Cheapest used small cars

Prices start at less than £5,000 or under £100 per month on finance: these are the cheapest used cars under five years old.

John Evans
Nov 20, 2018

Small cars arguably offer the best value for money in motoring. With five seats and a surprising amount of space, the best examples can provide comfortable family transport for less than £5,000 - or under £100 per month on finance.

That buys you a car that's five years old or less, meaning that it still looks and feels fairly modern. Alternatively, prices for new small cars start at around £7,000, which includes a full manufacturer's warranty and the latest specification.

Unsurprisingly, the very cheapest cars are limited in terms of gadgets and luxuries, but upgrading to a higher-specification used car may only cost a few hundred pounds. 

Scroll down for our pick of the cheapest small cars, or click below to see all BuyaCar deals for under £100 per month

Cheapest used small cars

Cheapest new small cars

1. Vauxhall Corsa

Latest Vauxhall Corsa deals from £4,496
Finance from £79 per month

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 and include heated seats and steering wheel; air conditioning and 16in alloy wheels.

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


2. Citroen C3

Latest Citroen C3 deals from £4,490
Finance from £88 per month

If you want a tanned face, the C3 is the car for you. Its windscreen extends far beyond others, bathing you in light. It’s one way Citroen tried to make its small car stand out in a crowded market (it was replaced by the all-new C3 in 2017).

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


3. Nissan Micra

Micra N-Tec

Latest Nissan Micra deals from £4,799
Finance from £81 per month

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.
Nissan Micra buying guide


4. Peugeot 208

Latest Peugeot 208 deals from £4,697
Finance from £91 per month

The Peugeot 208 may not be the most accomplished supermini you can buy but it's more stylish than most in this price bracket.

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.
Peugeot 208 buying guide


5. Renault Clio

Latest Renault Clio deals from £5,499
Finance from £92 per month

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 buying guide


Five cheap new small cars

1. Dacia Sandero

List Price Dacia Sandero Access SCe 75: £6,995
Latest used deals from £4,491
Finance from £81 per month

It has recently been updated with more modern 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 75 horsepower (hp) 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 buying guide


2. Skoda Fabia

List Price Skoda Fabia S Plus 1.0 MPI 60PS: £10,525
Latest used deals from £5,799
Finance from £97 per month

The Fabia proves Skoda’s reputation for value is alive and well. Thanks to parent company VW’s influence, 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 buying guide


3. Citroen C3

List Price Citroen C3 1.2 PureTech 68 Touch: £11,560
Latest 2017 used deals from £5,995
Finance from £111 per month

This all-new C3 was launched in 2017 and is among the funkier-looking offerings in the supermini class. It’s available in a range of contrasting colours and these, complete with Citroen’s unique Airbump technology, which is an option for the doors, help it to stand out from its many rivals.

But it’s not just about looks. The C3 is one of the roomiest superminis you can buy and its ride is very comfortable. With the exception of the low-powered 68hp version, the PureTech petrol engines are strong performers.
Citroen C3 buying guide


4. Suzuki Swift

List price Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ3: £11,999
Latest 2017 used deals from £6,695
Finance from £120 per month

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 buying guide


5. Kia Rio

List price Kia Rio 1 1.25: £12,200
Latest used deals from £4,799
Finance from £93 per month

Kia's industry-leading seven-year warranty helps the Rio to stand out from the competition, particularly when options include the excellent Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza and VW 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-con, heated door mirrors and Bluetooth).
Kia Rio buying guide


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