Buying a cheap small car is relatively easy, but choosing one is another matter entirely. The best mix surprising practicality with minimal running costs making them as easy on the wallet as they are to drive around town.
Put any of the cars featured in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. After a compact car but want a little more flair? Check out our list of the most stylish small cars on sale.
Dacia Sandero (from £5,995)
The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, but its extensive capabilities belie its low price. For starters, it’s very practical and larger than most other cars on this list despite costing noticeably less. Then there’s the economical engine range and comfortable ride to consider, too.
The Dacia doesn’t handle as well as a Ford Fiesta but, in terms of straightforward A-to-B transport, nothing can touch it in terms of value. Basic models miss out on body coloured bumpers and a stereo but its easy-to-understand trim structure makes picking the right version simple.
Use our Dacia Sandero configurator to save money today.
Suzuki Celerio (from £6,999)
Suzuki’s Celerio is the smallest and cheapest model in its line-up. With compact dimensions and a cheeky look, the Suzuki is comfortably at home on city streets, yet its small body hides surprisingly generous interior space. Rear passengers, in particular, will be more comfortable than in many similarly sized cars.
Then there’s the price. The Celerio is one of the cheapest cars currently on sale in the UK but it’ll also be reassuringly reliable and cheap to run. Suzuki also has a habit of making its cars surprisingly good fun to drive so we expect the Celerio, like the larger Swift, to follow suit.
Take a look at our Suzuki Celerio configurator to see what deals are available.
Vauxhall Viva (from £7,000)
With a familiar name and a smart new look, the Vauxhall Viva is a good all-rounder that’s worth more than the sum of its parts. It shares many components with more expensive models in the General Motors spectrum so, as a result, feels like a quality product.
Performance lags behind class leaders, but the Vauxhall happily keeps up with town traffic and can easily handle motorway jaunts too. Low running costs ensure the Viva will continue to be wallet-friendly once you’ve bought it, too.
Save money on the Vauxhall Viva with our configurator.
Skoda Citigo (from £8,275)
The almost indistinguishable Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii/Volkwagen Up trio are all excellent city cars that sit among the best available on the market. The Skoda has the honour of being the cheapest to buy new meaning it offers the best value of the three.
For such a small car, it has bags of space inside and actually holds its own on a windy backroad if you decide to go the long way home. The entry level 1.0-litre petrol engine isn’t particular zippy but the more powerful 75hp version never feels underpowered, even on the motorway.
Check out our Skoda Citigo configurator to save on your new car.
Peugeot 108 (from £8,345)
Like the aforementioned Skoda, the Peugeot 108 is one member of a trio of city cars developed together. Being more stylish than the Citroen C1 and cheaper than the Toyota Aygo makes the Peugeot the one to have. It’s also available with Peugeot’s excellent Just add fuel scheme to make ownership as cheap and painless as possible.
As all-rounders go, the 108 is one of the best out there and, if you want to push the boat out a bit, there’s the 108 Top with a full-length fabric sunroof. Like the Citigo, we suggest you only pick the entry-level engine if you mainly drive in the city – it gets quite noisy at speed.
Our handy Peugeot 108 configurator can help you cut the costs of your new car.
Hyundai i10 (from £8,895)
Although most definitely a city car, the Hyundai i10 is actually one of the most practical small cars you can buy. Its 252-litre boot is bigger than a lot of superminis and it offers more passenger space than many rivals. The interior has a clean design featuring soft-touch materials and decent standard equipment. It’s one of the few cars in the class offered with a true automatic gearbox making it the obvious two-pedal city car choice.
It isn’t the most stylish of cars, but in the right trim it looks rather smart and, like other Hyundais, it has an impressive five-year warranty as standard. Its party piece, however, is the ride – it’s more comfortable over bumps and rough tarmac than many cars one or two classes above – something short-wheelbase city cars often struggle with.
carwow’s Hyundai i10 configurator is on hand to help you save money.
Suzuki Swift (from £8,999)
If you’re after a small car that’ll never fair to entertain, the Suzuki Swift is your best bet this side of a Ford Fiesta. Its cheeky styling gives a flavour of what to expect on the road —direct steering and a supple, well controlled ride mean the Suzuki is bound to put a smile on your face.
There’s also a model with four-wheel drive should you need the capability. It isn’t the most practical car in its class but the Swift offers a great mix of talents at a very reasonable price.
Take a look at our Suzuki Swift configurator to see what deals are available.
Fiat Panda (from £9,375)
The Fiat Panda is a practical car partially based on the popular Fiat 500. Part of the Fiat’s charm is its simplicity — the squared-off styling permits a reasonable amount of interior space, and the car’s controls are easy to use, too.
Like all the cars on this list, its engines are economical and can cope with the occasional motorway trip. Some Pandas are as comfortable off-road as they are on it – the rugged 4×4 and Cross variants are interesting additions to the line-up.
Use our Fiat Panda configurator to save money on your new car.
Renault Twingo (from £9,495)
The latest Renault Twingo is a very unusual city car because it’s both rear-engined and rear-wheel driven. Some owners might argue that makes it similar to a Porsche 911 but, in reality, the odd layout simply improves passenger space and reduces its turning circle. The Twingo drives well and passenger space is impressive for a car of this size.
Luggage space is merely average but you’ll still have room for a weekly shop. The Renault isn’t the cheapest small car but it’s unique and charming making it a tempting option. The entry-level non-turbo version is only really suitable for town speeds and feels very strained as speeds increase.
Find your perfect Renault Twingo with our configurator.
Skoda Fabia (from £10,600)
Although the Skoda Fabia is the most expensive car on this list by some margin, it’s arguably the most rounded. It’s smartly styled with impressive interior quality and lots of space making the Skoda feel bigger and more expensive than the figures suggest.
On the road, the Fabia feels mature with refined and economical engines, a smooth ride and stable handling. The usual great range of Volkswagen engines are offered along with the excellent DSG automatic gearbox adding yet another string to this car’s impressive bow.
Search out the latest deals using our Skoda Fabia configurator.