The 10 cheapest new cars you can buy
Looking to replace your car but think you can't afford to buy new? Well, these models might make you think again – especially after you've factored in our Target Price discounts...
Buying a new car can be one of life's biggest investments, and these days a lot of models come with so much technology that the price can be eye-watering.
However, there is still a selection of models that offer no-nonsense thrills for a great price. So, here we list the 10 cheapest new cars, and show you how much you can save on each of them.
Thanks to our Target Price discounts, even some of the cheapest new cars on sale can be bought with a great discount.
If any of the cars on this list take your fancy, you can follow the review links to find out more about the car or click on the deals links to see more discounts with our free New Car Deals service.
About the author
George Hill is the staff writer at What Car? and joined the team in 2021. He writes and creates content of all forms, including news, features and reviews. In particular, George looks after the deals content at What Car?. This means that he keeps a close eye on the automotive industry and new car discounts across the UK, and uses What Car?'s Target Price data to create content for buyers who are looking for the best possible new car deals.
Version 1.0 1 | List price £13,665 | Target Price £13,410
The cheapest new car you can buy in the UK is the Kia Picanto, and it's a fine car for the money.
It's good to drive, with tidy handling and a comfortable driving position, while the interior is smart to look at. As you might expect, the equipment list is fairly sparse (the entry-level trim doesn't even come with air conditioning). You do, however, get automatic lights, remote central locking and electric front windows as standard.
Despite being quite underpowered, the entry-level 66bhp 1.0-litre engine is compelling thanks to its economical nature. But if your budget can stretch to it, we'd recommend going for the turbocharged 99bhp unit; it's noticeably quicker and much more flexible at low revs.
Read our in-depth Kia Picanto review
- Really tidy handling
- Frugal 1.0 MPi petrol engine
- Excellent infotainment and equipment on 3 trim
- 1.0 MPi petrol engine isn't very quick
- Firm(ish) low-speed ride
- A Dacia Sandero is much roomier
Version TCe 100 Bi-Fuel Essential | List price £13,795 | Target Price £13,601
The position of Britain's cheapest new car is constantly changing, and the Dacia Sandero is a car that's often found in the top spot. However, in this instance, the Kia Picanto has just topped it.
But what's the Sandero like? Well, it's actually a better car than the Picanto. It's more practical and more comfortable, while the entry-level trim is better equipped; Essential trim comes with cruise control, front electric windows and air conditioning.
This Bi-Fuel version can run also on cheaper liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as regular unleaded, which means it should also be very cheap to run if you live near a petrol station that stocks it. It's worth noting that Euro NCAP gave the Sandero just two stars for safety.
Read our in-depth Dacia Sandero review
- Amazingly good value
- Lots of space for passengers and luggage
- Comfortable ride
- Poor safety rating compared with rivals
- There are more entertaining small cars to drive
- Some other small cars are quieter
Version 1.5 VTi-Tech Excite | List price £13,820 | Target Price £13,326
The MG3 is very keenly priced – so much so that it's the cheapest car on this list with our Target Price discount factored in. Despite that, it's very well equipped for the money; Excite trim includes an 8.0in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and rear parking sensors as standard.
Mind you, the MG3 is heavily compromised in many other areas. For instance, the ride is bumpy and uncomfortable, while this entry-level engine is wheezy and not very economical. It also has a poor safety rating.
Read our in-depth MG3 review
- Attractively priced
- Interior looks fairly smart
- Well equipped
- Bumpy ride
- Unrefined engine
- Disappointing safety
Version 1.2 PureTech 83 You | List price £13,995 | Target Price £13,995
Citroën recently added the entry-level You trim to the C3 range, and for the money, you get a stylish car inside and out.
However, because it's a stripped out version of the regular C3, the You version comes with very little equipment as standard. The only 'luxuries' you get are cruise control, manual air-conditioning and heated side mirrors. The Dacia Sandero is much better value.
In other areas, the C3 is poor to drive, the entry-level engine is underpowered, and it's not very practical. You also have to pay extra for some important safety kit, including automatic emergency braking (AEB).
Read our in-depth Citroën C3 review
- Decently equipped
- Stylish interior
- Efficient petrol and diesel engines
- Poor to drive
- AEB is not standard on lower trims
- Cramped rear seats
Version 1.0 Mild Hybrid City Life | List price £14,765 | Target Price £14,113
The Panda has charming looks and a low price, but it's very disappointing to drive. The mild hybrid engine is slow and unrefined, plus the bouncy and fidgety suspension means it's quite wearing to drive on longer journeys.
