Best new cars for under £30,000

Looking for the best new car for £30,000 or less? Take your pick from upmarket SUVs, sports cars, electric models and even seven-seaters

Chris Rosamond
Aug 23, 2021

Have a budget of £30,000 to spend on a brand new car? If so, you’ve opened the door to a very handsome choice of options. From cutting-edge electric cars to some of the most fashionable SUVs on the market, not to mention some prime sporty options, this price range will get you the keys to some very desirable cars with high-end badges attached.

It goes without saying that £30,000 is a sizeable chunk of money, so you want to make sure the car you drive away with is absolutely right for you. So, to help you make those difficult choices, we've put together this list of some of the very best new cars for under £30,000 on sale today.

£30,000 gets you some great new cars, but if you want even more for your money, you may want to consider nearly new or used models to get a larger model, higher specification level or more powerful model. If that whets your appetite, click on the button above to take a look at the cars available to order now on BuyaCar for £30,000 and less.

Whether you’re considering a new or used model, there are also a variety of finance options open to you, which can make the process of getting a new car more affordable by spreading the cost over a series of monthly payments. Our in-depth guides below will give you all the details.

If you’re set on a brand new car for cash, read on for our selection of the 10 best cars you can buy for under £30,000.

Best new cars for under £30,000

1. Audi Q2

Our pick Audi Q2 30 TFSI Sport
List price £26,935
Used deals from £20,400
Monthly finance from £279*

‘City car agility with SUV presence’ is how Audi bills its smallest high-riding Q model, and if you want to push the boat out with an upmarket small SUV, the Q2 is one of the best around.

There are much cheaper SUVs out there like the Renault Captur which start at around half of our £30,000 budget, but the Captur prioritises practicality over having a posh interior, like the Audi’s.

Luckily the Audi Q2 lives up to its image with a great drive and quality feel. In particular the very classy cabin is a cut above, and the Q2 comes loaded with desirable tech features too. Especially in our favoured Sport trim which comes with bright LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels and Audi’s slick Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard plus the excellent ‘MMI Navigation Plus’ media system.

AUDI Q2 BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Hyundai Kona Electric

Our pick Hyundai Kona Electric 39KWh Premium
List price £29,300*
Used deals from £28,070
Monthly finance from £396*

We rate the Hyundai Kona Electric highly, and we’re not the only ones. The affordable, electric family car won its category in the 2018 Auto Express Car of the Year awards, seeing off the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf, not to mention the BMW i3.

There are two versions of this electric SUV that cost less than £30,000 once the government’s Plug-In Car grant has been deducted from the price tag. However, these come with a less powerful motor and lower capacity 39KWh battery, so if you can stretch to a little more, the most affordable version powered by the 64KWh battery, is arguably the pick of the range at £32,550, offering a claimed range of 300 miles per charge.

Still, even the 39kWh battery on our favoured Kona Premium has a maximum 189-mile driving range that makes it a practical everyday car. Also helping it work well with everyday life is the SUV-style body. It’s high, giving a good view of the road, and spacious, so most families will fit comfortably. The bonus of reducing fuel bills and emissions makes it all the more tempting to plug in to the electric car revolution.

*After Plug-In Car grant deduction.

HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI SE DSG automatic (7-seat)
List price £29,050
Used deals from £20,490
Monthly finance from £349*

It is big, and it is clever. Skoda’s largest SUV is pretty much spot on for most drivers who hanker after an SUV but don’t want to break the bank. The car is packaged to perfection, feeling manoeuvrable on the road and when negotiating busy multi-storey car parks, yet inside it features one of the most spacious interiors of any SUV.

Anyone sitting in the back row of seats will be especially spoiled for space in which to stretch out, especially if the middle row of seats is nudged forward a little, with all seven occupants still remaining comfortable.

Our pick of the range would probably be the good value SE trim with the smooth 1.5-litre petrol engine and an automatic gearbox. Four-wheel drive isn’t necessary, as it bumps up the cost and will increase your fuel bills, and the Kodiaq isn’t designed to head far off-road, although anyone covering lots of miles may wish to switch to the slightly more costly diesel version to benefit from better fuel economy.

SKODA KODIAQ BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mini Electric

Our pick Mini Electric Level 2
List price £28,000
Used deals Limited stock

The Mini has been one of the most desirable small cars around for quite a few years now, thanks to its fashionable styling, upmarket feel and fun driving characteristics. Throwing electric power into the mix ratchets up the desirability even further for eco-conscious buyers looking for a stylish urban runabout.

