UK’s cheapest new cars for 2024

20 years ago, list price was king, and the cheapest new cars were often basic, crude, but alluringly inexpensive.  

Today, though, the likes of Lada and Yugo are distant memories, and most people buy cars based on how much they cost per month rather than how much they cost outright. 

But even using a payment model such as a PCP, the overall list price still affects what you end up paying, so while the cheapest cars on sale in the UK today aren’t the pared back bargains they once were, they’re still reasonable value for money when you look at the spec.

Here are the 10 cheapest new cars for sale in Britain today.

Cheapest new cars


Citroen Ami (from £8095)

The Ami is the cheapest car on sale in the UK today by quite some margin, and it’s also electric. Just don’t expect to carry passengers or exceed 28mph. It uses a tiny 5.5kWh battery, much smaller than those of the Smart EQ ForTwo (17.6kWh) and Fiat 500 Electric (24kWh), which cost more than twice as much, although both are proper cars whereas the Ami is officially a quadricycle. The Ami’s appeal is limited to city use only. The 8hp electric motor gives a top speed of 28mph, and it’s tiny inside and out, with little more than a smartphone cradle and various storage compartments as specification. It is built to a price and only available as left-hand drive, but is cool nonetheless. As with all cars listed here, the price quoted is correct as of September 2023.

Read our full Citroen Ami review

Kia Picanto (from £13,665)

The Kia Picanto is Britain’s second cheapest new car and has the added benefit of a standard seven-year warranty, making it one of the most reassuring to own as well. If that doesn’t make it good enough value, then add in economical engines and low insurance groups. The entry-level 1.0-litre is fine for urban use, plus holds its own at faster speeds provided you don’t spend too long on the motorway network. In ‘1’ specification, you don’t get alloys or air-conditioning, but it feels well-built and handles neatly.

Read our full Kia Picanto review

Dacia Sandero (from £13,785)

When the Dacia Sandero first appeared in 2013, it was the cheapest new car in Britain. Simple and rugged, the Romanian-built small hatch used ancient Renault architecture to keep costs down. The latest model is more mature and better finished, although still spartan. In the cheapest and most basic spec, you get five doors, four wheels, a steering wheel and electric front windows, plus a basic radio CD/Bluetooth radio. It’s bigger than most similarly priced cars, with lots of head and legroom, and is surprisingly fun to drive.

Read our full Dacia Sandero review

MG 3 (from £13,820)

The MG 3 is still among the cheapest cars in Britain, despite the brand’s move away from budget motoring towards the mainstream. Launched in 2013 and heavily facelifted in 2018, the entry-level MG3 Excite is better equipped than most of its rivals as well as being amazingly good fun to drive. But there is a penalty. While equipment is generous and the car looks good, the 105bhp 1.5-litre non-turbo petrol engine is very old-fashioned and thirsty. That makes it more expensive to run than some rivals, although the seven-year warranty does compensate somewhat.

Read our full MG 3 review

Citroen C3 (from £13,995)

So as not to lose out on sales at the budget end of the market following the demise of the C1 city car, the C3 You! is a massive £3,000 cheaper than the next model up in the range. The You! is one of the biggest bargains on the market, with an 83bhp 1.2-litre turbo engine, DAB and Bluetooth, and even a touchscreen and coffee break alert. Among Britain’s cheapest cars on sale right now, it’s probably our favourite – a real old-school bargain that doesn’t feel at all like a compromise.

Read our full Citroen C3 review

Volkswagen Up (from £14,630)

You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find a Volkswagen among a list of Britain’s cheapest cars, but the Up is an example of VW going back to its roots. Inexpensive and frugally equipped, the entry-level car still offers plenty of feelgood factor, with smart looks and a quality interior. The cheapest Up is the three-door and if you want a pair of rear doors, you’ll have to spend a further £420. But it’s fun-to-drive and surprisingly spacious for its compact dimensions.

