Best used cars under £500 per month

£500 per month affords many luxuries, including the luxury of choice. These are the best on offer for under £500 per month

James Wilson
Feb 11, 2019

Whether you are in the market for a rugged SUV, luxurious saloon, high-performance coupe or massively practical people carrier, £500 per month has you covered.

Naturally, buying an expensive used car poses its own range of questions. At this price range, you can expect to find cars that are less than a year old (some might even be pre-registered cars) with only a handful of miles on the clock - meaning there will be plenty of warranty left on one at this price point too.

Opting for finance can help protect you from some of the negatives. By signing up to a personal contract purchase (PCP) deal you will have an agreed guaranteed future value. If the market collapses and your car depreciates faster than a pair of used socks, then you won’t lose out, the dealer will.

For more information on used car finance, read our dedicated guide. Otherwise, below we have picked ten of the best used cars under £500 a month from a range of categories.

Best used cars under £500 per month

1. BMW 5 Series Touring

Latest BMW 5 Series Touring deals from £25,995
Finance from £330 per month

Estates are viewed as the keen motorists’ answer to everyday driving. The best (and the latest 5 Series Touring is one such estate) offer the same kind of well-balanced handling and performance their saloon stablemates do, but with added boot space.

Every model in the range comes with a raft of kit as standard, including self-levelling suspension (useful when you pack the enormous boot to the rafters), automatic boot (again, useful when packing said large boot) and two-zone climate control (not particularly related to boot packing).

Our recommended model is the 5
20d SE. Though, you can get almost the entire range (excluding the top of the line 540i) nearly new, with hardly any miles for under £500 a month.
BMW 5 Series buying guide

2. Volvo XC90

Latest Volvo XC90 from £28,500
Finance from £393 per month

Despite being nearly five years old, the XC90 is the most compelling option for the best used SUV at this price point

It's safe, stylish, refined, comfortable and relatively efficient. With a monthly budget of £500 you will likely be limited to a diesel which is nearly three years old, but that is no bad thing thanks to its competent performance and claimed economy in the high 40s. Momentum models offer a great level of spec, and all XC90s come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive .
Volvo XC90 buying guide

3. Porsche Cayman

Latest Porsche Cayman deals from £33,168
Finance from £429 per month

The Porsche Cayman has its engine mounted roughly in the middle of its body, which is arguably the best for a sports car as it aids handling. It also means that there are no rear seats.

Being a Porsche, the Cayman is very well put together and can come very well equipped depending on how deep your pockets are.

A budget of £500 won’t quite stretch to the latest Cayman - but that's no bad thing. The previous generation Cayman (replaced in 2016) is cheaper, and has more cylinders than the current car. These older six cylinder engines (the new Cayman has a four-cylinder engine) sound great, with many preferring the old
Cayman because of its more aurally pleasing engine.

4. Mercedes C-Class

Latest Mercedes C-Class from £12,321
Finance from £171 per month

The Mercedes C-Class regularly features in the UK’s top ten best-selling cars and it is for good reason – it’s a brilliant saloon. The latest car might only be a facelift over the previous model, but the changes Mercedes made were measured and worthwhile.

The engine range has been refined, as have the gearboxes, making for more relaxed progress down the road. SE trim is the sweet spot in the range, bringing cruise control, air conditioning, large 10.25-inch entertainment screen and reversing camera to the table. If you are after a hairy-chested driving experience, pre-facelift AMG models (Mercedes’ performance division) can be scooped up for less than £500 a month, and they promise supercar troubling performance.
Mercedes C-Class buying guide

5. BMW X2

Latest BMW X2 deals from £24,950
Finance from £330 per month

The new BMW X2 blends crossover looks and sensibilities like a raised ride height, with all the refinement and performance expected from a BMW. Those desperate for a commanding Range-Rover-like driving position and large airy interior that many SUVs and crossovers offer, will have to look elsewhere, though. The X2 is much more driver focused.

