The rising price of new cars means that these days, there are not many shiny, new vehicles available for less than €20,000. But if you know where to look, you can find a 211-plate bargain.
For our countdown of the ten cheapest new cars in Ireland, we’ve tried to focus on individual cars, so (for example) where two or more different manufacturers offer the same car with different ‘badge engineering’, we’ve gone into detail only on the cheapest variant and then briefly mentioned the other cars available. Furthermore, we’ve only picked one Dacia, otherwise this list would be populated almost entirely by the Romanian company’s wares.
Anyway, here’s the full rundown, starting with the less affordable models and ending with the cheapest new car you can buy right now:
10. Ford Fiesta
Starting price: €18,641 Which model you’ll get: Trend Connected 1.1 Ti-VCT 75 manual
A familiar name to start us off, the current-generation Ford Fiesta is a fine supermini. It has a great chassis, a quality cabin and smart looks, and this specification comes with 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, Ford’s SYNC eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and also a good roster of active safety kit.
9. Opel Corsa
Starting price: €17,850 Which model you’ll get: SC 1.2 75 manual
The long-term rival to the Fiesta, Opel’s current Corsa has input know-how from the Peugeot-Citroen Group (PSA) following the French company’s acquisition of the German outfit in 2017. The sharp-suited SC is well-equipped from the off, coming with IntelliLink 4.0 infotainment, Bluetooth, air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and cruise control.
8. Nissan Micra
Starting price: €17,095 Which model you’ll get: XE 1.0T manual Also consider: Renault Clio, from €17,195
The same car as the Renault Clio underneath, the Micra Mk5 gets the nod here by dint of being €100 cheaper. It’s a sharp-looking thing and it drives pretty well, but the base XE model is precisely that – pretty base. It comes on 15-inch steel wheels with plastic trims, has only LED illumination for the daytime running lights (DRLs) and the sound system inside has just two speakers. There is Bluetooth and air conditioning, though, plus some useful safety gear.
7. Skoda Fabia
Starting price: €16,400 Which model you’ll get: Active 1.0 MPI 60 manual Also consider: Volkswagen Polo from €18,445 or SEAT Ibiza from €19,675
Out of the three Volkswagen Group superminis available, it’s the Skoda – one of Ireland’s favoured marques – that is easily the cheapest. An Active-grade Fabia isn’t bursting with toys, as it has 15-inch steel wheels and LED DRLs only, but inside there’s a height-adjustable driver’s seat, the 6.5-inch Swing touchscreen infotainment system and acres of passenger space.
6. Suzuki Ignis
Starting price: €15,560 Which model you’ll get: Hybrid SZ3
Don’t get excited; the entry-level Ignis might say ‘Hybrid’ on the tin, but it’s only a mild hybrid system that you’ll barely notice in operation. That being said, this is the only ‘SUV’ on the list and it’s a remarkably charming car, with the SZ3 offering a decent specification including air conditioning, LED headlights and DRLs, a DAB radio with Bluetooth and rear privacy glass. It has steel wheels, though, and the rear bench seat doesn’t split and fold on this base variant.
Starting price: €15,302 Which model you’ll get: Intense 1.2 manual
We can’t conscionably recommend the Space Star, as it’s a supermini that’s well off the pace in its class and a vehicle that is sold by a manufacturer that has admitted it is leaving Europe for good in the near future. But if you want an unprepossessing car with automatic lights and wipers, manual air conditioning, cruise control and Bluetooth for €15,300, the reliable Space Star might just be the machine for you.
4. Fiat Panda
Starting price: €14,995 Which model you’ll get: City Life 1.0 Hybrid 70
Fiat’s Panda is a weirdly desirable car, despite the fact this particular model is positively ancient nowadays and it has a petrol-electric drivetrain that has to go down as the mildest of mild hybrids in the history of all time. You don’t get a lot of modernity or equipment on board the Panda City Life, but you do get a cabin replete with ‘squircle’ design cues, 15-inch alloys on the outside and an Italian city car packed full of character.
3. Kia Picanto
Starting price: €14,550 Which model you’ll get: 1.0 DPI 67 manual Also consider: Hyundai i10 from €14,795
The Kia Picanto looks excellent on the outside, has a seven-year warranty and is just marginally cheaper than the closely related Hyundai i10. Now, the Hyundai is the newer car, and it has superb exterior styling too, but we’re sticking with the Kia – because, even for fourteen-and-a-half grand, you get 14-inch alloys, air conditioning, automatic headlights, Bluetooth and DAB, and a 60:40 split-folding rear-seat backrest too.
2. Citroen C1
Starting price: €14,145 Which model you’ll get: Feel VTI 72 S&S manual Also consider: Peugeot 108 from €14,160 or Toyota Aygo from €14,265
By the skin of 15 Euro, the Citroen beats the Peugeot to the punch here, while undercutting the mechanically identical Toyota Aygo by €120. These three Franco-Japanese city cars are getting on a bit now, having launched in 2014, but the Citroen looks attractive on the outside, has a decent specification within – including items such as Park Assist, rear parking sensors and 15-inch alloys – and it’s the second-cheapest new car you can buy in Ireland. Add in a five-year warranty and it looks a total bargain for 211-plate motoring.
Starting price: €11,600 Which model you’ll get: Alternative SCe 75 manual
The Sandero is not just a little bit cheaper than any other new car in Ireland – it’s at least €2,545 cheaper than the Citroen C1 in second place, which represents 18 per cent less expenditure than the bog-basic French car. It used to be that a stripped-back Sandero was primitive in the extreme, with black-plastic bumpers and wind-up windows all round. This Active, though, while not exactly plush in terms of appointments, nevertheless has remote central locking, DAB radio and Bluetooth, electric front windows and body-coloured exterior styling, albeit teamed to 15-inch steel wheels. However, for less than 12 grand for a brand-new, five-seat, five-door car, you cannot argue with that, can you?