Cheapest small cars

Find yourself the ultimate cheap small car with some excellent used car deals and monthly finance from as little as £77

Simon Ostler John Evans
Sep 17, 2020

So you're after a cheap car? In fact, you're looking for the cheapest car you can possibly buy? Well there's nothing cheaper than a small hatchback, and we've put together a list of 10 of the cheapest small cars right here that do more than just save you money, they're actually great cars as well.

If you're trying to get hold of some new wheels and the budget is somewhat tight, there are ways you can go about car ownership nowadays that make it a much more affordable process. By far and away the best way to get a car on the cheap is to get yourself a PCP finance deal.

With PCP finance, while you don’t own the car yourself, the need for large amounts of cash is taken away and instead you're only required to part with much smaller amounts of money at a time - an initial deposit followed by a series of monthly payments. A PCP contract can typically last from 24-48 months, although the longer-term deals will see those payments stretched out and reduced substantially. One thing to bare in mind with car finance, however, is that you won't become the registered owner of the car until all of those payments are made - our finance explainers will give you all the details.

If owning the car is not really a concern for you though, and you feel like you'll probably fancy a change once your contract is up anyway, PCP finance can be the perfect way to reduce your outlay while still driving the car of your choice. You can choose to pay a final lump sum in order to own the car outright at the end of the deal, but you don't have to with PCP, which is what can make it such a great deal.

If it's a cheap small car you're after, you’ve come to the right place, and better yet BuyaCar can take control all of the time consuming stuff that comes with sorting out a finance deal and all you have to do is wait for the car to be delivered straight to your door.

Cheapest small cars

1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used Vauxhall Corsa deals from £4,480
Monthly finance from £82

As familiar as your favourite armchair and just as comfortable: you'll find a Vauxhall Corsa on virtually every street because its combination of space, value and dependability is virtually unbeatable. The cheapest models are from the previous generation (pictured), and some come with a lengthy list of equipment. SE versions are often available for under £5,000 on BuyaCar and include heated seats and a heated steering wheel, air-conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The current version of the car with the more jagged headlights is an improvement. It's quieter, smoother over bumps and more economical, and we have several 2015 models available for under £6,000 or £100 per month, but specification is fairly basic.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Citroen C3

Used Citroen C3 deals from £4,499
Monthly finance from £76

If you want a tanned face, the C3 is the car for you. Its unique windscreen design extends further back than is the norm, bathing you in sunlight and making everything feel very open inside. It’s one way Citroen tried to make its small car stand out in a crowded market.

Another was to give it an excellent diesel engine in the form of the 1.6-litre HDi, as well as a very comfortable ride and plenty of interior space. Today its most notable feature is its price. PCP finance deals start from well under £100 per month.

3. Nissan Micra

Used Nissan Micra deals from £4,295
Monthly finance from £74

This version of the Nissan Micra, replaced in 2017 by the current model, has a great reputation for reliability. It’s easy to drive, too, if a little dull. As you’d expect from the high roof, it has plenty of headroom. Unfortunately, elbow and shoulder room are in much shorter supply.

There’s no arguing with its value for money, though. Skip the entry-level Visia cars in favour of a barely-more expensive Acenta version, which includes climate control, alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights. With monthly finance payments dancing around the £100 mark it's certainly cheap, and considering these cars are pushing five-years-old, they're hardly what you'd consider high-mileage.

NISSAN MICRA BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Peugeot 208

Used Peugeot 208 deals from £4,795
Monthly finance from £95

The Peugeot 208 may not be the most accomplished supermini you can buy but it's more stylish than most in this price bracket. It's decidedly more modern, too, if you put it up against the Micra or C3 above.

Unfortunately, the model is let down by a cramped interior and a disappointing driving experience. So console yourself by glimpsing your reflection in shop windows as you drive by, no doubt smiling due to the diminutive size of the 208's price tag.

PEUGEOT 208 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Renault Clio

Used Renault Clio deals from £5,499
Monthly finance from £101

The Renault Clio is another French supermini whose stylish looks are a welcome distraction from shortcomings elsewhere. It’s quite cramped and the ride comfort and lacks the polish of newer rivals such as the Ford Fiesta.

On the other hand, there are some economical engines, not least the punchy 0.9-litre turbo petrol, a tablet-style touchscreen on the dashboard and some zingy colours. You'll often find one of the "Nav" models, which come with sat-nav as standard, for just under £6,000.

RENAULT CLIO BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Dacia Sandero

Used Dacia Sandero deals from £4,250
Monthly finance from £80

It has recently been updated with modern and more efficient engines, but the Dacia Sandero remains Britain's cheapest new car at a price of £6,995.

Admittedly, few buyers actually pay that little, given that this is for the entry-level Access car, which has wind-up windows, lacks a radio and comes with a feeble 75hp engine. For no-frills motoring in town, it's a reasonable option, but the next Laureate trim level and more powerful TCe 90hp engine makes the Sandero a much better car for around £8,600 - before discounts.

DACIA SANDERO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Skoda Fabia

Used Skoda Fabia deals from £4,591
Monthly finance from £93

The Fabia proves Skoda’s reputation for value is alive and well. Thanks to influence from its parent company, Volkswagen, it feels like a quality car but its price seriously undercuts rivals.

It’s roomy, enjoyable to drive, boasts some strong engines and once you get above mid-level spec, is well equipped. It has a good level of safety kit, too, plus an impressive dashboard screen.

SKODA FABIA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Hyundai i20

Used Hyundai i20 deals from £4,495
Monthly finance from £91

Hyundai has become a much more respected brand in recent years. Its entire range has received a dramatic overhaul throughout the decade and now sits a direct competitor to the likes of Ford, Vauxhall and Skoda.

The i20 itself is a sensible, yet enjoyable car that, despite it's spacious and high-quality interior that includes a seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is still very affordable - especially as a used car on BuyaCar. 

PCP finance starts from just under £100 for low-mileage 2015 models - this is a car you should consider alongside the more established models on this list.

HYUNDAI I20 BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Suzuki Swift

Used Suzuki Swift deals from £4,695
Monthly finance from £95

The Suzuki Swift has always been a nimble car and the current, all-new version launched in 2017 is no exception. Part of its secret is its light weight. It really does feel light on its feet. As a consequence it’s not quite as comfortable as some others in the class but at least it’s genuinely fun to drive. Its engines are eager, too, and economical.

The interior is reasonably roomy, although the rear is no place to be if you’re over six-foot tall. Fixtures and fitting are well anchored, too, although some plastics do feel a little cheap. All in all, it’s an appealing alternative to most of the cars here apart from the more rounded Skoda Fabia.

SUZUKI SWIFT BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Kia Rio

Used Kia Rio deals from £5,058
Monthly finance from £102

Kia's industry-leading seven-year warranty helps the Rio to stand out from the competition, particularly when its rivals include the excellent Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.

The Rio can't quite match those standards, but it's at least average in most areas: reasonable to drive, reasonably roomy and reasonably good looking. It also has a good equipment level as standard (air-conditioning, heated door mirrors and Bluetooth).

KIA RIO BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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