Cheapest small cars

Find yourself the ultimate cheap small car with some excellent used car deals and monthly finance from under £100

Simon Ostler John Evans
Oct 4, 2021

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.

We’ll get to some more serious suggestions in a minute but, for a truly cheap small car, how about the new Citroen Ami? While it’s not really suitable for anyone who doesn’t live in a town, with a 28mph top speed and a 46-mile range, it will bring smiles from everyone you pass. Prices are set to start from only £6,000, though; in France, a €1000 initial payment results in a monthly payment of less €70.

Okay, back to proper cars and sensible advice now. 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, it’s worthwhile to remember that you won’t own the car yourself until you make the optional final payment at the end of the contract. But the appeal of a PCP deal is clear: 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. The monthly payment is tied to the amount of deposit you pay upfront, so a higher deposit (if you can stretch to one) will lower your monthly costs.

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. Instead, you can choose to hand the car back or start a new agreement on a different car.

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 deals from £4,991
Monthly finance from £100*

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.

This version of the car (produced from 2014 to 2019) is an improvement over the model it replaced. It's quieter, smoother over bumps and more economical, and we have several 2015 models available for around £6,000 or £100 per month, but specification is fairly basic.


2. Citroen C3

Used deals from £5,495
Monthly finance from £125*

If you want a tanned face, the C3 is the car for you. Its unique windscreen design extends further back than 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 very efficient engines, 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. There is a new C3, though, which is more comfortable and even more quirky to look at.

3. Nissan Micra

Micra N-Tec

Used deals from £5,990
Monthly finance from £118*

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 fiyears old, they're hardly what you'd consider high-mileage.


4. Peugeot 208

Used deals from £5,548
Monthly finance from £109*

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.


5. Renault Clio

Used deals from £6,499
Monthly finance from £140*

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.


6. Dacia Sandero

Used deals from £4,900
Monthly finance from £112*

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 the headline price 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.


7. Skoda Fabia

Used deals from £6,490
Monthly finance from £127*

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.


8. Hyundai i20

Used deals from £6,990
Monthly finance from £146*

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.


9. Suzuki Swift

Used deals from £5,000
Monthly finance from £118*

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.


10. Kia Rio

Used deals from £5,395
Monthly finance from £127*

Kia's generous 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).


*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.


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