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Need a new car? These are Britain’s best value offerings

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SUVs may be having a moment, but the Ford Fiesta is still Britain’s top-selling car. Ever since 1959, we’ve loved minis and compact cars remain the most popular vehicles out there thanks to their size and increasing reputation for safety.

Maybe it’s their downright cuteness that makes them so popular. It’s definitely their price.

Cheap equals good

Gone are the days when cheap cars had a reputation for being poorly put together. Modern minis feature unbelievable fuel economy, low road tax and cheap insurance – if you want a savvy buy then a compact is the smart choice.

Take the Citroen C1. Admittedly not the cheapest mini out there but its huge range of accessories and quirky Gallic styling make it a winner. If you love some cutting-edge technology then its stablemate the Peugeot 108 is equally cheap to run but adds in USB and phone connectivity.

The Pacific Rim options

The Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 and Suzuki Celerio are all solid contenders in this class. The Toyota shares its DNA with the French superminis but arguably has sleekly superior styling, while the 5 door Suzuki has a capable and economical 1.0 litre engine plus a DAB radio on the cheapest model.

Hyundai has produced consistently class-leading cars at this price point and the i10 doesn’t disappoint. Boasting a 1.0 litre or 1.2 litre petrol engine it matches fuel economy with punchy performance.

The Euro challenge

When MG revitalised its image, the compact MG 3 was first off the blocks. Unashamedly targeted at a youth audience, the newer version launching at the end of the year should be worth waiting for.

The Fiat Panda is cute, practical and cheap to run – there’s even an off-road version – and it’s driven by James May which may or may not be a good recommendation depending upon your personal perspective.

The Volkswagen Up! Is currently the cool city car to beat but the Skoda Citigo gives it a run for its money – and costs just under £1000 less.

No frills

Of course, if price is what drives your choice then there’s really no alternative to a Dacia. The Romanian manufacturer has been producing consistently good, low frills cars for a few years now.

The Logan is the pick of the bunch if you need the roominess of an estate, while the Sandero rules the roost as the cheapest car on British roads at just £6995 on the road. And with a 4 star safety rating, the Sandero proves a dinky size needn’t come at the expense of security.

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