Cheapest new small cars

These cheap new small cars prove small can be mighty, and good value too

Aug 30, 2018

For the price of an annual railway season ticket, for example from Stoke-on-Trent to Milton Keynes (£7,320), you could have the keys to the cheapest new small car here, the Suzuki Celerio.

Actually, acquire it on finance and things look better still with only a small deposit and modest monthly lease payments required to get it on your driveway.

In fact, you could have a larger car for even less money. Britain’s cheapest new car, the Dacia Sandero Access 1.0 SCe Access 5dr, costs just £6,853 on BuyaCar. However, being supermini-sized (that is, about the size of a Ford Fiesta), it rules itself out here where the cars we’ve chosen are city car size.

You want to save even more money? You could always buy used instead of new and there are lots of good reasons why you should. However, for many people, the reasons to buy new (the latest model, minimum three-year warranty and that reassuring feeling that comes from being the car’s first driver) are sufficiently compelling for many people to choose this route.

Suzuki Celerio 

Price from new £7,499
Latest Suzuki Celerio deals from £4,488
Finance from £75 per month

Suzuki’s cheapest new car is also our cheapest new car here, but if you think this honour has been achieved at the expense of quality, features and practicality, you’d be wrong. Not only is the Celerio well built, extremely economical and supported by a three-year warranty but even this cheapest SZ2 has a digital radio and electric front windows.

On a practical level there are lots of small cubbies and cup holders, and useful door pockets. The front interior is roomy but more surprisingly, so is the rear where there’s no shortage of head and knee room for taller passengers.

It won’t win any beauty contests, but at this price, who cares?

Skoda Citigo

Price from new £8,860
Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,510
Finance from £79 per month

The Citigo is the third member of VW Group’s trio of city cars, the others being the VW up! and the Seat Mii. They’re very closely matched but the Citigo is fractionally the cheapest so gets the nod here. That said, it’s quite a leap in price from the Suzuki Celerio.

The Citigo is offered in a choice of three and five-door body styles. This cheapest version is only a three-door – worth bearing in mind if you regularly carry passengers. It’s pretty Spartan. For example, there’s no digital radio or driver’s seat height adjustment and the front windows are manual.

On the upside, it’s very economical and cheap to insure (the S version is in the lowest insurance group) and is surprisingly comfortable in the rear as well as the front.
Skoda Citigo buying guide

Hyundai i10

Price from new £9,095
Latest Hyundai i10 deals from £4,490
Finance from £84 per month

Five doors, an impressive five-year warranty, one of the biggest boots here and a rear interior that’s almost as roomy as the Suzuki Celerio’s, the i10 is an outstanding car that’s also outstanding value for money.

Being the cheapest S model, it lacks things like driver’s seat height adjustment but at least the front windows are electrically powered and there’s a USB socket.The rear seat backs split and fold 60/40, too.
Hyundai i10 buying guide

Kia Picanto

Price from new £9,720
Latest Kia Picanto deals from £4,999
Finance from £93 per month

The Picanto goes one better than the Hyundai i10 by having an industry-leading seven-year warranty. For most new car buyers that’s probably an irrelevance but it does at least indicate the car maker’s faith in its products.

So it’s reliable and well built but it’s also roomy in the front and full of thoughtful touches such as large cupholders and a sliding centre armrest.

Having five doors as standard means access to the rear interior is easy but once there passengers will find the Picanto is not quite as roomy as the Hyundai and the Suzuki Celerio. Instead, the designers have saved space for the boot, which is one of the biggest in the class.
Kia Picanto buying guide

Renault Twingo 

Price from new £10,750

The Twingo stands out from this selection by having its engine in the rear. This has allowed the designers to provide more space for the interior. It’ll easily accommodate four adults.
However, this same layout has come at the expense of boot space which trails ‘bootiful’ rivals such as the Kia Picanto and VW up!

Having no engine at the front means the little car’s turning circle is incredibly tight. You’ll have no trouble weaving in and out of city centres, and performing impossibly tight U-turns.
As with most cars here, performance from this cheapest engine is fine around town but lacklustre on the open road. At least it means the car is cheap to insure.

Front electric windows and hill start assist, a useful feature that allows you to pull away from steep inclines without rolling back, are standard.
Renault Twingo buying guide

Fiat 500

Price from new £11,810
Latest Fiat 500 deals from £4,795
Finance from £82 per month

The Fiat 500 is easily the most stylish small car you can buy; stylish enough, in fact, for us to forgive it its highish price.

It may be the basic Pop version but thanks to the way Fiat has carried over the car’s chic external looks to the interior, it doesn't feel it, quite. Unfortunately, some of the plastics are hard and scratchy.

On the tech front there’s a display screen from which you can control the radio. There are controls for it on the steering wheel, too.

The interior is a bit of a squeeze. The front seats are quite high so head room is at a premium, while the back seat is just plain cramped. Not only that, but head rests are a cost-option. Newer rivals such as the Skoda Citigo do it better.

Fiat 500 buying guide

         

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