Best used cars with air-conditioning for £5,000

Even with a budget of £5,000 you can still get your hands on a car with that all important air conditioning. Here are ten of the best

James Wilson
Aug 14, 2019

If, for some fathomable reason, you were driving around in a car without air conditioning during this summer's heatwave, we're willing to bet you may have been a touch uncomfortable. Perhaps you think getting a car with air conditioning might be too expensive, or you might have thought you didn't need it. The thing is, you can get a relatively new second-hand car with good old A/C included for as little as £5,000.

Every mainstream car you can think of now is offered with air conditioning at one trim level or another. So finding a second hand model with the hallowed addition is not a difficult thing to do, so you really needn't go without in this day and age.

Do note, air conditioning will lose its cooling effect over time. This isn’t the end of the world as an A/C system can be regassed bringing it back to life, however, this will cost you somewhere in the region of £50. So be sure to check the air conditioning actually works before you buy a car.

We've scoured the BuyaCar database to bring you ten of the best cars that offer air conditioning for less than £5,000. 


Best used cars with air-conditioning for £5,000

1. Dacia Sandero 

Best for the thrifty car buyer

Latest Dacia Sandero deals from £4,399
Monthly finance from £78

The Dacia Sandero is the budget car buyers’ knight in shining armour. A budget of £5,000 will mean you're looking at cars that are around three years old, although, if you had the extra money, you could buy a brand new Sandero with air conditioning for just under £8,000.

Some people think that just because Dacias are cheap they are going to be rubbish, but this is not the case. Dacia is a subsidiary of Renault, and much of the engineering is taken from cars that the French manufacturer has made or is still making, so there is quality to be found.

When hunting around there should be a choice of petrol or diesel engines, although the 1.2 petrol is probably best avoided if you plan on doing many long distance motorway journeys. All models perform relatively well when it comes to practicality – the 320-litre boot is perhaps the most impressive feature – and the Sandero is only available as a five-door.

2. Citroen C1

Best first car

Latest Citroen C1 deals from £4,200
Monthly finance from £79

The Citroen C1 is part of the same family of cars as the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo - the idea being, by developing a vehicle together, car makers can split the costs. This sales model must work as this trio of city cars is now in its second generation and a lot of other brands are now doing the exact same thing.

Even though the C1 is targeting motorists who want low running costs, the second generation model can come with levels of kit frequently seen on more expensive motors (including air conditioning) and all for under £5,000. Small capacity petrol engines are the order of the day – either a 1.0-litre or 1.2-litre unit, but there is a choice of three- or five doors. Age-wise, you should be able to buy a C1 with air conditioning which is still under three-years-old.

3. Fiat Panda

Best for practicality

Latest Fiat Panda deals from £4,199
Monthly finance from £82

The Fiat Panda is one of Italy’s longest serving cars. First launched in 1980 the Panda is only in its third generation. Don’t let that put you off though, it's still a great choice for drive around town, relatively good fun on a B road and in the right trim level well specced, too.

For under £5,000 you will be looking at models which are knocking on four years old and chances are they will be petrol powered with a manual gearbox, but there are both diesel and automatic options out there. Should you need extra grip, 4x4 Pandas have sold in relatively high numbers but can command a higher price tag over the standard two-wheel drive model, so you might struggle to find one for £5,000.

4. Ford Ka

Best for easy parking

Latest Ford Ka deals from £4,350
Monthly finance from £83

Ford will no longer sell you a Ka as it has been replaced by the Ka+. Despite the latter being more practical, the model it replaced is quite a compelling choice if you are in the market for a very small, affordable and relatively good to drive car.

The entry-level Studio models were terribly equipped, central locking wasn’t included as standard, but move on up to Zetec variants and you should be able to find a suitable car with air conditioning.

Chances are you will be looking at models which are getting on for five years old, with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a manual gearbox. In case you were wondering whether there was an automatic, there wasn’t. Curiously for a city car, there was (albeit for a brief time) a diesel option, however, this wasn’t very popular so there aren’t as many to buy, and we wouldn't look for one either.

