Best cars for under £10,000

You don't need to break the budget to get a decent set of wheels: here are the best cars for under £10,000

BuyaCar team
Jan 16, 2019

Car prices have risen in recent months but you can still get a brand new vehicle for less than £10,000, or less than £150 per month with some representative finance agreements.

It won’t be the last word in luxury, but you can still get plenty for your money: alloy wheels, air conditioning and touchscreens all feature on some of the top ten models below, as do warranties of up to seven years.

We’ve included the official list prices of each of the featured cars. In some cases, these exceed the £10,000 limit, but you should still be able to get a car that’s within budget thanks to discounts, available through BuyaCar, which make your money go further.

For even better value, we’ve provided a used car alternative to each of the new models below. We've also compiled a separate list of the best used cars for under £10,000.

Scroll down to read more or click below to find all current deals for under £10,000. Pictured cars may include optional extras that push their price beyond the budget. 

Best new cars for under £10,000

Dacia Sandero

Our pick Dacia Sandero TCe 90 Comfort  List price £9,795

Latest Dacia Sandero deals from £4,361
Finance from £75 per month

In basic Access form, and with the least powerful engine (SCe 75) the Sandero is Britain’s cheapest new car with a price tag of £6,995. The trouble is, it’s very basic and really, you’d be better off buying a used car with more equipment for the same price.

You could say the same about this more expensive TCe 90 Comfort version except that it does make a little more sense as a new buy since it feels less basic and is much better equipped with things such as an entertainment system with sat nav, front electric windows, alloy wheels and body coloured detailing.

The 90 engine is more powerful than the basic 75, too. There’s a diesel engine in the line-up but it pushes the price past £11,000.
Dacia Sandero buying guide

Dacia Sandero Stepway

Our pick Dacia Sandero Stepway 0.9 TCe Essential List price £9,995

Latest Dacia Sandero Stepway deals from £5,450
Finance from £81 per month

We’ve already considered the Sandero hatchback but upgrade to the slightly taller Sandero Stepway and you’ll find the extra height makes it easier to get into. It looks more rugged, but there’s no extra space inside.

The Stepway Essential SCe 75 is the most basic version and the cheapest with a price of £8,995 before discounts of around £300. The TCe 75 petrol engine is not very powerful, though. You’d be better off with the TCe 90 which is a bit quicker but about as economical. Standard kit is reasonable on the Essential which is fortunate since the only other trim, called Comfort, adds £1,000 to the price.

Alternatively, opt for a used Dacia Duster and you’ll have a car that looks even tougher and is even more spacious. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive.

Kia Picanto

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.25 2 5dr  List price £11,575 (around £10,000 after discount)

Latest Kia Picanto deals from £6,995
Finance from £115 per month

A seven-year warranty on the new Kia Picanto is longer than any other competitor, offering peace of mind until the year 2026 if you buy a brand-new model.

It’s also one of the best city cars that you can buy, with space for four adults to travel in relative comfort (on short journeys at least), nimble steering and a ride that cushions the worst of uneven city streets. It is at its best in town, where the 1.25-litre engine is nippy and the car can slot into tiny spaces.

Discounts commonly bring the price of a mid-range ‘2’ model to just slightly more than £10,000, bringing that car’s standard alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly, within budget. For that price, you could buy a used DS 3, which is larger and roomier all-round, with good looks and more power.
Kia Picanto buying guide

 

Renault Twingo

Our pick Renault Twingo 1.0 SCe 70 Play 5dr  List price £10,750 (around £9,589 after discount)

Latest Renault Twingo deals from £4,995
Finance from £83 per month

With an engine in the back, the front wheels of the Renault Twingo can turn more than in most other cars, making it more manoeuvrable than most other vehicles on the road.

In clogged streets, it’s a major advantage over other city cars, and the rest of the Twingo doesn’t disappoint either with good legroom and some imaginative design.

Choose the least powerful petrol engine and you should be able to buy a new Play specification model for around £10,000 when discounts are included. These cars include air conditioning, a digital radio and a smartphone cradle so you can use your device as a sat-nav.

The Twingo shares its mechanical parts (including the rear-mounted engine) with the dinky Smart ForFour, which feels better finished. A year-old model is no pricier than a new Twingo.
Renault Twingo buying guide

Fiat 500

Our pick Fiat 500 1.2 Pop  List price £12,010 (around £9,700 after discount)

Latest Fiat 500 deals from £4,795
Finance from £75 per month

The Fiat 500 is a common sight on the roads but no less appealing for it. That’s largely due to its bug-eyed retro design, which continues to charm owners.

Even so, Fiat is offering generous savings to maintain sales, which means that you can discount the list price shown. Buy using finance and the price of a Fiat 500 1.2 Pop will generally be below £10,000, thanks to the incentives on offer.

