Lots of us have a dream garage – the list of cars we’d buy with a lottery win – but real life tends to get in the way of dreams.
Some buyers choose to the second-hand route and bag a bargain but for others the uncertainty of a car’s past is off-putting and brand new is the only way to go.
But that doesn’t mean breaking the bank, for the budget-conscious buyer there are some bargain motors out there that come with dealer backing, warranties and that ‘new car’ smell.
Here we’ve rounded up a dozen of the cheapest new cars you can buy right now.
Dacia Sandero – From £6,995
The Sandero is a no-nonsense back-to-basics sort of machine. At its starting price of £6,995 it’s the same price as a four-year-old Ford Fiesta but comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. It doesn’t come with much else – even a radio is extra – but it is the cheapest way into a new car at the moment. A bit more money will get you DAB radio, cruise control, parking sensors and a wider choice of engines but even a top-whack Sandero weighs in at a shade over £11,000. Review – Dacia Sandero
Suzuki Celerio – From £7,499
Suzuki’s dinky city car isn’t great looking but if you’re sitting inside you don’t have to look at it anyway. It might not be pretty but, unlike the Sandero, even the basic SZ2 does come with a digital radio, CD player and electric front windows. There’s only one engine – a 68bhp 1.0-litre – but it’s enough for nipping around town and it comes with Suzuki’s enviable reputation for reliability. Like the Sandero, you can spend north of £10k if you want more equipment but that’s not what bargain motoring is about.
Dacia Logan MCV – From £8,495
Another offering from Romania’s finest (only) manufacturer. Like the Sandero, the Logan MCV is all about keeping spec and costs down so, once again, your £8,495 gets you wind-up windows and a gap in the dash to add your own radio. But it also gets you five seats, an estate boot big enough to rival the Ford Focus or VW Golf plus claimed economy of up to 80mpg.
Skoda Citigo – From £8,860
The Citigo is one of three models based on the same platform and running gear from the VW Group but makes it onto this first by being cheaper than the Seat Mii and VW Up. The cheapest model is a three-door 60bhp 1.0-litre S. Standard equipment runs to a CD radio, remote central locking and basic safety features but the Citigo makes up for a spartan feel by being one of the best cars for darting around the city. Review – Skoda Citigo
Citroen C1 – From £9,185
Another example of the shared platform approach, the C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo share much of the same DNA. The Citroen C1 Touch squeaks in as the cheapest before any sort of haggling or offers but it lacks some of the features of the other two – ABS, hill start assist and electric windows, for example.
Peugeot 108 – From £9,225
The Citroen’s closest cousin, your extra £40 gets you enough additional equipment to make it worth looking at. The 108 is another model designed for life in the city, with a 71bhp 1.0-litre engine ideal for nipping through traffic, just don’t expect to cross continents in it.
Toyota Aygo – From £9,295
Recently updated, the Aygo’s biggest difference to the 108 is its more dramatic styling. underneath it’s the same 1.0-litre engine and five-speed manual and the x trim line gets much the same kit as the Access-spec 108. Higher spec versions add a seven-inch touchscreen and more but the x is the only sub-£10,000 model on offer. Review – Toyota Aygo
MG3 – From £9,495
The once great sports car manufacturer is alive and kicking once again, albeit it with budget-focused superminis and SUVs rather than racy roadsters. The 3 has just been updated and upgraded and offers class-leading head and legroom for your £9,495. It’s a bigger car than most on this list and packs a 105bhp 1.5-litre engine in the face of weedier offerings from the city cars.
Fiat Panda – From £9,510
The Panda name has been around for decades and even this latest model has been around for a while now but its cheeky looks and tiny footprint have made it popular. Also helping is the fact you can have one for less than £10,000. Standard equipment doesn’t run to much beyond the usual airbags, CD player and electric windows but that’s par for the course at this price.
Volkswagen Up – £9,605
Bizarrely, £2,000 cheaper than the cheapest Seat Mii, the Up is VW’s take on the city car. At the bottom of the range, the Take Up is largely the same as the Skoda Citigo in running gear and equipment, which also means it shares the Skoda’s good looks and prowess around town. There is a hot GTI version but that hardly counts as cheap even if its £14,000 asking price is a bargain for the amount of fun you’ll have. Review – VW Up
Kia Picanto – From £9,720
One of the best city cars out there but not the cheapest. Like others on this list you don’t get a lot of luxury with the entry-level ‘1’ grade but the Picanto makes up for it by offering decent space and a solid “big car” feel. It also offers Kia’s unbeatable seven-year warranty meaning if you’re serious about keeping things cheap beyond the purchase price it’s worth a look. Review – Kia Picanto
Hyundai i10 – From £9,795
Like many on this list small car = small money. The latest i10 is a far more mature offering than previous models, marking a step up in quality for the Korean brand’s city car. At our entry-level price it’s a similar story to others on the list when it comes to specification – basic safety functions, radio with USB and Aux plus 14-inch steel wheels – but it adds a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Review – Hyundai i10