If you do a lot of long journeys the Mini Electric’s relatively short 145-mile range between charges may cause you to look at longer-legged rivals like the Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe (211- and 245-mile ranges respectively), but as a car for short local trips the Mini definitely stacks up.

All versions are well-equipped with sat-nav and an 8.8-inch media system plus digital dials and dual zone air-conditioning, but we’d take Level 2 spec for its Driving Assistant Pack which has traffic sign recognition, city braking, and reversing camera, plus leather-effect trim upgrades.

MORE DETAILS ON THE MINI ELECTRIC

5. Mazda MX-5 RF

Our pick Mazda MX-5 RF 132PS Sport
List price £28,255
Used deals from £15,995
Monthly finance from £227*

If you’re looking for a genuinely sporty drive for under £30,000 you’re limited to a variety of high-performance hatchbacks offering varying degrees of heat, or this, the world’s best-selling two-seat sports car.

You can’t beat the practicality of a hot hatch, but if the idea of driving a souped-up family car is all a bit ‘meh’, then the MX-5 definitely has what it takes to put a grin on your face. Your £30,000 gives you the choice of all the regular convertible models, but for extra style and comfort we’d be looking at the Retractable Fastback ‘RF’ version.

In which case, you’ll have to make do with the lower powered 1.5-litre engine option in Sport trim, but the lack of performance is only relative, and the extra civility of the RF is worth its weight in gold when it’s cold outside and you’re snug in the MX-5 RF’s coupe-like cabin.

MAZDA MX-5 RF BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volvo XC40

Our pick Volvo XC40 T2 Momentum
List price £25,855
Used deals from £24,400
Monthly finance from £352*

With compact SUVs all the rage, one of the most desirable options around at the moment is the Volvo XC40. It features chunky styling that’s designed to appeal to younger-at-heart buyers than much of Volvo’s more traditional fare.

It’s also pleasant to drive, packed with technology, and the cabin is practical too. While the boot is a little below average for this type of car - which includes the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Jaguar E-Pace - rear seat passengers do very well for legroom in the XC40.

The XC40 can get pretty pricey as you explore the higher trim grades, but the entry-level Momentum versions are well equipped and decent value, especially as build quality and cabin ambience is up there with upmarket rivals from BMW and Audi.

Go for the T2 Momentum version and you get a petrol engine that enables the XC40 to do 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds and up to 40.4mpg, which is average for the class. You also get LED headlamps, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, a central touchscreen with Volvo’s Sensus sat-nav system, and digital dials. Driver aids also include road sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance and rear parking assistance.

VOLVO XC40 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Ford Kuga

Our pick Ford Kuga 1.5 EcoBlue Titanium Edition
List price £28,345
Used deals from £27,895
Monthly finance from £397*

The Ford Kuga is a consummate family SUV, offering a winning combination of style, space, great driving characteristics and easy ownership.

Rivals include the Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008 and Hyundai Tucson, and as such the new-for-2021 Kuga faces stiff competition. It offers handsome, swoopy styling, a standard 8.8-inch media system and one of the biggest boots around - at the same time as being one of the nicest cars in its class to drive, thanks to its accurate steering and agile feel.

You can get a well-equipped Ford Kuga in Zetec trim for a couple of thousand less, but Ford’s Titanium trim level offers buyers a long list of luxurious gadgets and features that make it hard to resist. As well as 18-inch alloys you get all-round LED lighting, a hands-free powered tailgate, a rear-view camera and a swishy 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

MORE DETAILS ON THE 2019 FORD KUGA

8. Renault Arkana

Our pick Renault Arkana R.S. Line
List price £25,300

You don’t need to be a footballer to want a high-riding SUV that offers the sleek lines of a sporty coupe, but it helps if you have deep pockets, as they’ve only been available from upmarket brands such as BMW and Mercedes. Well not any more, thanks to the launch of the Renault Arkana, which is a sleek SUV spin-off that is built around the same platform as the Renault Clio and Captur.

Prices for this elegantly swoopy crossover start at not much more than £25,000, but if you have £30,000 to spend, we’d recommend a look at the range-topping Arkana R.S. Line with its sporty styling, red ‘go-faster’ stripes, black alloy wheels and chromed exhaust.

Power comes from a 1.3-litre mild hybrid petrol engine with 140hp or a hybrid 1.6-litre petrol with 145hp - although that one’s a little over budget. Still, while the Arkana R.S. Line is more about show than go, you can’t beat the value of an SUV coupe which undercuts Mercedes and BMW rivals by tens of thousands.

As the Arkana is so new, it will take a while for cars to arrive. If you’d rather not wait, you could always look at our Renault SUV used bargains instead…

MORE DETAILS ON THE RENAULT ARKANA

 

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