Best used cars for under £250 per month

Sporty hatchbacks, big SUVs, and even hybrids: you can find your perfect new or used car for under £250 a month

Murray Scullion
Jan 30, 2019

Nine in ten new cars are now bought using finance, and increasing numbers of used car buyers are choosing to pay for their cars with monthly instalments too.

It's no wonder, given that a budget of £250 a month gives you the choice of hundreds of different cars. From tall and rugged sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to small and sleek sports cars. Premium models and hybrid vehicles are available too.

We've selected five of the best used cars below, but this barely scratches the surface: there are currently 30842 cars available from BuyaCar for under £250 per month on finance, and a host of offers on brand new models that also bring them within budget.

All of the deals below are based on quotes for PCP finance, where monthly payments don't cover the full cost of the car. You can buy the car for an additional sum or return it at the end of the agreement.

Best used cars for under £250 a month

Nissan Qashqai

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Tekna
Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £8,490
Finance from £126 per month 

Crossovers are cars that combine the high-driving position of an off-roader and with the frugality of a regular hatchback. If that sounds up your street, the Nissan Qashqai is one of the most accomplished on the market, as well as the car that spearheaded this particular niche.

The Qashqai is a hugely popular car too, which means there are thousands out there on the used market. For £250 a month we’d recommend finding a high-specification Tekna model. This comes with mod-cons like a dashboard touchscreen with sat-nav and an excellent 360-degree camera, which gives you a bird's-eye view all-round the car, plus, an assisted parking system which steers itself into a space.
Nissan Qashqai buying guide 

Land Rover Freelander

Our pick Land Rover Freelander 2.2 4x4 XS
Latest Land Rover freelander deals from £13,495
Finance from £230 per month

Land Rover has built its reputation on vehicles that offer luxury and comfort on tarmac, and all-conquering ability off road, no matter which car you choose from its range. That's the case for the small Freelander, which is no longer in production, but still features some sophisticated gadgets to boost grip when you're scrabbling up a muddy slope.

This includes Land Rover’s clever Terrain Response Control, which allows the driver to tell the car what sort of surface it is on, so that the car's settings can be adjusted for optimum performance. For £250 a month, you can expect a 2014 model in mid-range specification, with the 2.2-litre diesel engine.

Mercedes E-Class

Our pick Mercedes E 250 CDI
Latest Mercedes E-Class deals from £13,489
Finance from £187 per month

Mercedes is famed for its build-quality and luxury of interiors. If you’ve been to Germany you might have sat in the back of an E-Class taxi, and if you think that’s nice, you should sit in the front.

For this budget you won’t be getting the latest model, but, while this previous-generation car was designed nearly a decade ago and is no longer on sale, it’s still up there with the best in terms of comfort. It’s worth keeping an eye out for AMG Line cars, as these received bigger wheels that really enhance the car’s appearance.
Mercedes E-Class buying guide 

Peugeot RCZ

Our pick Peugeot RCZ R
Latest Peugeot RCZ deals from £9,990
Finance from £173 per month

Peugeot's RCZ is the prettiest car in this price bracket by some margin. Sure, if you look hard enough there’s an awkward angle or two, but it’s really really good looking from the back, with its ‘double bubble’ rear window which shallows in the middle.

If you're lucky you might be able to pinch a Peugeot RCZ R for this price bracket. It makes 270hp from its turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, which gives it a 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds, which is plenty fast.

Ford Fiesta

Our pick Ford Fiesta ST Line 1.0 Ecoboost
Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £7,579
Finance from £117 per month

The Ford Fiesta is an award-winning small car, with a dazzling array of options and colours. It’s remarkably fun to drive, but practical enough for most families on a day to day basis.

It’s a best-seller too, which means you’re spoilt for choice. And at this price range you can afford to get yourself one of the posher models. We’d recommend a nearly-new ST Line model, complete with sporty looking bodykit and dashboard touchscreen. Ford’s lovely 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine suits the car well - it’s worth getting the most powerful version of this if you can afford it.
Ford Fiesta buying guide 

BMW 1 Series

Our pick BMW 1 Series 116d M Sport
Latest BMW 1 Series deals from £8,389
Finance from £133 per month

The BMW 1 Series has all the hallmarks of a BMW - performance, interior quality, badge snobbery - but in a smaller and more affordable package.

It’s also the most sporty of the posh hatchbacks, airing more on the side of driving pleasure than the Mercedes A-Class or Audi A1.

Your £250 will get you behind the wheel of a 2018 model, with the 116d engine. It’s the slowest of the range, but, feels punch enough, especially if you’re upgrading from something like a Vauxhall Corsa. It should also return 50mpg in real-world driving, assuming you do a good chunk of motorway work.
BMW 1 Series buying guide


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