The days of the £5,000 new car may be long gone, but you can still get yourself plenty of brand new cars for less than £10,000. Whether you’re after a small but practical and cheap to run city car, a nippy, well-equipped runabout or a model with raised suspension and an off-roader style look, there are a number of appealing options to choose from.
The Dacia Sandero may have taken the limelight as the cheapest new car on the market ? with prices starting at £5,995 ? but opt for the entry-level model and you’re likely to feel short changed, with old fashioned controls that are far from user friendly, poor quality materials and tonnes of kit you’d expect to find as standard ? such as electric front windows and a radio ? notably absent. There isn’t even any choice of colour, with white paint and black plastic bumpers being the only option available.
All of the cars we’ve rounded up here, however, may be available for less than £9,000 but still feel like much more modern and substantial machines, with the Sandero’s jacked-up Stepway sibling only being available in higher trim levels ? including all the basic kit most buyers would expect.
Affordable and spacious city car: Hyundai i10 ? £8,705
The Hyundai i10 has gone from being a bland but practical small car to being a chic, desirable little machine. Solely available in five-door form ? meaning that buyers don’t have to pay extra to get rear doors ? buyers have the option of frugal 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre petrol engines.
These engines may not be the most powerful, but both return around 60mpg claimed economy and are perfectly nippy for zooming around town and the odd trip on the motorway. Emissions of 114g/km or less ? as long as you avoid the dated automatic transmission available on the 1.2-litre ? mean that car tax will set you back a maximum of £30 per year.
Off-roader style supermini: Dacia Sandero Stepway ? £8,395
Based on the Sandero hatchback but with an added dose of SUV style, the Sandero Stepway is available with the Sandero’s more powerful petrol and diesel engine options and in higher specification levels.
The Stepway may still not feel like a premium model, but it does feel like a higher quality machine than the standard Sandero, with the engines offering reasonable acceleration and economy figures. The petrol may measure in at just 0.9-litres, but thanks to a turbocharger it can scamper to 62mph in a nippy 11.1 seconds. The diesel, on the other hand, just breaks the 70mpg mark, meaning that trips to the petrol station should be few and far between.
Nippy and fun-to-drive supermini: MG 3 – £8,399
The MG 3 is a less obvious supermini choice than the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, which sit right at the top of the supermini sales table, but even the top-of-the-range model costs less than the cheapest Fiesta. The 3 also has a much more punchy engine, too, with the 1.5-litre petrol launching the 3 to 62mph in 10.9 seconds.
Claimed fuel economy of 48.7mpg does lag behind pricier superminis, but in exchange even the most basic £8,399 3 includes LED daytime running lights, a CD player with auxiliary input for plugging in phones and MP3 players, along with front and rear electric windows.
Chic, nimble and safe supermini: Suzuki Swift – £8,999
The Suzuki Swift just squeezes below the £9,000 mark, but it feels like a much more substantial machine than that price tag suggests. With attractive styling inside and out, a punchy but economical 1.2-litre petrol engine and a reasonable haul of standard equipment, the Swift is a decent all-rounder.
Economy of 56.5mpg is good for such an affordable model, while the Swift can still accelerate to 62mph in a more than acceptable 12.3 seconds. CO2 emissions of 116g/km place it into the affordable £30 tax band, meanwhile.
Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108’s cheaper sibling: Citroen C1 – £7.995
With a starting price of just £7,995 the Citroen C1 city car undercuts the closely-related Toyota Aygo and Peugoet 108. In a class where price is key, the C1’s attractive pricing means that you can get more car for your money than with one of its sister models.
The basic 1.0-litre petrol model returns strong official economy of 68.9mpg and emits low enough CO2 levels to warrant free annual car tax. Due to its lightweight body the C1 is also suitably nippy, taking 14.3 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 62mph in 14.3 seconds.