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10 smallest cars on sale 2024

Looking for a pocket-sized set of wheels? We’ve covered the smallest cars currently on sale in the UK

smallest cars on sale

Small cars have come a long way since the original Mini and Volkswagen Beetle of the mid-twentieth century, offering big-car tech and feel in a tiny package. While the market for city cars and superminis has shrunk in recent years, with more buyers opting for larger SUVs, there are still plenty of petite cars to be had in 2024.

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Superminis or city cars may still appeal to those living in urban areas, or for drivers who don’t want the extra bulk of a bigger SUV, saloon or estate car. Most feature all the creature comforts you’d find in a larger car and many feel just as stable and sturdy to drive on the motorway. There are even a couple of superminis with faux-SUV looks on this list, as well as a two-seater sports car – who said small cars had to be boring?

Despite a recent general upward trend in the size of cars, all the cars on this list are less than 4,000mm long and 1,800mm wide, meaning you’ll have no trouble slotting them into the average UK parking space, at 4,800mm by 2,400mm. As an added benefit, smaller cars tend to be the cheapest and most fuel-efficient on the market, saving you both space and cash.

The smallest cars on sale 2024

Read on for our list of the 10 smallest cars currently on sale in the UK. 

Citroen Ami hatchback review

Citroen Ami Buggy
Carbuyer rating

3.3 out of 5

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If small size is truly your only priority and you’re not concerned about speed, range or carrying any luggage, the Citroen Ami could be just the car you’re looking for. At just 2,410mm long, it’s comfortably the smallest car you can buy in the UK – although calling it a ‘car’ at all is slightly cheating.

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The Citroen Ami is technically not a car, but a quadricycle. This means that drivers as young as 16 can pilot it around city streets, as long as they hold a motorcycle licence. With a tight 7.2-metre turning circle and compact dimensions, it’s incredibly easy to manoeuvre. Don’t expect to go too far or fast though, because the Ami’s 46-mile range and 28mph top speed match its puny size.

Despite its small size, the Ami offers reasonable practicality with a compact interior, which can seat two people thanks to its boxy shape. There are also plenty of cubby-holes scattered around to store any items you may pick up on a day out.

Fiat 500 hatchback review

Fiat 500
Carbuyer rating

3.3 out of 5

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It may be over 16 years old now, but few cars today offer the retro chic that oozes from the Fiat 500. Measuring 3,571mm from end to end means it provides the compact dimensions vital for parking in Milan or Manchester. Inside, it’s surprisingly roomy with (just) enough space for four adults, although the lack of a five-door model hampers practicality. Boot space isn’t amazing but its 185 litres of space grows to 550 litres when you fold the back seats – just enough for a city break. 

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With the wheels pushed right out into the corners of the car, and great visibility, it’s an easy car to park. And a ‘city’ mode makes the steering really light so that driving into tight spaces is a cinch. The little 500 is powered by a 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine that produces 68bhp and can deliver around 60mpg, but a separate electric model is also sold alongside it for drivers after the lowest possible running costs.

Kia Picanto hatchback review

kia picanto hatchback
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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The Kia Picanto was first launched in 2004 when the South Korean car maker was yet to reach the popularity it has today. Twenty years later, in its latest generation, the Picanto continues to offer everything that small-car buyers need at an affordable price in what’s become a fiercely contested market.

The Picanto gets a high-quality cabin and is well equipped as standard, with Bluetooth, electric windows and 14-inch alloy wheels. For drivers who want to stay connected, it’s worth stepping up from the base model ‘2’ to the ‘3’, which adds a better infotainment system. As with all other Kias in the range, the Picanto also comes with a seven-year warranty.

There’s a facelifted Picanto on the way, too, bringing the brand’s latest design language to the popular city car.

Hyundai i10 review - tech-filled and practical small car

hyundai i10 facelift
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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The smallest car in Hyundai’s range is also one of the smallest on sale in the UK, at 3,670mm long and 1,680mm wide. Inside and out, the latest i10 is the most stylish yet and is finished to a remarkably high standard despite its low price. There’s also plenty of space for five people, plus 252 litres of boot space. Buyers have a choice between 1.0 or 1.2-litre petrol engines, both of which work well around town, while the latter is our pick for anyone who regularly drives in the countryside or on the motorway.

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The i10 might be one of the smallest cars you can buy, but it has more technology and interior space than ever before. Combine those qualities with improved driving dynamics and Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, and you have a car that’s well worthy of consideration.

Fiat Panda hatchback review

Fiat Panda Cross Hybrid
Carbuyer rating

2.5 out of 5

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Among all of the entrants on our list, the long-running Fiat Panda is only rivalled for longevity by its Fiat 500 sibling. Four decades since the original Panda entered the small-car scene, the latest iteration remains one of the most popular models in its class. It’s not difficult to see why either, as at 3,686mm long and 1,672mm wide, the Panda’s small size and light steering makes it fun to drive and easy to navigate in narrow cities.

Fiat offers a regular front-wheel-drive model and a Panda ‘Cross’ 4x4 variant, which both deliver respectable performance from a 69bhp mild-hybrid engine while returning more than 45mpg. It’s also practical for a small car, with plenty of headroom and an array of storage compartments dotted around the cabin. The rear seats also slide forwards and backwards, allowing you to expand the boot capacity to 260 litres.