With a maximum budget of £500 a month, you will be able to choose between petrol and diesel models no problem. For many, the xDrive20d M Sport is the pick of the bunch. This is where diesel economy meets sporting looks, and M Sport trim delivers great equipment levels, including sat nav, air conditioning, cruise control and heated front seats. The best bit is you should be able to pick up a nearly new model and have some change each month.
BMW X2 buying guide

6. BMW M2

Latest BMW M2 deals from £35,995
Finance from £426 per month

If you want a high-quality car that knows how to party then the M2 is for you. While there are a handful of rivals for the M2 – think Alpine A110 and Audi TT RS, neither offer the same classic front engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

The M2 is well equipped (although your choice of colours is somewhat limited) with air conditioning, sat nav, automatic headlights, parking sensors and adaptive cruise control standard on all models. But let’s be honest, the main attraction of a car like this is the driving experience. Thanks to a 6-cylinder twin turbo petrol engine, it will catapult you from 0-62mph in a dizzyingly quick 4.2 seconds (4.4 with a manual gearbox).

7. Honda Civic Type R

Latest Honda Civic Type R deals from £26,988
Finance from £361 per month

The Honda Civic Type R is about as subtle as a brick to the face. It's fast, noisy and will probably offend the in-laws, but it is hands down the best hot hatch on the market right now. Demand for the Type R has kept prices high, with nearly new cars only being a bit cheaper than brand spanking new ones. At least you can avoid avoid having to wait for a new car to be built with a pre-reg car.

Underneath the bold styling, there is a 2.0-litre petrol engine making 316bhp, which will fire the Civic from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. Its party piece is its adaptive suspension. Honda’s engineers have somehow made the Type R’s suspension fairly pliant (for a hot hatch at least) around town, yet extremely planted and sporting when let loose on country roads.
Honda Civic buying guide

8. Nissan Leaf

Latest Nissan Leaf deals from £14,950
Finance from £227 per month

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most convincing everyday electric cars for the masses. It has a claimed range of 168 miles and all the bells and whistles you would expect from a futuristic electric car – including impressive semi-autonomous tech. Charging times vary greatly depending on the type of output you have – it will take 7.5 hours using a 7kW charger (which can be installed at your home) or 21 hours using a normal wall plug.

For £500 a month you should have no problem picking up a top spec Nissan Leaf with only a couple of thousand, if not hundred, miles on its digital clock. When it comes to trims, go for Tekna. You’ll get leather, a Bose sound system, and Nissan’s semi-autonomous tech.
Nissan Leaf buying guide

9. Lexus NX 

Latest Lexus NX deals from £21,990
Finance from £283 per month

Lexus is a luxury car brand that does things a little differently. From styling to engine choices they have always been a little left field, but, the Japanese brand consistently scores well in customer satisfaction surveys so it must be doing something right.

The NX SUV is Lexus’ answer to the BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, and is only availab
le as a hybrid (great for company car buyers). You could look all day every day to find a badly specced one, but you wouldn’t succeed – DAB radio, automatic wipers and adaptive cruise control are all standard. Even if you go for an almost new model with a handful of miles on the clock, you should have some of your £500 left each month.
Lexus NX buying guide

10. Peugeot Traveller

Latest Peugeot Traveller deals from £17,995
Finance from £275 per month

The Peugeot Traveller is ridiculously practical. Eight seats, enough boot space to swallow most of Wales and sliding rear doors for easy access. What’s more, Peugeot has tried to push the Traveller further upmarket to rival the popular Volkswagen Caravelle, so the interior and equipment are vastly superior than you would find in many a van-based people carriers.

Entry-level Active trim brings dual-zone climate control (a system that allows two different temperatures of air to blow out of separate air vents), cruise control and rear parking sensors. But for £500 a month you needn’t slum it with the lowest spec – you can scoop up more upmarket Allure models with a head-up display, heated front seats and keyless entry instead. The Travellers in this price range less than a year old and have hardly any miles under their (timing) belt.


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