2020 has seen increased pressure placed on UK household finances, with uncertainty over Brexit compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. It's little wonder, then, that when it comes to buying a car, the cheaper end of the market is getting plenty of attention.
Used cars are of course the most affordable option, but there are plenty of low-cost new cars on the market too, with at least a dozen priced under £13,000 at time of writing. Car loans and finance deals can spread the cost, although obtaining funding may be more challenging right now given ongoing economic uncertainties.
Here we look at the top 10 cheapest new cars to buy in the UK this year.
This well-built little car is available in a multitude of colours, and represents excellent value for money.
With space for five people and a reasonable amount of luggage, the i10 is a very practical option. It's also stable at high speeds and returns as much as 56.5mpg, depending on the model.
It might not have the prestige of a Rolls Royce, but it will get you from A to B in a similar timeframe, is much easier to park - and you won’t have to sell your house to buy one.
This popular city runabout is mechanically similar to the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo - respectively sold under Spanish and Czech brands owned by VW.
The VW badge means excellent build quality - but not necessarily more so than the Citigo or Mii, since all three are made in the same Bratislava factory.
However, the VW badge means your Up will be worth more after three years than the other two. Entry-level models offer Isofix child-seat mountings, electric front windows and a folding back seat.
The 108 is mechanically very similar to the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, which are all built using the same chassis, engines, gearboxes and electrics.
That said, the front of the 108 differs considerably from the C1 and Aygo, and will appeal to some more than others.
In terms of equipment, the 108 is similar to its sister cars, but only has a 3-year warranty (while the Aygo has a 5-year guarantee). On the plus side, the 108 is available as part of Peugeot's Just Add Fuel deal, which conveniently rolls financing, tax, insurance and even servicing into one monthly payment.
The C1 more closely resembles the Peugeot 108 (above) than the Aygo does. It offers the same level of boot space, the same interior, and the same 1.0-litre, 72hp petrol engine. However, you do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with the 108 (you don’t with the C1).
The main difference is the price: You could pay more than £1,000 less for a C1 than a 108, arguably making it a better choice for the cost-conscious.
The Aygo is a few hundred cheaper than its sister car the Citroen C1, and around £2,000 cheaper than it's other (upper-end) sister car, the 108. However, the Aygo is basically the same car, but comes with a 5-year warranty instead of just three (as offered by Citroen and VW).
You won’t get Bluetooth or air conditioning, but you will get electric windows and remote central locking.
For the cost-conscious, the Aygo is the best option of the three variants, although arguably not as good value as the Hyundai i10.
Given it costs less than £10,000, the MG3 is a remarkably fun drive. That said, it can feel a little firm and bumpy on the road, and the entry-level variant is not suitable for those whose ego is buoyed by fast acceleration!
For a nippier ride, opt for a hot-hatch model.
The cheapest variant is bereft of Bluetooth, air conditioning and remote central locking, but does boast electric windows front and rear.
An eye-popping seven-year warranty comes as standard with the Picanto, which is a mark of the car’s quality - and offers real peace of mind for years.
The small engine also means fuel costs should be pretty low, although if you need to get somewhere fast you'll need to rev the engine a fair bit, burning extra fuel.
The Picanto is a great option as a sedate city runabout, but boy or girl racers need not apply!
The fun-to-drive Citigo is cheaper than sister models the Seat Mii and the VW Up, and has space for four people.
In exchange for the lower price tag of the entry-level unit, you get less as-standard equipment (no air-conditioning or Bluetooth) and just three doors. Naturally, you can get these options by paying more for an upgraded version.
This spacious estate boasts a 573-litre boot when rear seats are up - making it comparable to the VW Golf Estate (but much, much cheaper).
If you enjoy silence, the cheapest model is for you, since there's no radio. But in terms of value-for-money, the Logan MCV is Britain's reigning champion.
If you yearn for the old days when you had to wind up your windows manually, then the Sandero is for you. And if you have no interest in radios or air conditioning, it's the gift that keeps on giving!
But while the Sandero lacks these basic bits of kit, it does offer incredible value.
That said, the sub-7K price tag is regarded as a marketing gimmick by many; in reality most buyers add Bluetooth, digital radio and AC, which adds another £1,000. And if you're planning to part with £8,000, you might be tempted to pay a little extra and buy a more fun car - such as a Citroen C1.