Fine finance deals on five cheap and cheerful small cars

It may seem crazy, but the fact is that it’s perfectly possible to buy a very decent brand new car for under £100 a month.

For this state of affairs we can thank the wonder of Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals. These have become something of a default option in the UK because the monthly payments they offer are about the lowest of all the various finance and car leasing contracts.

We’re not talking German execs at this price point, but city cars with low insurance and running costs. They may be small in terms of engine and cabin size, but good design at this end of the market means that they are nonetheless practical and of course economical.

The prices we’ve used for these deals are What Car? Target Prices, which are the highest you should pay for new cars taking into account normal discounts. All the PCP deals here run for 3 years and have a 30,000 mile total limit, and assume that you will be paying a deposit of 15% of the value of the car, combined with the manufacturer's finance discount allowance.

Dacia Sandero 1.0 SCe Ambiance 5dr

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On the road Target Price £6432 

Target Cost per month: £96 (3 years PCP finance with 7.9% APR + £500 finance deposit contribution)

Google ‘lowest priced new car in the UK’ and the result will be the Dacia Sandero hatchback. At a fiver under six grand, the Access model is a tempting option but only if you're going to be happy with basement-spec motoring (you don’t even get a radio). Our deal is based on the considerably less sparse Ambiance model. For its rrp of £6995 you get remote locking, electric front windows and Bluetooth.

Dacia Logan MCV 1.2 Access 5dr

dacia-logan.jpg

On the road Target Price £6495 

Target Cost per month: £97 (3 years PCP finance with 7.9% APR + £500 finance deposit contribution)

Need a bit more space and practicality than the Sandero offers? The estate version of the Sandero, the Logan, could be the answer. Still dirt cheap, and that brings the usual compromises, but solid enough and cheap to run.

Kia Picanto 1.0 65 1 Air 5dr

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On the road Target Price £8051 

Target Cost per month: £105 (3 years PCP finance with 0% APR)

A new Picanto is about to arrive in summer but the current model won’t be a disappointment if you need low-cost transportation. Closely related to Hyundai's excellent i10, the Picanto in Air spec has a good spec including air conditioning, and its three-cylinder petrol engine is low on CO2.

Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2 5dr

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On the road Target Price £6707

Target Cost per month: £109 (3 years PCP finance with 5.9% APR)

An underrated budget car, the Celerio is both cheap and well equipped. The cabin won’t remind you of the Ritz, but you’ll have fun with the 1.0-litre petrol engine. Our favourite trim is SZ3, but the lower SZ2 model gives you central locking, split-folding rear seats, a digital radio and electric front windows.

Skoda Fabia 1.0 MPI 60 S 5dr

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On the road Target Price £8708

Target Cost per month: £107 (3 years PCP finance with 2.9% APR + £2000 finance deposit contribution)

It's up against great cars like the Fiesta, Polo and Corsa, but Skoda’s Fabia tops the lot thanks to its roomy and practical cabin, engaging drive and intuitive infotainment system. The base S spec doesn’t have aircon or alloys, and for all-round use we probably wouldn’t pick the 1.0-litre petrol engine of our deal car, but it’s fine if you’re mainly town-based.

Tony Middlehurst is a writer for WhatCar.

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