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
May 30, 2018

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

Hyundai i20

Our pick i20 1.2 S  List price £9,995
Or buy a used 2014 Audi A1 Sport 1.4 TFSI, £9,990 See deals

Despite its spacious interior and comfortable ride, the Hyundai i20 can’t quite match rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo when it comes to fuel economy and technology - such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But then the i20 doesn’t cost as much as either of those cars. The list price is less than £10,000 before any additional new car discounts and it also comes with five years’ unlimited mileage warranty cover, which is two more than most other car makers can manage.

At this price, you will be limited to a budget specification, which includes steel wheels and no air conditioning. That’s why a used alternative might look appealing, particularly in the form of a plush Audi A1 with a powerful petrol motor, for around £145 a month with representative finance.


Dacia Sandero Stepway

Our pick Dacia Sandero Stepway 0.9 TCe Ambiance  List price £9,595
Or buy a used 2016 Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi Laureate, £9,995 See deals

So cheap are the cars made by budget brand Dacia, that three of them cost less than £10,000 before any discounts. The cheapest is the Sandero hatchback, which starts at £6,995. Unsurprisingly, it’s fairly basic at this price, but you can upgrade to the slightly taller Stepway. The extra height makes it easier to get into and it looks more rugged too. There’s no extra space inside, though.

Entry-level cars Ambiance cars start at £9,595 with a 0.9-litre petrol engine and discounts of between £400 to £500 are often available. Some deals also cut the price of higher-specification Laureate cars to just over £10,000, which brings parking sensors and a sat-nav.

Opt for a used Dacia, and you’ll be able to afford a car that looks even tougher, and has some off-road ability: the chunky Duster, which is more spacious and includes four-wheel drive as an option.


Kia Picanto

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.25 2 5dr  List price £10,855
Or buy a used 2015 DS 3 1.2 PureTech DStyle Plus, £9,695 See deals

A seven-year warranty on the new Kia Picanto is longer than any other competitor, offering peace of mind until the year 2025 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 below £10,000, bringing that car’s standard alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly, within budget.

That price is virtually the same for a used DS 3, which is larger and roomier all-round, with popular looks and more power.


Renault Twingo

Our pick Renault Twingo 1.0 SCe 70 Play 5dr  List price £10,750
Or buy a used 2017 Smart ForTwo Prime Premium auto, £9,950 See deals

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 legroom that’s spacious for a city car (it’s still tight for adults) 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 ForTwo, which feels better-finished. A year-old model is no pricier than a new Twingo.


Fiat 500

Our pick Fiat 500 1.2 Pop  List price £11,615
Or buy a used 2015 Mini Cooper Hatchback, £9,995 See deals

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.


Suzuki Ignis

Our pick Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SZ-3  List price £9,999
Or buy a used 2014 Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI Adventure 4x4, £9,999 See deals

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, you’ll only make the £10,000 budget with the entry-level SZ3, which is available for a discounted price of £9,999. 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 cars feels nimble and secure.

For proper performance on mud and gravel roads, you’re better off with a used Skoda Yeti with four-wheel drive. The price of 2014 cars is now less than £10,000, or around £165 a month, which is excellent value for a practical and rugged car with plenty of space for the family.


Vauxhall Corsa

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa Sting 1.4 i 75PS  List price £11,050
Or buy a used 2015 Honda Civic 1.4 i-VTEC S, £9,495 See deals

Low insurance costs are reason alone to buy the Vauxhall Corsa Sting, 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.

You do get white alloy wheels and a stripe up the bonnet but air conditioning is not included. Neither is a touchscreen or digital radio. However, it has all of the characteristics that make the Corsa an excellent small car. It soaks up jolts from bumps effectively, is stable in corners and feels solidly made.

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


Dacia Logan

Our pick Dacia Logan 0.9 TCe Ambiance  List price £10,095
Or buy a used 2016 Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech Active, £10,000 See deals

The Dacia Logan is the cheapest new estate car you can buy, and by some margin. Your money buys a lot of space, too. 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 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


Skoda Citigo

Our pick Citigo 1.0 MPi GreenTech SE L 5dr  List price £10,675
Or buy a used 2015 Mazda 2 1.5 SE-L, £9,495 See deals

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.


Toyota Aygo

Our pick Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i X-play 3dr,  List price £10,510
Or buy a used 2016 Nissan Juke Acenta 1.2 DIG-T, £9,995 See deals

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, if not quite as spacious as a Skoda Citigo.

X-play trim feaures 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.


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