Best cars under £20,000 for 2024
Got £20,000 to spend on a car? You can get some desirable cars for that. Here are the best new cars for sale right now for £20k or less.
Looking for a car on a budget of £20,000? If you want a new car then your choice is more limited than on the used car market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a good one.
We’ve scoured the new car price lists to find the best cars you can order right now for broadly £20,000 or less. And we’ve found some of the most practical, stylish and fun cars on the market all attainable within that sub-£20k price bracket – including a seven-seat SUV.
If you’re on an even tighter budget but still want a new car, the cheapest cars on sale right now will be of interest while if you want a used car, we’ve listed what we reckon are the best second-hand cars on the market.
And if you’re looking to finance a new or used car, we can help too, with our comprehensive car finance section. We’re also experts when it comes to the best deals on new and used cars, helping you save money, whatever your budget.
Best cars for under £20,000
Priced from: £19,235
Model: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Design
Read our full Vauxhall Corsa review
The Vauxhall Corsa is a perennial favourite with people looking to buy a new car for under £20,000 and since the demise of the Ford Fiesta it’s had a clear run at establishing itself as the best-selling small car in the UK.
And all those buyers can’t be wrong. Since it was launched in 2019, the Vauxhall Corsa has proven a popular seller and a mid-life facelift in 2023 gave it a fresh look in keeping with the rest of Vauxhall’s much improved range. There is also a Vauxhall Corsa Electric but with prices starting at more than £30k, it doesn’t make it into this list.
For your £20,000 you get the entry Design trim with a decent 1.2-litre 75PS engine. It’s also very well equipped, with LED front and rear lights, air-conditioning and touchscreen multimedia system. It’s a stylish and technologically advanced little car that offers a surprising amount for its sub-£20k list price.
Priced from: £16,130
Model: Toyota Aygo X 1.0 Pure
Read our full Toyota Aygo review
Toyota’s latest Aygo is one of the coolest new cars on sale in the UK right now, as well as being one of the cheapest. It is a definite contender if you’re looking to buy a car for under £20,000.
With SUV style looks, the Aygo X is smaller than a Toyota Yaris but arguably has more character and - in our opinion - is more fun to drive too.
At just over £16k for the cheapest Pure trim, you still get Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto along with Toyota’s advanced Safety Sense package. Power comes from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder, so it’s frugal too.
Priced from: £21,905
Model: Volkswagen Polo 1.0 Life
Read our full Volkswagen Polo review
While recent price rises mean it no longer starts at under £20k, for just a bit more you can get behind the wheel of the popular Volkswagen Polo.
It remains one of the most handsome and sturdily built small cars on the market and features progressive design and intelligent technology. It also holds its value well thanks to strong demand for used examples.
You’ll be looking at a Volkswagen Polo Life, which isn’t brimming with standard equipment but does include a touchscreen, air-conditioning, electric windows and a strong level of safety equipment, along with that traditional Volkswagen feelgood factor. It has a more upmarket aura than most of its rivals.
Priced from: £18,295
Model: Dacia Jogger 1.2 Essential
Read our Dacia reviews
With a starting price just over £18,000, the Dacia Jogger is exceedingly good value and only the MG ZS can match it in terms of the space on offer for the price. But the Dacia Jogger has a trump card all of its own in the form of being a seven-seater.
Indeed, it’s the least expensive seven-seater on sale in the UK right now, and the only one under £20,000. Admittedly, the 1.2-litre Essential TCe model up isn’t going to wow you in the specification department, but for under £20,000 it has all of the things you’ll need.
It’s the perfect sensible choice for family motorists on a strict budget and is also surprisingly stylish thanks to Dacia’s dramatic new front-end styling.
Priced from: £17,795
Model: Renault Clio 1.0 Evolution
Read our full Renault Clio review
It may be one of the best-looking cars for sale in the UK right now, but that doesn’t stop the Renault Clio from also being one of the cheaper options.
Plump for the entry Evolution trim level and you get most of the things that people want, such as a touchscreen, DAB and all of the essential safety kit, packaged inside one of the most stylish small hatchbacks on the market.
As you go further up the range, the Renault Clio is priced more on a par with its key European rivals. But the lower-spec models are extremely hard to ignore and are also terrific to drive.
Priced from: £18,320
Model: MG ZS 1.5 Excite
Read our full MG ZS review
The MG ZS continues to be one of the best-value brand new cars on sale in the UK, and among those available under £20,000, it offers far better passenger space than most, plus there’s more than just one trim level available. It’s a genuine family car and it’s well packaged.
You won’t be able to get one of the highly popular MG ZS EV electric models for under £20,000, but you will get a well-specified compact SUV that has become a regular in the UK’s top ten best seller lists for a reason.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine is nothing to write home about, but it’s powerful enough and reasonably efficient. The MG ZS doesn’t lead its class in any particular area other than in its astonishing value for money – but that’s difficult to ignore.
Priced from: £20,400
Model: Peugeot 208 1.2 Active
Read our full Peugeot 208 review
Another model that has only recently just exceeded the £20k barrier, the Peugeot 208 is one of the most striking looking cars on the market right now, and the interior is as attractive as the exterior.
That will be enough to make it appeal to many drivers, especially with its distinctive triple LED headlight front end. It has all of the key things you need – a suite of safety aids, a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – on even the entry-level model, while the digital dials are a work of art.
The one thing that counts against the Peugeot 208 is its packaging – other cars in the class have greater front and rear legroom and are more comfortable.
Priced from: £13,995
Model: Citroen C3 1.2 You!
Read our full Citroen C3 review
With lively 1.2-litre petrol engines and a wide spread of trims, the youthful Citroen C3 is one of the UK’s most stylish cars. The entry version – a hefty £3,000 cheaper than the next model up in the range – is the Citroen C3 You!
It’s an example of the company wanting to still sell cheap cars despite the demise of the tiny Citroen C1 and is one of the best value cars under £20,000 that you can buy.
The Citroen C3 You! is a bargain, with an 84PS 1.2-litre turbo engine, DAB and Bluetooth, and even a touchscreen and coffee break alert, but move up the range and you get a wider choice of kit, with the plusher C-Series Editions being highly personalised and customisable and offered in a range of vibrant colours.