It’s no secret that the cost of new cars has risen dramatically in recent months, with many models now several thousands pounds more than they were just a year ago.
And as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, affordability has never been so important. While you can save by looking at a used model instead, if you still want a new car, and the reassurance of a manufacturer warranty for several years, there are a number of affordable options still available, particularly when you spread the cost over a few years.
Here are the UK’s most affordable new cars.
Dacia Sandero – £12,595
Ever since the Dacia Sandero first arrived on sale in the UK in 2013, it’s held the title as the most affordable new car. Prices have unsurprisingly risen over the years (it cost an astonishing £5,995 when it first launched), but with a £12,595 starting figure, it still undercuts the opposition by several thousand pounds.
This latest Sandero is also a big step up on its predecessor, offering much-improved road manners, more interior space and a higher-quality interior. The standard 1.0-litre TCe 90 engine also offers a good mix of performance and efficiency, with Dacia claiming a fuel economy figure of 53.3mpg. There’s even a Bi-Fuel model, from £14,095, that uses petrol and LPG for better fuel economy
MG3 – from £13,295
Similar to Dacia, MG has built a reputation for its cars’ impressive value for money. And, with a starting price of £13,295, the MG3 is a good choice for those looking to keep costs down.
The MG3 is smart to look at, comes with a seven-year warranty and is impressively well-equipped – entry-level cars still come with 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. The MG3’s 1.5-litre petrol engine is quite outdated, however, and not the best on fuel.
Kia Picanto – from £13,400
While the city car market might be shrinking, if you’re shopping on a budget, these models make a lot of sense. Not least the Kia Picanto, which is among the best in its segment thanks to its well-made interior and surprising levels of space.
Prices for the Picanto start from £13,400, though you might want to spend another £1,000 to get the ‘2’ model so you can have niceties like alloy wheels, air conditioning and a leather steering wheel. Kia claims up to 58.9mpg, while you also get the brand’s seven-year warranty included.
Hyundai i10 – from £13,430
Another top performer in the city car segment is the Hyundai i10, which costs only a fraction more than the Picanto but gets more equipment as standard, including air conditioning, lane keep assist and front and rear electric windows.
The i10 also offers a smart design and is one of the most well-rounded cars in its segment, offering an impressive amount of space for a small car, and good levels of comfort. Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty is generous too.
Dacia Sandero Stepway – from £13,795
If you want a Sandero but want something that offers a little more in the way of style, Dacia has you covered with the Stepway model. Featuring raised suspension and plastic cladding, it immediately looks more appealing than the standard car, though you will pay an additional £1,200 for the privilege.
Like the regular Sandero, the Stepway is good to drive and has a pleasant interior, while all versions benefit from air conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control with a speed limiter.
Citroen C3 – from £13,995
Citroen axed its C1 city car earlier this year, and with no replacement planned, it instead decided to introduce an entry-level ‘You!’ version of its C3 supermini. Available exclusively through the brand’s website, its £13,995 starting price makes it £3,500 cheaper than the next C3.
It therefore seems quite a steal, particularly when you consider that it still comes with a small touchscreen, Bluetooth and LED headlights. You are limited to a rather underpowered 1.2-litre petrol engine, but it will be more than suitable for those driving mainly in urban areas.
Volkswagen Up! – from £14,070
The Volkswagen Up! may have been on sale for a decade, but it’s a testament to this model’s original brilliance that it’s still on sale and doesn’t feel too outdated. The Up! is good to drive, surprisingly roomy inside and also gets the choice of three- and five-door bodystyles.
Its £14,070 starting price still includes DAB radio, 15-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning too, while the small 1.0-litre petrol engine makes the model cheap to insure and allows for a claimed 55.4mpg.
Fiat Panda – from £14,485
The Fiat Panda is another city car that will soon be nearing its expiry date, but if budget motoring is more important than having the latest technology, this city car shouldn’t be ignored.
Its dinky size is fantastic for those with limited parking or for narrow streets, while its mild-hybrid petrol engine is very frugal to run – you shouldn’t have to try too hard to get close to Fiat’s claimed 57.6mpg fuel economy figure.
Fiat 500 – from £14,990
The Fiat 500 is another model that’s getting on a bit these days, but if style is important, it’s almost impossible to beat for the price. Sneaking in at just under £15,000, the 500 looks the part, but is also easy to drive, particularly around town.
Standard equipment on the cheapest ‘Pop’ trim level includes air conditioning, LED daytime running lights and Bluetooth. It uses the same mild-hybrid setup as the Panda, though is better on fuel – Fiat claiming 61.4mpg, making it the best model on this list for fuel economy.
Dacia Duster – from £15,295
If you think a lower budget limits you to a small car, the Dacia Duster proves that’s not the case. Undercutting many superminis by a significant margin – a Ford Fiesta starts from £4,000 more than the Duster – this holds the title as the UK’s cheapest new SUV.
There’s a lot more to the Duster than just the price, however, as it’s decent to drive and offers a vast amount of interior space that makes this suitable for families. Standard equipment is quite limited, though.