Best used cars for under £250 per month

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

Murray Scullion
May 10, 2019

Nine out of ten new cars are now bought using finance.

It's no wonder, given that a budget of £250 per 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 nine of the best used cars below, but this barely scratches the surface: there are currently 27973 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

1. Nissan Qashqai

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Tekna
Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £6,995
Finance from £124 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 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 

2. Audi A4

Our pick Audi A4 2.0TDI Sport
Latest Audi A4 deals from £12,099
Finance from £160 per month

The Audi A4 has a lot going for it. Your head will like the strong residual values, which keep monthly PCP payments low. You heart will like the four-ringed badge on the front and the premium feeling interior.

Head and heart can both appreciate the engines on offer. We’d recommend the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine for people who travel less than 12,000 miles a year, and the 2.0TDI diesel for regular motorway users.

For this price range you’ll be looking at three-year old cars. Opt for the Sport trim as it comes with cruise control, parking sensors, and an upgraded sound system, but does without the harder suspension of S Line cars.
Audi A4 buying guide

3. Land Rover Freelander

Our pick Land Rover Freelander 2.2 4x4 XS
Latest Land Rover freelander deals from £13,990
Finance from £245 per month

Land Rover has built its reputation on vehicles that offer luxury and comfort on tarmac, and all-conquering ability off-road. 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, you can expect a 2014 model in mid-range specification, with the 2.2-litre diesel engine.

4. Mercedes E-Class

Our pick Mercedes E 250 CDI
Latest Mercedes E-Class deals from £13,299
Finance from £214 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 

5. Peugeot RCZ

Our pick Peugeot RCZ R

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 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.

6. Ford Fiesta

Our pick Ford Fiesta ST Line 1.0 Ecoboost
Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £6,723
Finance from £115 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 car, complete with sporty looking bodykit and dashboard touchscreen. Ford’s 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 

7. BMW 1 Series

Our pick BMW 1 Series 116d M Sport
Latest BMW 1 Series deals from £8,699
Finance from £126 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 sportiest 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

          

8. Seat Arona

Our pick Seat Arona 1.0 TSI 115 Xcellence Lux
Latest Seat Arona deals from £12,799
Finance from £173 per month

The Arona may be the baby of the Seat SUV range, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in polish.

For one, it’s available with Volkswagen’s excellent range of economical 1.0-litre petrol engines, as well as a sophisticated automatic gearbox. Although, if you regularly travel long distances, its diesel engine can offer 48mpg.

It also feels remarkably grown up inside, and it easily has enough room inside for a small family. In the boot there’s 400-litres worth of space, which increases to 823-litres with the seats down.
Seat Arona buying guide 

                   

9. Skoda Superb

Our pick Skoda Superb 1.6 TDI SE Technology 
Latest Skoda Superb deals from £12,150
Finance from £176 per month

The Skoda Superb is big. It’s big in the back, big in the boot, big in value, big on fuel economy, and (a) big hit with the police.

Largest of the Superbs are the estates. With the rear seats folded down, volume swells to 1,950 litres - around 100 litres more than most other cars in its class.

If you’re after a newish model, opt for a 2018 in SE Technology spec with the 1.6TDI diesel engine. If you don’t mind owning something a bit older, 2017 models with the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine are attainable.
Skoda Superb buying guide 

             

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