We’re heading towards the point where this kind of article will be impossible to write, because the sub-£10,000 car will have become a thing of the past.
As recently as five years ago, there were Ford Fiestas and Vauxhall Corsas with list prices of under £10,000. Today, there are not. This is partly because prices generally go up, but partly also because Ford and Vauxhall have abandoned the cheaper versions.
It’s not that these companies are trying to squeeze every last penny out of the customer. It’s that the customers don’t want those cars, often because they can get a much higher specification for only a small increase in monthly payments. If the demand isn’t there, why bother to supply it?
However, the continued existence of city cars and budget brands means that there are still a few cars left with price tags in four figures. We present them here in ascending order of lowest on-the-road list price. The prices are the ones made available by the manufacturers to the public, and do not include customer bonuses or any other kind of special offer.
Dacia Sandero: £6,995
Romania’s only major car manufacturer is a subsidiary of Renault, so the Sandero, like all other Dacias, is mostly made of Renault bits.
However, no Renault is as cheap as the Sandero is. In basic Access trim – and this really is very basic – it costs just £6,995.
Unusually, though, it’s not just the entry model which has a four-figure price tag. You can go quite a long way up the range before you’re asked to pay more than £10,000.
Suzuki Celerio: £7,999
At the time of writing the smallest Suzuki can be yours for £7,499, but that includes a £500 customer saving, and we’re not counting those.
Going by the list prices, you can have a Celerio SZ2 for £7,999, and a better-equipped SZ3 (with air-conditioning, alloy wheels and Bluetooth) for £9,649.
Dacia Logan MCV: £8,495
The Logan MCV is in the middle of the Dacia range and one size up from the Sandero, though both cars use the same platform and drivetrains.
You have to pay a bit more for this one, but it’s still available from £8,495.
Although the Logan MCV isn’t especially pretty, it has one outstanding feature: with the rear seats up, the luggage capacity is 573 litres.
That’s in the same ballpark as the famously practical Skoda Octavia, and far more than you’ll find in a Ford Focus. You won’t get that amount of room in anything else under £10,000 unless you buy secondhand.
The MG3 supermini hasn’t exactly taken the UK by storm, but it does have a couple of things in its favour.
One is that it has rear visibility which puts most other cars to shame. The other is that you can have one for under £9,000. Even the range-topping 3Style+ is listed below £12,000.
Skoda Citigo: £8,860
The Citigo is essentially the same car as the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii. Characteristically, Skoda offers it at the lowest price, the cheapest model being available from £8,860.
There is a slight twist here, because that price refers only to 2018 model year cars which are no longer being produced. You’ll need to check with your local dealer to see if it has one in stock.
Peugeot 108: £9,225
The 108 city car is a close relative of the Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo. Each manufacturer decides on its own pricing and specifications, and one example of the 108 is the cheapest of them all at £9,225.
Interestingly, Peugeot’s partner company Citroen does not sell any version of the C1 for under £10,000.
Volkswagen up!: £9,325
Volkswagen does not go to the same length as Skoda does with the Citigo to provide an ultra-cheap version of the almost identical up!, but it does have a reasonably low entry point of £9,325.
Of the three makes involved in this project, only SEAT has avoided producing a Mii basic enough to sell for less than five figures.
Fiat Panda: £9,510
If you want Fiat’s quirky little Panda in your life you’re almost certainly going to have to pay more than £10,000 for it.
For those who would rather not do that, there’s the option of buying the entry-level Panda Pop, with its jolly steel wheels and amusingly non-adjustable steering wheel. That can be yours for £9,510 as long as you don’t choose any optional extras.
Toyota Aygo: £9,695
You can’t have Toyota’s equivalent of the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 – the only one of these very similar cars with a Japanese rather than French badge – for quite as little money as Peugeot asks for the cheapest 108.
It’s a close thing, though. The lowest-priced Aygo is only £470 more expensive.
Kia Picanto: £9,720
Manufacturers will often give one car in its range a particularly low price which gives little indication of what the others will cost.
Kia has done this with the Picanto. Nearly every version costs over £11,000, with the single exception of the entry-level model (imaginatively titled ‘1’) which can be yours for a much more modest £9,720.
The Picanto 1 is therefore the only car on sale in the UK with a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty and a list price of under £10,000.
Hyundai i10: £9,795
Nearly everything you have just read about the Kia Picanto also applies to the closely-related i10 from Kia’s partner company Hyundai.
Going by list price, the i10 S is £75 more expensive than the Picanto 1, but it is also one of three i10s currently available with a discount which in this case brings the price down to £9,095.
Dacia Duster: £9,995
The Duster was the first Dacia of the modern era to be sold in the UK. A heavily revised version has just gone on sale in the UK, and in the Access trim level it’s priced at £9,995, making this the cheapest SUV you can buy in the UK.
It’s actually a bit of an anomaly, since it’s one of only two Dusters priced below £13,000. Still, even the most expensive ones cost less than £17,000 without options, which is pretty good going nowadays.