Compare the best cheap small cars

High quality affordable small cars from rated and reviewed dealers

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Rated 4.5/5 from 55,685 reviews
blue dacia sandero driving
Last updated April 26, 2024 by Tom Wiltshire

Best small affordable cars of 2024

A tight budget is no barrier to owning a decent car. These compact hatchbacks are all value-for-money champions.

Many of these cars can be specified up to higher prices, but their order here reflects how good they are in their most affordable forms.

Cheap doesn't have to mean nasty, and so all the cars here are good to drive and packed with more equipment than you'd think. They're all highly rated in their Carwow reviews, reflecting our extensive road testing.

Dacia Sandero

1. Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero review
Renault Clio

2. Renault Clio

Renault Clio review
Hyundai i10

3. Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 review
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

4. MG 4

MG MG4 EV review
Battery range up to 323 miles

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Kia Picanto
Smart Spender Award
Highly Commended

5. Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto review
Volkswagen T-Cross
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

6. Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross review
Vauxhall Corsa

7. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa review
Skoda Fabia

8. Skoda Fabia

Skoda Fabia review
Toyota Aygo X

9. Toyota Aygo X

Toyota Aygo X review
SEAT Ibiza

10. SEAT Ibiza

SEAT Ibiza review

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Advice about affordable small cars

Cheap small cars FAQs

Of the cars on this list, either the Kia Picanto or the Hyundai i10 are likely to be the best choices for reliability. Not only do the Korean companies have excellent reputations for building solid cars, they’re backed up by long five-year (Hyundai) and seven-year (Kia) warranties.

For more information, check out our rundown of the best new car warranties.

If you’re really economising, it’s the Kia Picanto that’s the cheapest, and therefore the one that you’ll care least about if you damage it or need to repair it. Otherwise, the best choices are probably the default Vauxhall Corsa or Ford Fiesta, as they’re solidly built, easy to drive, and easy and cheap to service and repair.

Looking for a car for a new driver? Take a look at our recommended cars for first time drivers.

Somewhat surprisingly, it’s the Dacia Sandero that’s the fastest — the basic 90 TCE version taking just 11.7sec to cover the 0-62mph sprint. Most of the rest here are on the wrong side of 12secs, and the Hyundai i10 takes a glacial 15.9secs.

The winner here is the Suzuki Swift, which as standard now gets a 1.2-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine with a figure of 59.7mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle, according to the official WLTP test.

The two best-performers in terms of VED tax for the first year are the Suzuki Swift and the Dacia Sandero, both of which will at present cost you £85 in the first year. Most of the rest will be £210 or more. For insurance, the Dacia Sandero, Hyundai i10, and Renault Clio are all in Group 3 for insurance, while the Ford Fiesta, and Skoda Fabia are in Group 2. The Nissan Micra actually dips into Group 1, but the Suzuki Swift is surprisingly high-rated, in Group 9.

Not sure what an insurance group is? Our handy guide tells you everything you need to know about car insurance groups.