Britain's cheapest new cars 2023
The cheapest new cars are rarely in four figures, but they’re better than they’ve ever been. Here are the 10 cheapest new cars on sale.
List prices aren’t as relevant today as they used to be with new cars, with so many buyers electing to purchase using leasing, PCP or finance – but even using a payment model such as those it still affects what you end up paying.
Financing a new car can get pretty expensive very quickly, but you don't have to spend big money to get a flashy car with all the kit. If you're looking for basic, no-frills transport to get you from A to B, there are plenty of options that could cost you no more per month than the combined cost of a couple of takeaways every week. We've listed the cheapest six models based on their official prices and taking into account any deposit contribution finance discounts available.
Opting for a finance deal - especially those that offer 0% APR, or interest-free credit and large deposit contributions - can make these cheap cars even more affordable. However, bear in mind that some of the cheapest new cars come with the worst value finance deals. Fiat, for instance, charges a 9.9% APR figure on the cheapest Fiat Panda hatchback, which reduces to 7.9% APR for pricier versions.
This high interest rate means that a £14,740 Fiat Panda could cost you more per month than a £17,100 Toyota Aygo X with 4.9% APR (with matching contract terms). Therefore, if you plan to finance a cheap car, it’s definitely worth getting like-for-like finance quotes to work out which model offers you the best value.
Brand new cars in this low-end price range normally require some sort of compromise - particularly when it comes to the size of the car and the amount of equipment on board. You'll likely need to pay a bit more for things like air-conditioning, Bluetooth or even remote central locking in some cases, while smaller cars tend to be cheaper than larger alternatives.
It's also worth noting that all the cars listed below are powered by petrol engines (bar the electric Citroen Ami), which are usually best suited to those who cover lower mileages rather than people planning to trawl up and down the motorway all day, every day. There are plenty of small cars on sale that will prove to be more economical over longer distances, though. If you're interested in making the switch to electric power, you can check out our list of the cheapest electric cars.
If you are only expecting to cover a very small number of miles and can get by without needing much space, then even a microcar might work for you. These are available in the UK but don’t have the same profile as proper cars - although the new Citroen Ami may change that. The Ami is an electric ‘quadricycle’ that’s cheaper than any full-size car. You would have to put up with a 28mph top speed and a relatively short electric range, however, so a used petrol or electric car would still make more sense for the majority of people. Check out our guide to the cheapest used electric cars for more information.
You don't even have to get a brand-new car. If you're keen to get more for your money, not to mention a much wider choice of models, then there are plenty of used cars available to you here on BuyaCar. This will open the doors to diesel models, more powerful engines, and even more kit like heated seats, cruise control and large touchscreens. But if a low-cost, brand-new car appeals to you, then take a look below at the cheapest models you can buy.
Cheapest new car 2023
Citroen Ami list price from £8095*
As the cheapest car on sale in the UK today by quite some margin, the Citroen Ami holds a lot of appeal – especially as it’s also electric.
It uses a tiny 5.5kWh battery, which is far smaller than those of the Smart EQ ForTwo (17.6kWh) and Fiat 500 Electric (24kWh), which both cost far more than twice as much, though they are both proper cars whereas the Ami is officially a quadricycle.
But its appeal is limited to city use only. The 8hp electric motor means a top speed of just 28mph, and its tiny both inside and out. Basic Amis come with little more than a smartphone cradle and various storage compartments. Left-hand-drive only, it is built to a price with matching front and rear panels, for example. It’s fine as a commuter machine or for deliveries, but its purpose is limited.
Every Kia Picanto comes with a seven-year warranty. So if you keep it for that long - without the worry of major repair bills - the price works out at around £1900 per year, which is excellent value. This warranty is also transferrable to subsequent owners, which makes the Kia Picanto an easy sell second hand.
If that doesn’t make it great value enough, then the engines are economical, too and the 1.0-litre entry-level is fine for town and city use, while holding its own at faster speeds. You should expect around 47mpg realistically in every day driving.
In entry-level '1' specification, you get steel wheels and no air-conditioning, so equipment is quite sparse, but it feels well-built and handles well. The Kia Picanto is also very cheap to insure, the basic models sitting in Insurance Group 1, which makes it an ideal car for those who have just learnt to drive. The lack of power means they're unlikely to get into much trouble either...
When it launched in 2013, the Dacia Sandero was the cheapest new car available in the UK. The main reason for this low-budget price tag was the fact that the Sandero is incredibly simple. It made - and still makes - use of small engines from Dacia's sister brand Renault, and has done away with practically everything that isn't needed to make the car move.
So, in the cheapest and most basic spec, you get five doors, four wheels, a steering wheel and electric front windows. There's also a selection of useful safety equipment on board including airbags, anti-lock brakes and two Isofix points in the back to safely attach child seats. If all you're looking for is a car that will get you from A to B, what more do you need?
There have been a number of revisions to the pricing and trim levels throughout 2023, with more equipment now standard fit, although prices have risen as a result. Petrol and petrol-LPG ‘Bi-Fuel’ versions are available, though you’ll have to pay extra for Bi-Fuel versions.
The MG 3 has seen its base price rise dramatically since it was first launched back in 2013. The manufacturer dropped the entry-level Explore trim, meaning the cheapest option is now the Excite model starting at over £13,000. As a result, there are several cheaper alternatives available with arguably more to offer.
The ride of this MG is a little firm and bumpy while the engine needs to be worked hard for maximum performance, though it is very quick for a new car of this price. Anyone looking for strong performance for this kind of price, though, would be better off opting for a cheap used hot hatchback, as there are some fantastic options for less than £13,000.
Standard equipment is also fairly basic in Excite trim, as there is Bluetooth, air-conditioning and rear parking sensors along with a digital radio, but a potentially better-equipped Dacia Sandero could cost less.
The key here is not that Hyundai has made a cheap small car, but the fact that it's made one of the best that you can buy at this kind of price. The i10 is a mature and practical small car that still manages to offer an element of enjoyment for the driver behind the wheel.
This fresh new model launched in 2020 can accommodate four adults who’ll be fairly comfortable for short journeys, and it’s stable at higher speeds, so you won’t feel as if you’re about to be blown across the carriageway when you overtake lorries. You would be forgiven for feeling like you're driving something much bigger - this is a very capable small car.
The cheapest SE trim is also equipped with features such as cruise control, a digital radio and air-conditioning, while more expensive versions add luxuries such as a heated steering wheel, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There's also a very useful unlimited mileage five-year warranty, so it's a good option if you want to go used, as you'll still have many years of warranty cover left with nearly new and more recent used models.
The VW Up may be cheap, but it still offers plenty of feel-good factor, with stylish looks and a high-quality interior. It’s also a small car that proves comfortable and refined on long journeys, which makes it a more rounded car than most affordable models.
The cheapest Up is a three-door model and if you want a pair of rear doors, you’ll have to spend a further £410, taking the price up to £14,480. However, VW finance is much better value than some alternatives with similar cash prices, so it’s a good value option whether you have cash to splash or plan to take VW finance.
Choose the cheapest VW and you could save £24 per month with VW’s PCP finance compared with the offering on the similarly priced Citroen C3, which has a far higher interest rate.
*List prices correct as of last update
**Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:
48 monthly payments of £192
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
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.