2016 FIAT Tipo Lounge 1.6 MultiJet PH 2

Want Value For Money? Here’s The Cars you should be looking at

If it’s time to change your wheels and you’re on a budget, don’t think for a moment that you’re restricted to only shopping for used cars. For starters, new car finance is usually much better value than used car finance, but even if you’re buying outright you might be surprised by what you can afford. There’s actually quite a selection of new cars available for less than £15,000.

What’s more, if you buy new your car will be covered by a manufacturer warranty and roadside assistance, saving you the additional expense of shopping for aftermarket warranty cover or a breakdown service.

So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading for our list of the least expensive, best value new cars on sale.

Citroen Ami – from £8,095

Technically the Citroen Ami is a quadricycle rather than a car, but if you’re looking for the most affordable brand-new set of wheels for popping around town, this is most certainly it. Available for just over £8,000, this tiny electric vehicle will keep the rain off, carry two passengers and cost very little to run.

You do need to keep in mind that it doesn’t offer the same level of crash safety as a proper car, the driving range is just 46 miles per charge at best, and with a top speed of just 28mph you may occasionally be overtaken by cyclists. But with head-turning looks and an easy driving experience it could still be worth a look.

Kia Picanto – from £13,665

Kia has been gradually moving away from its budget car reputation – and doing so brilliantly with some excellent and very successful SUVs and electric vehicles. But in 2023 it turns out it still builds the cheapest proper car you can buy in the UK. Better yet, the Kia Picanto in question is actually rather decent.

The Picanto is a city car, so it’s small and doesn’t offer much room for passengers in the back. But it comes well equipped, has a three-star Euro NCAP rating, a seven-year warranty, and the slightly more expensive turbocharged version is good fun to drive, too. The non-turbo version available at this low price is fine, but will feel strained at higher speeds.

Kia Rio 2016 SR7 1.25 PH 7

Dacia Sandero – from £13,795

For a long time, Renault’s budget brand, Dacia, famously built the cheapest new car you could buy. The Sandero may be more expensive these days – thanks to supply chain problems and inflation post-Covid – but it’s still a remarkable bargain, given it’s only just more expensive than the Picanto and a much larger car.

Being based on older Renault technology should make it reliable (it comes with a three-year warranty anyway), and though not luxurious inside it is still well put together and robust enough to stand up to family life. Only slight snag is the low two-star Euro NCAP rating – but as with other low-scoring cars on this list, much of that is to do with a lack of active safety equipment.

MG 3 – from £13,820

The MG 3 has been on sale for several years at this point, and has quietly been bringing bright colours and a touch of style to budget-conscious motorists. Backed by one of China’s largest car companies, SAIC, the MG brand is much more in the spotlight these days thanks to the success of its MG 4 electric car.

The MG 3 is a more conventional 1.5-litre petrol. It’s not the most refined engine, and not an especially good car to drive, but with a seven-year warranty and reasonable levels of standard equipment it’s definitely good value. Worth a look if you’re near an MG dealer, that’s for sure.

Citroen C3 – from £13,995

The Ami isn’t Citroen’s only value for money option – the firm also offers a proper car at a bargain price in the shape of the C3. The very cheapest version is called the C3 You, but don’t expect to find it in the showroom – it’s available to order online only. This, and typically unattractive finance rates, may put some buyers off, but if you persevere there’s an interesting vehicle here.

Citroen, as ever, thinks a little different to other mainstream car makers. Resisting the modern trend of making everything sporty, the C3 offers soft suspension for a comfortable ride – ideal for the often rough and bumpy tarmac you find in British towns and cities. It’s about the same size as a Vauxhall Corsa, but rides like a much larger car. Good show.

Fiat Panda – from £14,740

Fiat has a history of building excellent small cars – they have long been this brand’s bread and butter. The most popular example presently is the Fiat 500, but that’s a little out of our £15k budget. Don’t fret, try the Fiat Panda instead. It’s based on largely the same mechanical underpinnings, but comes with a boxier, more practical body, creating more room for people and luggage inside.

A ‘squircle’ theme adds a dash of style, while those who often encounter slippery conditions should investigate the 4×4 version, which is a remarkably capable off roader. Only issue is that Euro NCAP now rates it zero stars for crash safety – a downgrade from the original four-star rating partly because the Panda doesn’t feature many active safety aids.

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