Best new cars for under £12,000

Looking to buy a new car with £12,000? Here are your options

Shane Wilkinson
Oct 25, 2021

With many prices shooting upwards, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that £12,000 will still get you the keys to a brand new car.

There’s quality to be had for sure, but let us take a moment to avert your gaze towards our used car deals at BuyaCar. For the same £12,000 budget, you could get a five year old Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class or even a two year old Nissan Juke.

New cars are exciting of course, but you could make your money go a lot further if you take the used car route instead, so don’t discount the savings you could make.

But, if you’re certain that a brand new car is what you’re after, we’ve listed the cars here that are currently available for under £12,000.

Best new cars for under £12,000

1. Dacia Sandero

Our pick Dacia Sandero TCe 90 Essential
List price £10,395

The latest Dacia Sandero keeps the low-cost, simplistic approach of the previous model but wraps it up in a far more modern package. The base ‘Access’ model which costs only £7,995 is still rather spartan with not even a radio being fitted as standard, but a £12,000 budget will bag you the higher ‘Essential’ trim, which brings the Sandero right up to level with competitors like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, but at a much lower price.

Standard equipment on the ‘Essential’ include LED headlights, digital radio with Bluetooth, Hill Start Assist and cruise control, so there’s plenty to make your journeys more comfortable.

Although the ‘Essential’ trim is available for even less with the SCe 65 engine fitted, we feel that this engine is somewhat underpowered, so we would make the investment in the TCe 90 which feels much more capable, especially on motorways.


2. Dacia Sandero Stepway

Our pick Dacia Sandero Stepway TCe 90 Essential
List price £11,895

A chunkier and more rugged alternative to the standard Sandero, the Sandero Stepway does command a higher starting price but brings along more head-turning looks.

Tech on the ‘Essential’ trim is about the same as the standard Sandero, but if you are something of an adventurer, the raised ground clearance of the Stepway should allow you to traverse some rougher terrain - within reason - should you wish to. You also get roof bars fitted as standard, and 328 litres of boots space - perfect for something like a weekend camping trip.


3. Kia Picanto

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.0 '1'
List price £11,200

The latest Kia Picanto is a very different car than the original, but the one thing it does retain is a low price. This funky-styled city car is pleasantly refined to drive and even reasonably practical for its size. Five doors, 255 litres of boot space, and great all-round visibility should all go towards making the Picanto a very easy car to live with every day.

The only model currently available for under £12,000 is the base-spec Picanto ‘1’, but this still gives you a few extra features such a Bluetooth audio system with USB input, hill-start assist, and automatic headlights. Also, being a Kia, you will get the company's class-leading seven-year/100,000 mile warranty as standard.


*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.


Latest best cars & vans

  1. Best premium cars

  2. Nice cars

  3. Electric cars with a 300-mile range