Despite these positives, there’s no escaping the Panda’s age and how little has changed since this generation first went on sale in 2012. With an outdated interior and zero-star NCAP safety rating, it’s hard to recommend in 2024.

Toyota Aygo X hatchback review

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Carbuyer rating

3.8 out of 5

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The original Aygo was a small affordable city car favourite for quite some time, but Toyota has since replaced it with the slightly larger Aygo X. This takes the old recipe and adds a touch of SUV styling and a higher ride height to match. It’s still Toyota’s smallest car and one of the smallest cars on the market, but feels a little more contemporary than the Aygo it replaces.

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Higher entry-level pricing for the Aygo X means it’s no longer such an enticing prospect for first-car buyers, but its raised ride height makes it better suited to absorb the impact from pothole-filled UK roads – a trait many buyers will be willing to pay for. The Aygo X is only available with one 1.0-litre petrol engine, though, which may not appeal if you’re looking for an electric or hybrid option.

Suzuki Ignis SUV

Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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While it’s certainly city-car sized, the Suzuki Ignis looks like an SUV that’s shrunk in the wash. That chunky styling brings a handy raised ride height, a tall, boxy cabin and even the option of four-wheel-drive, meaning it can cope with much more than just congested city streets. Thanks to its box-like shape, the Ignis can easily carry four adult passengers and their luggage too. 

All models come with a 1.2-litre mild-hybrid engine with enough grunt for nipping through traffic in town. Take the Ignis onto the motorway and it’s not as quiet or comfortable as some of the other cars in this list, but front-wheel drive models return decent fuel economy. 

If a small SUV like the Renault Captur isn’t quite within your budget or you’re looking for something even tinier, the Ignis is your best – and likely cheapest – alternative.

MINI hatchback review - smiles and style

2021 MINI hatchback driving
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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Park a modern MINI next to an original model from the 1960s and it looks rather big, but in the context of today’s car market, the MINI 3-door hatchback still falls within the 10 smallest cars on sale at just 3,863mm long. 

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The tiny proportions of the original car may be long gone, but the fashionable looks and fun driving experience are still present and correct. The interior feels solid and airy, with plenty of standard equipment, although neither the rear seats or boot offer as much space as some rivals. The MINI certainly offers the most premium small-car experience on this list, but with that comes a higher purchase price.

A facelifted MINI, along with the MINI Cooper Electric, will replace the Hatch this year, bringing a tech-laden interior and sharper looks. Don’t worry though – the new models are near-enough the same size as the current model, so expect them to be just as nimble around town.

Mazda MX-5 roadster review

Mazda MX-5
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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Need something small but a city car just isn’t inspiring you? Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that one of the smallest cars on sale is actually a two-seater roadster – the Mazda MX-5. In fact, the current MX-5 is both smaller and lighter than the model it replaced, at just 3,915mm long – that’s even shorter than the original model from 1989.

The MX-5 is an outlier in today’s world of heavy, high-performance sports cars, with a focus on lightness and fun. The lightweight, compact design bestows the MX-5 with its characteristic agility and balanced feel, while fuel economy benefits as a result, too. Of course, practicality is never going to be a strong suit for a two-seater roadster, but there’s enough space in the boot for a few bags of shopping or a small overnight bag.

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If the idea of a soft-top in our unreliable British weather isn’t for you, Mazda offers the MX-5 with a folding hardtop as well, improving refinement without detracting from the fun. 

Toyota Yaris review - a frugal hybrid supermini

Toyota Yaris Carbuyer drive
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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Sneaking onto this list in tenth position is the Toyota Yaris, at 3,940mm in length. In that tiny footprint, Toyota has crammed a full self-charging hybrid system, making the Yaris one of the most frugal superminis in its class. The hybrid system lets the Yaris drive under pure electric power for short distances, allowing you to silently sneak through city streets with low emissions. For that reason, it’s one of the best small company cars, qualifying for a low Benefit-in-Kind rate.

Compared to the other cars on this list, the Yaris is spacious and well-equipped up front, while its five-door bodystyle grants easy access to the slightly cramped rear row of seats. The 286-litre boot is impressive for a hybrid and is bigger than many of the city cars on this list. The choice of 114bhp or 129bhp engines won’t set your hair on fire, but that’s what the Toyota GR Yaris is for…

Why should I buy a small car?

For the utmost driving agility in tight, congested cities, city cars and superminis have long reigned supreme thanks to their small size. This makes them great for parking and manoeuvring in cramped conditions. While cars in general seem to be getting much bigger, there are still a handful of options for buyers looking for small, nimble and quirky cars.

The smallest cars on the market today also tend to be the cheapest and most affordable to own, given their lighter weight, smaller engines and resulting lower running costs. Nowadays some of these tiny city cars are even available as electric models, making running costs even lower, although most fully electric cars tend to be supermini-sized or larger.

If a tiny car is all you’re after, the quirky Citroen Ami introduced in 2022 is the smallest car on sale in the UK and runs on electricity, although it’s very basic. Aside from the Ami, most modern small cars are equipped with all the modern features you’d expect, such as air-conditioning, alloy wheels and USB charging ports for your smartphone. They are also reasonably practical for their size, with most featuring a respectable amount of interior storage and a small boot.

Looking for a small insurance bill for your next car? Read our list of the top 10 cheap to insure cars...

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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