Read our full Volkswagen Up review

Fiat Panda (from £14,740)

With its immense character and cheerful looks, the Fiat Panda is a car that gets right under your skin. After all, city cars are what the Italians do best, and the Panda has always been a flag bearer for the best of the city car bunch. The entry-level model is exactly what you’d expect from one of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK today. Basic, but fun, it’s entertaining to drive and can carry four passengers in relative comfort, too.

Read our full Fiat Panda review

Dacia Sandero Stepway (from £15,295)

There’s a ruggedly stylish appeal to the Dacia Sandero Stepway, thanks to its beefy and purposeful front end styling and chunky, robust interior. It’s a bargain SUV that offers the style, practicality and purposefulness of more expensive small SUVs with none of the pumped-up cost. The entry-level Essential trim is fairly sparse, but you do get a DAB radio, Bluetooth, air-conditioning and cruise control, with a choice of engines – a petrol-powered TCe 90 or the more expensive LPG Bi-Fuel TCe 100.

Read our full Dacia Sandero Stepway review

Hyundai i10 (from £15,420)

The i10 is second only to the Citroen C3 You! as our favourite of Britain’s top 10 cheapest new cars on sale today. The i10 is a mature, well made and practical small car that still manages to offer an element of enjoyment for the driver behind the wheel, while also feeling extremely solid and well put-together. It can seat four adults in relative comfort and will cruise happily at motorway speeds, while the entry-level SE trim gets cruise control, a digital radio and air-conditioning. All i10s come with a five-year warranty, too.

Read our full Hyundai i10 review

Toyota Aygo X (from £15,990)

The original Toyota Aygo was a created as a city car, and derived from a joint venture with Peugeot (which launched the 107) and French stablemate Citroen, whose offering was the C1. But today, the Toyota is on its own and has morphed into a funky quasi-SUV, smaller than a Yaris but with more sense of purpose. At £10 shy of £16k it scrapes into Britain’s top 10 cheapest cars – buying you the most affordable Pure trim – but you get better equipment than most others in this list with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto alongside Toyota’s advanced Safety Sense package, cruise control and air-con. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine is proven, reliable and free-revving, as well as being impressively fuel-efficient.

Read our full Toyota Aygo X review

What is the cheapest new car in the UK?

The days of genuinely cheap new cars are long gone and while the Citroen Ami may officially be the cheapest new 'car' on sale in the UK, it's actually a quadracycle. As a result the cheapest new car woth four seats is actually the Kia Picanto 1 which costs - as of October 2023 - £13,665. The cheapest Dacia Sandero comes in second at £13,785.

What is the cheapest most reliable small car?

If you're buying a new car, you'll expect a high level of reliability. The Kia Picanto, currently the cheapest car on sale in the UK, comes with the added reassurance of a seven-year warranty which is transferable to subsequent owners, making the Kia Picanto easy to sell second hand. We've had very few issues or problems reported to us by Picanto owners.

Where in UK are cars cheaper?

There's no hard and fast rule about the cheapest place to buy a car in the UK. It very much depends on the make and model you're after, plus the current levels of demand and supply. What we have seen in the past is that Scotland and the North East tend to be cheaper places to buy a car, due to their distance from the majority of the UK.

Ask HJ

What's the best small car for up to £9000?

What is the best solution for my needs. I spend the summer in England and would like a smallish car for that period. Price range £8000 to £9000. I will only do about 1500 miles in that time. I realise it is not good to leave a car standing for a 6 month period my need is for convenience. Any thoughts?
You say it's not a good idea to leave a car standing for six months but so long as you store it properly and disconnect the battery, or ideally connect a trickle charger, there should be no major problems. A good idea would be to get some axle stands and leave the wheels off the ground while you're away, though, to prevent flat spots on the tyres. When you return to it, check all the fluids carefully before restarting the engine and check the tyre pressures, then drive gently for the first few miles to clear any corrosion off the brake discs. We'd recommend a simple car with a good reliability record for this purpose - a Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto or Toyota Yaris would be a sensible choice.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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