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While most people buy their cars on a monthly finance payment, finance deals vary by deposit, mileage, interest rates, length of term and other individual details, so we’ve stuck to a £15,000 price ceiling, which should give you a monthly payment of well under £200.

And if budget is more important than creature comforts, the base trim level can often be found at nearer £10,000: check out the pre-haggled prices for each car below on “Find cars for sale”.
Dacia Logan
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You won’t find a cheaper small estate for sale. Don’t expect any frills inside, but it has a large boot and is based on the (previous) Renault Clio so it should be mechanically sound. Front-wheel drive with a manual gearbox, and it’s a genuine sub-£10k new car.
Dacia Sandero
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Yes it’s another Dacia, but you can’t beat the brand on price: this is another sub-£10k car. Beware, for that price (possibly sub £100 a month), you don’t even get a radio, let alone painted door handles. You do get five seats and four wheels however, so let’s not get picky. For such luxuries as air-con and music, you’ll have to go up a trim level or two, which will still bring you in well under £15k. It also looks pretty good.
Kia Picanto
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Not the most engaging supermini to drive out there, but excellent reliability. Thanks to good sound deadening and a healthy 1.25-litre engine with 85 horsepower, it feels like a lot of car for the money. We love it in white with red splashes of paintwork. There’s an automatic gearbox option too, which suits some city drivers in stop-start traffic better.
Hyundai i10
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Sister car to the aforementioned Picanto. We prefer the more active styling of the Kia to the subdued i10, but it’s a matter of taste. The refined ride means this car provides a surprisingly comfortable motorway drive as well as round town.
Toyota Aygo
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Given a substantial overhaul in 2018, the Aygo is essentially the same car as the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 because the three brands joined forces to share components when the cars were first built back in 2014. The Aygo, however, should hold its value better than the French pair. The 1.0-litre engine is a great little workhorse/pony.
Citroen C1
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As you'd expect from a small French car, the C1 offers plenty of style, with large round headlights and bright paint options for wing mirrors and roofs. In fact the personalisation options are almost up there with Mini’s: we love the stripey, Paul Smith-esque seats. Good space for driver but teeny boot.
Peugeot 108
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Better looking than the C1 and Aygo in our humble opinion, the 108 offers loads of options for you to spec the small car to your delight. It is, however, more expensive than the other two, with weak residual values. A 1.0-litre engine offers 72 horsepower - a 1.2-litre option exists in older models.
Skoda Citigo
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Sister car to the VW Up and Seat Mii, it’s now also available as an electric car. Cheaper than the VW Up, it offers perhaps the best value for money of any car on this list (unless you need that boot space of the Dacia Logan…). High-quality cabin and decent ride seal the deal.
Seat Mii
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Low running costs likes its stablemates the Citigo and Up make this is an attractive proposition, with a little Spanish flair thrown into the mix. You could see fuel economy of 60-70mpg with some judicious driving. Decal packs and a sharp arrow design set this car apart from the market. Go for SE trim for best mix of features and price.
VW up!
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As you’d expect from Volkswagen, this car feels like a high-quality affair, with a quiet ride, and soft plastics and smart fabrics inside. If you want to go electric, the e-Up! (really, that’s its name) is now on sale but will cost you considerably more. We’d recommend the higher, 82-horsepower engine, unless you never intend to go uphill.