bumps and the seats are good to sit in. The Citroen is a great small SUV and comes at a bargain price.

CITROEN C4 CACTUS BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Vauxhall Insignia

Best low cost large family car

Our pick Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX SRi Nav
Used deals from £6,395
Monthly finance from £125*

The Vauxhall Insignia is the biggest car on this list, though it’s not so big that it’s an issue to park or drive on tight streets. It’s really roomy inside for passengers, though, and that’s what’s great about it at this low price.

There’s loads of legroom and headroom in the rear seats, and more than enough room in the front as well. It has a big boot, too. The Insignia works well as a family car as a result, yet it also comes in handy if you do a lot of miles on the motorway.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is great in that respect, because it brings low running costs at motorway speeds and performance is strong as well. The Insignia is quiet and comfy when you’re commuting, and SRi Nav trim comes with sat-nav as standard.

VAUXHALL INSIGNIA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. DS 3

Best low cost supermini

Our pick DS 3 1.2 PureTech DStyle
Used deals from £5,390
Monthly finance from £96*

There are plenty of great choices if you want a small hatchback (also known as a supermini), such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo or Skoda Fabia. All are available at a low cost and under our budget here, but we’ve picked out a car that you might not have considered.

The DS 3 is the same car as the Citroen DS3 - Citroen decided to spin off the successful car into its own brand, so you’ll find versions badged with both logos. No matter which you choose, the DS 3 is fun to drive, stylish and has a pleasant interior.

It’s the French equivalent to the Fiat 500 - a low cost, quirky and fun small car that will suit people who don’t often have to carry passengers (since the back seats are a little tight). It’s also available with the fun but frugal 1.2-litre 'PureTech' petrol engine.

DS 3 BUYERS' GUIDE

*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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