Best new cars for less than £500 per month

£500 per month is a serious wad of cash. Choose to spend it wisely with our list of the the best new cars for £500 a month

James Mills BuyaCar team
Aug 27, 2019

Got £500 a month to spend on financing your next new car? Prepare to be dazzled by the wide choice of desirable makes and models.

Some of the most sought-after cars are comfortably within reach of a £500 monthly budget, so you can take your pick between the showrooms of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and many more besides, and line up a test drive of a new car of your choice.

From popular SUVs to stylish sports cars, sports saloons to estates, there’s a type of car to suit nearly all practical needs. Here, we name nine of the best, with our representative pricing based on a PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) plan over a 36-month period - in the majority of cases.

When browsing deals, remember to look for special incentives from car manufacturers or dealers. These might include no interest on the loan, which can be a significant saving, or a contribution toward the deposit that can also help reduce your monthly repayment sum.

The convenience of the PCP is that it offsets a large chunk of the cost of the car to make monthly repayment sums affordable. However, at the end of the agreed finance period, you’ll then have to decide whether to buy the car, part-exchange it for another or hand it back and see whether or not there is any remaining equity to put in the bank or put towards another car.

For further information about the different types of finance plans, see our complete guide.

        

Best new cars for under £500 per month

1. Audi Q3

Our pick Audi Q3 S line 35 TDI 150 S tronic

List price £33,985
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£482.1536£3,398 (Audi contribution £1,400)6.1%£16,383.70£38,067.10

The new, second-generation Audi Q3 went on sale in February 2019. The big change over its predecessor is the level of technology on offer; the last model felt a little basic but this one introduces Audi’s delightful ‘virtual cockpit’, a digital display that gives smartphone generation drivers all the information and interaction with the car’s functions they could wish for.

Bigger than before, it’s a practical SUV with more space inside, a larger boot and a very comfortable driving position. Deciding which engine to choose comes down to how you’ll use the car, but we’re still fans of the 2-litre diesel which gives an impressive blend of effortless acceleration (especially when paired with the automatic gearbox) and budget-friendly fuel economy of 59mpg.

Audi Q3 buyers' guide

2. BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Our pick BMW 420i M Sport automatic Gran Coupe

List price £36,105
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£50048£1,308.81 (£3,947.37 BMW deposit contribution)4.9%£11,457.05£40,213.23

The problem: you crave a coupe but life means it’s just not practical enough. The hey-presto solution: a four-door sports saloon that’s dressed to pass for a coupe – like the BMW 4 Series Gran Turismo.

Great to drive, and with a wide range of four- and six-cylinder engines, this is a car that can cut a dash whether parked outside home or pulling up at the office. There’s space aboard for four adults and their luggage. And the rear-wheel drive layout, which sees the engine send its drive to the back wheels, is one of the best.

BMW 4 Series buyers' guide     

3. Ford S-Max

Our pick Ford S-Max Titanium 2.0 EcoBlue 150 automatic

List price £28,060
Annual mileage limit 9,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£431.8336£1,5000.0%£11,014£28,060

There are seven good reasons to choose a Ford S-Max as your family car – the seven comfortable and independently adjustable seats that make this a hit with kids and parents alike.

However, there’s currently another powerful incentive to invest in an S-Max. Ford is offering 0% APR on its Ford Options finance plan, which is not to be sniffed at when it’s saving your household budget several thousand pounds. Unless you only do a small number of miles each year, we’d pick the economical diesel engine and pair it with an automatic gearbox, as both will go a long way to keeping parents’ stress levels to a minimum.

Ford S-Max buyers' guide

4. Jaguar XF

Our pick Jaguar XF R-Sport 2.0D 180 automatic

List price £41,510
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£446.1647£6,000 (£4,300 Jaguar deposit contribution)3.9%£13,309£45,024.68

It looks great, feels lovely to sit in, the twin-turbo diesel engine is a bit of a gem and it's a pretty good steer too. What more reason might you need to make Jaguar’s XF your luxury saloon of choice?

In case you need further persuasion, Jaguar is offering a £4300 contribution toward the deposit and the finance isn’t charged any interest. For private individuals buying their next car, that makes this a seriously tempting package.