Despite it's boxy shape, it's also not very practical. Okay, there's a good amount of head room for front and rear passengers, but leg room and boot space is pretty poor. The Hyundai i10 is more practical.
The worst thing about the Panda, though, is its abysmal zero stars safety rating from Euro NCAP. So, overall we'd recommend that you stay well clear of it.
Read our in-depth Fiat Panda review
- Individual looks
- Decent head room
- Good rear visibility
- Abysmal Euro NCAP crash test result
- Poor rear leg room
- Slow and poor to drive
Version 1.0 Up | List price £15,180 | Target Price £14,793
The Volkswagen Up is a former What Car? Car of the Year, and more than 10 years on, it's still an appealing small car with fun driving manners, an economical engine and a high-quality interior for the price.
The entry-level trim is fairly sparse in terms of standard kit, so we'd recommend upgrading to Beats. It's not much more expensive and adds ambient lighting, a multifunction steering wheel and a Beats audio system.
It's worth noting that Volkswagen has recently ended production of the Up. There should still be plenty of new cars available from dealer stock, though.
Read our in-depth Volkswagen Up review
- Good fun to drive
- Economical three-cylinder engines
- Relatively classy interior finish
- Limited safety technology
- Some rivals offer better value
- Harsh ride on larger wheels
Version 1.0 TCe Essential | List price £15,295 | Target Price £15,042
The Sandero Stepway is essentially a Dacia Sandero but with some extra ruggedness, including a more heavily sculpted bonnet, roof rails, chunky plastic wheel arch extensions and an increased ride height.
Like the Sandero, it's a brilliant small car with a spacious interior for its size, a big boot and a comfortable ride. It also comes with a similar line-up or engines and trim levels. The version quoted here features an 89bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine, which offers acceptable performance for the class with a decent amount of low-end punch.
Read our in-depth Dacia Sandero Stepway review
- Comfortable ride
- Spacious interior
- Astonishing price
- Poor safety rating compared to rivals
- Mainly cosmetic changes for the money over a regular Sandero
- Noisy TCe 90 engine
Version 1.0 MPi Advance | List price £15,420 | Target Price £14,879
The Hyundai i10 is one of the best small cars you can buy on a budget. No matter which version you go for, you get a relatively spacious and smart-looking interior and a comfortable ride.
It's also very practical for its size, with a good amount of leg room for rear passengers. The boot is a good size, too, although the Kia Picanto's is ever so slightly bigger.
The entry-level 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is strong enough in town and efficient. Advance trim comes with automatic lights, air conditioning, electric door-mirror adjustment and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearlever as standard.
Read our in-depth Hyundai i10 review
- Comfortable and quiet to drive
- Five seats and decent rear space
- Good amount of kit as standard
- Three-star Euro NCAP safety rating
- Non-turbocharged 1.0-litre engine is a bit lacklustre
- Slow automatic gearbox
Version 1.0 VVT-i Pure | List price £16,130 | Target Price £15,069
Having been launched in 2022, the Aygo X is one of the newest small cars. As such, it comes with loads of safety kit as standard, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist and six airbags. The entry-level Pure trim is also well equipped, and comes with automatic headlights, air conditioning and 7.0in touchscreen infotainment.
On the whole, the Aygo X is good to drive, with a tight turning circle and tidy handling. However, the 71bhp 1.0-litre engine is slow and unrefined.
Read our in-depth Toyota Aygo X review
- Cheap to run
- Good level of safety kit
- 10-year warranty
- Cramped in the back
- Smaller boot opening than rivals
- Lacklustre engine
Version 1.0 Mild Hybrid 500 | List price £16,790 | Target Price £16,001
The petrol-powered Fiat 500 has been around for some time now, and it continues to be a stylish and economical small car.
However, it is starting to feel its age. On faster roads, for instance, the 500 feels very much out of its depth with its roly-poly handling and an unsettled ride. The 1.0-litre mild hybrid engine also needs working hard to keep up with faster traffic.
In town, it's a different story. The 500 is very easy to drive, with the light steering and small dimensions making it nice and easy to manoeuvre. No matter the environment, though, the 500 is uncomfortable (thanks to its awkward driving position) and not very practical.
Read our in-depth Fiat 500 Hybrid review
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- Distinctive looks
- Easy to drive around town
- Plenty of customisation options
- Poor driving position
- Unsettled ride
- Coarse-sounding engine
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