As this is the entry-level car, you’ll have to make do without air conditioning or Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting your mobile phone, but there is a USB and Aux socket. Alternatively, you could spend £10,000 on a used Mini Cooper - with just as much character, as well as more space, performance and equipment.
Fiat 500 buying guide

 

Suzuki Ignis

Our pick Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SZ-3  List price £12,349 (around £10,000 after discount)

Latest Suzuki Ignis deals from £8,689
Finance from £126 per month

The Ignis is a kind of sport-utility vehicle (SUV) for the city. It’s short but tall and with chunky styling. It’s even available with four-wheel drive.

However, after a large discount you’ll only make the £10,000 budget with the entry-level SZ3. This includes air conditioning, Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting your mobile phone and a digital radio, but the only off-roading it’s suitable for is mounting the kerb in areas of pavement parking.

Those upright lines create a lot of interior space but despite looking a bit top-heavy, the car feels nimble and secure.

If you really want a mini-off-roader, you’d be better off with a used Fiat Panda 4x4. These are surprisingly capable on all-types of poor surfaces, and are generally available for sub £10,000, or around £180 a month.

Vauxhall Corsa

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa Active 1.4 i 75PS  List price £11,730

Latest Vauxhall Corsa deals from £5,000
Finance from £82 per month

Low insurance costs are reason alone to buy the Vauxhall Corsa Active, which sits in insurance group 2 out of 50, attracting some of the lowest quotes available.

That’s partly due to the 75 horsepower engine (a more powerful version is available but this sits in group 6), as well as its fairly basic specification, which helps to reduce the insurer’s costs if anything does go wrong.

That’s partly due to the slightly feeble 75 horsepower engine, as well as its fairly basic specification, which helps to reduce the insurer’s costs if anything does go wrong.

Discounts are readily available, reducing the cost of a brand-new Active to below £10,000, while nearly new cars are substantially less. For the same price, though, you could have a much larger petrol-powered used Honda Civic that’s in insurance group 5, which should also be fairly cheap to insure.
Vauxhall Corsa buying guide

 

Dacia Logan

Our pick Dacia Logan 0.9 TCe Essential List price £10,295

Latest Dacia Logan deals from £6,489
Finance from £111 per month

The Dacia Logan is the cheapest new estate car you can buy, and by some margin. Your money buys a lot of space, too, and there’s plenty of room in the rear for passengers and the boot will easily accept a week’s shopping, with space to spare.

You could choose the basic Access version, but you’d lack the equipment included with higher-specification Ambiance cars, including air conditioning, electric front windows and a digital radio. Similarly, it’s best to avoid the cheaper SCe petrol engine in favour of the more powerful TCe version. The list price is just over £10,000 but discounts should bring it within budget.

Hop into a used Peugeot 2008  and it’s clear to see where the Logan has cut costs; an Active version includes a dashboard touchscreen, leather steering wheel and cooled glovebox. It’s also a popular crossover, combining the comfort and economy of a conventional car with the higher driving position of an off-roader. A 2016 car can be yours for under £10,000.
Dacia Logan buying guide

 

Skoda Citigo

Our pick Citigo 1.0 MPi 75 GreenTech SE L 5dr  List price £11,270 (around £9,612 after discount)

Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,995
Finance from £85 per month

It shouldn’t be too hard to find a new car discount that brings the price of the well-equipped Citigo SE L below £10,000. The car comes with alloy wheels, heated front seats and parking sensors.

As with all Citigos, the car is comfortable over speed bumps and potholes, and has more legroom than most small city cars, so you won’t need to be a contortionist to fit in the back.

You can save more money by opting for the three-door version, without any back doors, but this does make getting in awkward for rear occupants.

The Citigo is ideal for city driving and can cope on motorways, but you’ll have your foot to the floor in an effort to get the small engine to keep up with traffic.

The car is virtually identical to the Seat Mii and Volkswagen up! (all three brands are part of the Volkswagen Group), but the other two cars are generally around £500 more expensive.

Alternatively, consider a used Mazda 2. It’s more powerful than the Citigo, and in terms of comfort and quality feels a rung or two higher up the ladder.
Skoda Citigo buying guide

 

Toyota Aygo

Our pick Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i X-play 3dr, List price £11,375

Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,995
Finance from £85 per month

With its bold ‘X’ graphic on the grille, sharply creased lines and choice of wild colours, the Toyota Aygo is no city car for shrinking violets.

The interior is not as cramped as the car’s swept-back design suggests and it’s reasonably practical, particularly if you choose the five-door model, although not quite as spacious as a Skoda Citigo.

X-play trim features air conditioning and a digital radio. However, the wheels are steel. For alloy wheels you’ll need to move up to the next trim, x-press. All versions come with Toyota’s five-year warranty.

There are usually good deals available on the Aygo, cutting the price of three-door X-Play models to under £10,000, with five-door cars typically just over budget.

There’s more zany design if you look at the used market, thanks to the Nissan Juke: two-year-old mid-range petrol cars are less than £10,000 and bring extra height, but not a great deal more space than the Aygo.
Toyota Aygo buying guide

 

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