Jaguar XF buyers' guide

5. Mercedes GLC

Our pick Mercedes GLC 220 d 4Matic AMG Night Edition

List price £43,960
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£43948£6,928.755.7%£16,750£47,576.82

There’s something ever so relaxing about the Mercedes GLC. It doesn’t set out to be the sportiest car of its type – that box is firmly ticked by the Porsche Macan – and nor does it set out to be the fastest. Instead, it aims to sooth away the everyday stresses and strains we all know only too well, by smoothly riding over our crumbling roads (especially with optional air suspension fitted) and keeping noise levels to an absolute minimum.

The 2.1-litre diesel engine might not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the fuel economy could be better, but the nine-speed gearbox is smooth and the 4Matic four-wheel system is surprisingly capable.

Mercedes GLC buyers' guide

6. Range Rover Evoque

Our pick Land Rover Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic SE D180 AWD automatic

List price £44,000
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£442.5237£4,0006.9%£23,300£42,230.70

Whether you view it as a baby Range Rover, a hot accessory for fashionistas or simply a striking SUV for those that value aesthetics above all else, one thing is certain: the Evoque is a smash-hit.

The original model sold like hot cakes for Land Rover. Now a second-generation is aiming to build on the success. It's on sale now, and highlights include a new range of engines that come with mild hybrid tech, to make your fuel go further, and a bit more space in the cabin to enhance the level of comfort on offer.

Range Rover Evoque buyers' guide

7. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq SportLine 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 DSG

List price £36,995
Annual mileage limit ;10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£454.6648£3,701 (Skoda deposit contribution £2,000)5.8%£15,299.10£42,379.12

Simply clever, says Skoda about its cars. Sure enough, the Kodiaq is a genius in disguise. This is one of the most practical and versatile seven-seat cars money can buy, especially within its price range.

However, we appreciate that there may be those who still look down their nose at a Skoda. In which case, take a look at the SportLine trim, which gives the Kodiaq the look of a BMW – we’ve had plenty of comments from other drivers saying just that. The 150hp diesel engine is all you’ll need, and with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, you won’t have to worry about the next Beast from the East or heavy traffic on the daily commute.

Skoda Kodiaq buyers' guide

8. VW Golf R

Our pick VW Golf R DSG 5-door 

List price £35,635
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£446.3848£3,615 (VW deposit contribution £1,500)3.8%£13,434.30£39,539.16

Yes, there are more exciting hot hatchbacks. And yes, there are others that stand out of the crowd and will get you noticed. But part of the appeal of the venerable Golf R is that it is understated to look at and that bit more sophisticated to drive.

With a responsive 2-litre turbocharged engine that has a crisp growl at the top of its rev range, well-balanced handling, and an interior that is both special without resorting to tacky design features, this is one of our favourite hot hatches.

VW Golf buyers' guide

9. Volvo V90 Cross Country

Our pick Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 automatic

List price £42,520
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£458.8237£4,2522.01%£20,465.25£45,734.77

As both the most comfortable and versatile version of the V90, Volvo’s largest estate car, the Cross Country is our pick of this stylish Swedish export. The added ground clearance doesn’t just make this a good car for venturing off the beaten track – such as when towing a caravan into a field or moving a boat on a trailer down a slipway – it also makes it oh so relaxing. The suspension glides where other V90s fidget around.

There’s currently a hefty contribution toward the deposit from Volvo on this model, which helps sweeten the deal. However, even without it this estate would get our vote. It’s a workhorse that makes you feel good about yourself.

Volvo V90 buyers' guide

10. BMW M2 Competition

Our pick BMW M2 Competition

List price £50,975
Annual mileage limit 10,000 per annum

Monthly paymentsNumber of instalmentsDepositRepresentative APROptional final paymentTotal cost of finance 
£498.5848£12,0004.9.%£21,582.10£57,015.36

A list containing cars in the ballpark of £500 per month wouldn’t be complete without a sporting coupe. So here it is. The engine, a 3.0-litre 404bhp behemoth with a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds makes it reassuringly fast. The interior isn’t overly luxurious for a £51,000 car (it’s not that different from a regular BMW 2-Series), but coloured seat stitching does at least spice things up a bit.

It does stretch the £500 budget to its limits, and you’ll have to cough up a deposit that could buy you a Dacia Duster outright. But the APR of 4.9% is at least reasonable.

BMW 2 Series buyers' guide

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