So you’ve got yourself a family – presumably through legitimate means – and now you want to move them from A to B. You could buy a cheap second-hand motor and count the minutes until the thing breaks down leaving you all stranded, or you could do the sensible thing and splash out on a cheap new car that will be reliable safe and and make you the envy of your friends and neighbours.
We’ve driven pretty much every single model on the market so we decided to put together a list of 9 of the best new family cars costing roughly £10,000 of under. You can thank us later.
The Dacia Sandero is the UK’s cheapest car. Although the spec sheet will consist of tumbleweed for the bare-bones £5,995 Access 1.2 16V 75, the very frugal diesel (60mpg+) and the still cheap to run petrol Laureate 1.2 16V 75 are both within budget. The latter includes daytime running lights, cruise control and a CD player. Add a MediaNav 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, rear-parking sensors, a 7-year extended warranty and a metallic paintjob and you will still have change from £10,000.
Dacia Sandero Review
Skoda Fabia S
Skoda has really made a name for itself as a reliable car manufacturer, making the Fabia S a good choice for a family. The standard 1.2 12v 60PS 5-speed manual will do 51.4mpg and you get a choice of white, red and blue non-metallic paint jobs. Equipment is thin on the ground but it does have electronic stability control, driver and front passenger airbags, power steering and a radio plus a three year 60,000 mile warranty.
Skoda Fabia Review
Hyundai i20 Classic 5 Dr / Kia Rio
The Hyundai i20 starts at the top-end of our budget but the standard equipment generously includes a stereo with USB and AUX connectivity, 6 airbags, electric front windows and air conditioning. Unless you can stretch an extra £1,200 for the 1.1 CRDi diesel engine, 1.2-litre petrol is your only option. That said, it’ll do 57.6mpg, and that’s not to be sniffed at. A choice of white and red paints are available free, while black and silver will cost an extra £455. Ignore that, though, and spend an extra £340 for the Fixed Price Service Plan instead.
Kia’s Rio starts cheaper than its i20 cousin and benefits from a 7-year / 100,000 mile warranty for no added cost, making it a safer bet in the long run. That said, it does lack some creature comforts such as air conditioning on the entry-level car.
Hyundai i20 from £10,695 / Kia Rio from £9,245
Fiat Panda Easy
The Fiat Panda is a small car that’s big on practicality and personality. The most basic model is just about in budget and packs some unique extras such as roof rails and Fiat’s Dualdrive power steering that allows you to make the steering even lighter when parking. There’s also a good number of airbags and the 1.2 69bhp engine is nippy yet frugal.
Fiat Panda Review
VW Up / Skoda Citigo / Seat Mii
Technically the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii are the same car with a different badge but there are some differences. The Citigo 5-door comes out on top when it comes to value for money. For less than 10k, you can increase the warranty to 4 or 5 years, add air conditioning and still have money for a metallic paint job of your choice.
The VW Up 5-door can have a touchscreen navigation system added for £300 if you go for the bottom of the range Take Up trim, although the above Move Up is more customisable. For instance, £10,365 lets you enjoy a panoramic sun roof, air conditioning, 3-year 60,000 mile warranty and a fairly good stereo system.
For the Seat Mii, your 10k gets you a choice of the Toca, S, SE and Ecomotive trim levels. All trim levels bar the S benefit from air-con and a 6-speaker stereo. Be mindful the default white paintjob costs £175, but you can get yellow and red free. The S trim level also sees electronic stability control become an optional extra. Best to go with the Mii Toca as that opens up the option of the Convenience pack and cruise control for £9,875.
Citigo from £8,070 / VW Up from £8,185 / Seat Mii from £8,410
VW Up vs Skoda Citigo vs Seat Mii
The Chrysler Ypsilon is an extremely stylish thing with stealthy rear doors that make it look like a 3-door. £10,695 on the road buys you the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol model, which includes daytime running lights, a few airbags to keep you and your family safe ─ and that’s about it, actually. Air-conditioning will cost you an additional £350 and rear-parking sensors are £250.
Chrysler Ypsilon Review
Suzuki is hoping to make quite the, erm, splash with its latest small car. You are best off going for the S72 trim level from £9,599 because the air-conditioning and pollen filter found in the S73 costs an additional £700. Just pray the UK doesn’t see another heatwave. Standard equipment includes lots of cup holders, passenger and driver airbags, childproof rear door locks to keep little Jimmy from jumping out and electric front windows.
Suzuki Splash Review
The Peugeot 208 Access is by no means the cheapest car on our list, but it’s relatively well-equipped. Cruise control is standard, making long boring journeys with screaming kids far more palatable. You also get 6 airbags, electric front windows and a stereo you can plug your MP3 into. Oh, and it looks the business, too. The engine is a paltry 1.0-litre VTi 68 with a 5-speed manual so you’re unlikely to get any speeding tickets, and consumption is a respectable 65.6mpg. It’s available in white as standard, so expect metallic paint to send you over £11k mark.
Peugeot 208 Review
Another Dacia, and this time it’s the UK’s most affordable SUV. The diesel model is near enough £12,000, so the 1.6 16V 105 petrol engine is the only option for true cheapskates. Expect a smidge under 40mpg if you drive as if your child is asleep in the back. Entry-level Dusters are only available with two-wheel drive ─ the 4×4 model bumps the price up to £11,095, so only bother with that if you live on a farm. All models feature a couple of airbags and anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist. Like with the Sandero, it’s worth going for at least the £395 5-year / 60,000 warranty. For caravan owners, it’s also worth adding the Touring pack to get a tow bar and roof rails. The Protection pack with parking sensors and an alarm is a good bet, too, for an additional £595.
Dacia Duster Review
Main image: Flickr