Best cars

Best new cars for £10,000

If you think you can’t get much new car for £10,000 these days, think again. These are our favourite cheap new cars.

Dacia Sandero driving

If you’ve got a £10,000 budget to spend on your next car, there is a chance you’ll be weighing up buying a brand-new car versus a used one for your money. The great news is that, although you have an array of used-car options, there are still a variety of brand new cars you can buy for under £10,000 from city cars to estate cars.

To tempt buyers in the increasingly competitive new car market, manufacturers’ are fitting their latest technology to the lower entry-level models in their ranges. Items such as air-conditioning, smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth and premium audio systems are some of the features fitted to affordable new cars and these are items that owners will find hard to live without once they’ve experienced them.

At this price point cars tend to be talented all-rounders, capable of long-distance motorway work in comfort as well as shorter in town trips such as the school run. While none can offer the luxury of a premium saloon or the thrills of a sportscar, you’ll find most have been designed with the same attention to detail that carmakers lavish on more expensive models.

You’ll also find that a new car that’s affordable to buy is likely to be affordable to run. It’s a good bit of joined-up thinking that ensures that your new car doesn’t become an ownership liability as soon as it’s paid for – and this can’t always be said of the larger used cars that can sometimes look tempting at this price point.

You’ll be impressed by the variety of cars in our list: whether you’re looking for a compact runabout, a spacious estate car, or a jack-of-all-trades, you’ll find it here. Our favourites are well priced, comfortable and effortless to own. And while all are sensible, this doesn’t mean they can’t put a smile on your face.

Keep reading for the best cars for £10,000 right now. Alternatively, here are our 10 best cars for the family, and here are our best city cars if you’d prefer to drive something small.

Dacia Sandero hatchback review (2013-2020)

Carbuyer rating

3 out of 5

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The Dacia Sandero holds the record for Britain’s cheapest car. Its sub-£7,000 price tag is appealing, but for that you get little in the way of creature comforts. Our top choice is the plusher Laureate trim, which adds a premium to the price of the basic model, but packs far more equipment, such as cruise control, rear parking sensors, air-con and sat nav. Although the Sandero lacks the finesse of more expensive rivals on the road, it’s a practical car that remains cheap to run.

Dacia Sandero Stepway hatchback review

Dacia Sandero Stepway hatchback side panning
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a more rugged version of the standard Sandero hatchback, but with the addition of a lifted ride height and black plastic bodywork cladding pushing it into small crossover territory. The Stepway adds a price premium over the basic Sandero hatchback as a range-topping model. For your money, though, the Stepway is equipped with a good array of standard kit including daytime running lights, DAB radio and air conditioning. At this price point, you can only pick the entry-level ‘Essential’ model, which is equipped with a 1.0-litre petrol engine producing 74bhp, along with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Kia Picanto hatchback review

Kia Picanto driving
Carbuyer rating

4.2 out of 5

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The latest Kia Picanto is more stylish than ever, fitted with Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille and a tweaked headlight design for a more robust appearance. Squeezing just under budget, the Picanto 1 trim gets a 1.0-litre petrol engine with 66bhp that only emits 101g/km of CO2. This Picanto is also in insurance group 4, so should be a bargain to get covered on. Standard kit includes remote central locking and electric front windows, but you’ll need to go over budget to get alloy wheels and a touchscreen infotainment system. On the road, the Picanto pulls off the neat trick of feeling bigger than its tiny 3.6-metre length, even if it’s not quite as great on the motorway as its rival from Volkswagen below.

Toyota Aygo hatchback review

Toyota Aygo hatchback review
Carbuyer rating

3.7 out of 5

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The Toyota Aygo is one of the more striking looking models on this list. Its bold ‘X’ design feature across its front, meaning it really stands out from its Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 sister cars. Under its tiny bonnet there’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, making 68bhp and capable of returning up to 68.9mpg. CO2 emissions of 95g/km mean BiK is more affordable for company-car drivers, while road tax is £145 a year. Thanks to its compact dimensions and low weight, the Aygo is fun to drive, too, although it’s better suited to city streets and country lanes than the motorway, where it’s less refined than the Skoda Citigo.

Dacia Logan MCV estate (2013-2021)

Dacia Logan MCV cutout
Carbuyer rating

3.3 out of 5

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If space is your top priority for a £10k car, then you’ve got to go for the Dacia Logan MCV. Britain’s cheapest new estate is really quite huge – and fantastic value for money. You get 573 litres of space in the boot, which increases to a vast 1,518 litres if you drop the rear seats. Okay, so it’s not great to drive and the design could hardly be called bold, but it’s cheap to buy and run. A petrol version in Laureate trim can be specified with Western European mapping for the sat nav as an option. You should see more than 50mpg economy, too, while every Logan costs £145 in annual road tax. However, in this day and age, a three-star Euro NCAP safety score isn’t really up to scratch and it’s something you’ll have to seriously consider before you decide to buy.

MG 3 hatchback

Carbuyer rating

2.8 out of 5

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The MG 3 is a budget five-door supermini that offers good value for a budget of under £10,000. This budget will get you an MG3 in ‘Explore’ trim level which is equipped with standard features including LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a tyre pressure monitoring system. A 1.5-litre petrol engine is the only powertrain option, this produces 104bhp and can only be equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox. In this specification, the MG3 is capable of excellent fuel economy as well, with a claimed 48.4mpg possible under the WLTP testing cycle.

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