5. Hyundai i10

Best alternative choice

Latest Hyundai i10 deals from £4,490
Monthly finance from £77

Like other small cars, the Hyundai i10 shares its platform with another car. In this case, it is the Kia Picanto – Kia and Hyundai are part of the same company. Truth be told, anyone who doesn’t consider the Hyundai i10 due to its badge is being a bit short-sighted, the little city-goer deserves a lot of credit. It offers a cracking blend of space, comfort, value and equipment.

The prerequisite of air conditioning and a maximum price tag of £5,000 should get you a car which is around four years old – meaning there will be a small amount of Hyundai’s five-year warranty left when you buy. The likelihood is you will be looking at SE and Premium models with both being well equipped but the latter comes with more as standard. All i10s are five-door and come with frugal petrol engines.

6. Peugeot 108

Best convertible

Latest Peugeot 108 deals from £4,100
Monthly finance from £72

Much like its sibling (the Citroen C1), a second hand Peugeot 108 can easily be bought with air conditioning for under £5,000. As a city car the Peugeot 108 is a great proposition, it is relatively comfortable, can come with impressive levels of equipment and if you want ‘wind in your hair’ motoring it is even available with a sliding canvas roof.

There are three- and five-door models on offer but as for fuel type and transmission you have no choice but to opt for a petrol engine connected to a manual gearbox. Most of the engines will be 1.0-litre but there are some 1.2-litre models for sale, too. Being small and light the 108 can be good fun on a B road provided you are prepared to work the engine hard.

7. Renault Twingo

Best city car

The Renault Twingo is a bit of an oddity in the city car world in that it is rear-engined. For those which don’t know, this means the engine is located in the boot rather than under the bonnet (there is still space for luggage back there). This also means it is rear-wheel drive, so it has a properly tiny turning circle making u-turns a doddle.

When hunting for a Twingo which has air conditioning and costs less than £5,000, Play and Dynamique models will be some of the most common. If you are after a super-frugal diesel, however, you are out of luck as the Twingo is petrol only. It's a similar story for those after an automatic – Renault does offer an automatic but these are much rarer and much more expensive than our budget here.

8. Skoda Citigo

Best for the sensible car buyer

Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,295
Monthly finance from £82

The Citigo offers a sweet spot of price, availability and spec – all of which are important here. It's been on sale since 2012 and, despite being a seven-year-old design, it's still one of the best city cars on sale.

For starters, the engines are very economical, there is space inside for four and so far the Citigo has proved reliable for those who have been running them for a few years. SE models come well equipped, with engine choice limited to either a 59hp or 74hp 1.0-litre petrol (as it is for the entire range). For those which need good access to the rear seats, there is the option of a five-door model as well as the less practical three-door.

9. Suzuki Celerio

Best cheap option

Latest Suzuki Celerio deals from £4,500
Monthly finance from £78

If you can look past the Suzuki Celerio’s cheap interior there is nothing to stop you picking up a cracking city car at a very low price point. We are going to ignore entry-level SZ2 models as they are about as luxurious as a Serbian prison. Concentrate on SZ3 models and above and they bring all the additions you are likely to want i.e. air conditioning, alloy wheels and Bluetooth.

Even at this price, you can snap up a car which is only just pushing three years old, largely helped by the fact the Celerio is so affordable in the first place. All Celerios are five-door and there is no choice of engine, you get a 1.0-litre petrol whether you like it or lump it. Suzuki did offer an automatic gearbox with the Celerio, but these are yet to dip under the £5,000 mark.

10. Vauxhall Corsa

Best supermini

Latest Vauxhall Corsa deals from £4,000
Monthly finance from £76

The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the biggest cars on this list. It's a supermini rather than a citycar and faces up to rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia. The most recent version of the Corsa was launched back in 2014, which means you have the choice of a lower-spec newer generation Corsa or better-spec older generation Corsa.

Either model would be a good choice, but you naturally get more modern styling and an updated interior with the new model. On top of generation choice, you will need to pick whether you want a three- or five-door model. There is a range of petrol and diesel options, too, but the latter can be acompanied by a hefty price tag and will require more patience to find within budget.


Read more about:

Latest advice

  1. 2019 Peugeot 208: new vs used

  2. 2019 Vauxhall Astra: new vs used

  3. Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible: new VW or used Range Rover Evoque Convertible?

What our customers say