Best cheap automatic cars

Take the hard work out of traffic jams with a cheap automatic car for under £10,000

BuyaCar team
Mar 26, 2019

Opting for an automatic gearbox usually hikes the price of a new car by several hundred - if not more than a thousand - pounds.

This can make finding a cheap automatic car more difficult than an equivalent manual model.

They do exist, though. There are currently 638 automatic cars for under £10,000 advertised on BuyaCar, most with monthly finance payments of less than £160 per month. All are less than five years old. 

We've highlighted some of the best choices on this page, or you can click below to search for all cheap automatic cars for under £10,000.


Automatic cars - types of gearboxes

  • Automatic
    A standard automatic gearbox is usually smooth, but there can be a slight delay when changing gears.
  • Dual-clutch automatic
    With two clutches, this gearbox can pre-select your next gear so changes are quick and smooth.
  • CVT
    Continuously variable transmissions use a belt to change a car's gearing, keeping the engine at its most efficient speed for longer to boost fuel economy. It can feel strange when accelerating.
  • Automated manual
    This is a manual gearbox that changes gear electronically. It's efficient but normally jerky.


Best cheap automatic cars


1. Volkswagen Golf

Best cheap automatic car for value

Latest automatic VW Golf deals from £8,490
Finance from £126 per month

It's only recently that you have been able to buy an automatic version of the current generation Volkswagen Golf for under £10,000. It's excellent value for an all-round family car with solid build quality and Volkswagen's smooth, fast-shifting dual-clutch automatic gearbox, badged DSG.

The gearbox suits the character of the comfortable and quiet Golf, which is often available in Match specification at this price. This includes parking sensors, alloy wheels and adaptive cruise control, which can accelerate and brake the car to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead.
VW Golf buying guide


2. Ford Fiesta

Best cheap automatic car for choice

Latest automatic Ford Fiesta deals from £6,800
Finance from £131 per month

There's no shortage of automatic Ford Fiestas to choose from, with 20 vehicles currently for sale on BuyaCar for less than £10,000. Options among this previous-generation model include petrol and diesel versions, as well as mid-range Zetec trim and the better-equipped Titanium version.

Ford's Powershit gearbox is a dual-clutch model, which isn't quite as slick as Volkswagen's DSG technology, but not far off, so you can expect smooth and fast changes. The current Fiesta was launched in 2017, so prices for automatic cars haven't yet fallen to below £10,000
Ford Fiesta buying guide


3. Renault Zoe

Best cheap automatic car for electric motoring

Renault Zoe front

Latest Renault Zoe deals from £7,800
Finance from £152 per month

Electric cars only have one forward gear, so you don’t even get the option of a manual gearbox, making life very easy for anyone searching for an automatic electric car.

The Renault Zoe is a good choice for driving in town, where it’s extremely quiet and where the soft suspension can smooth out speed bumps and potholes.

It will drive along happily at 70mph too, but long journeys are not the speciality of the three- to four-year-old Zoes that are available in this price range. Unlike newer cars, they have a range of around 80 to 100 miles, which covers most commutes.

Be aware that the cheapest Zoe models may not come with batteries included, which will mean that they need to be rented; prices start at £50 per month, so it's vital to check.
Renault Zoe buying guide


4. Toyota Yaris

Best cheap automatic car for efficient hybrid power

Latest automatic Toyota Yaris deals from £7,444
Finance from £142 per month

The Yaris comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) gearbox, which suits this car perfectly. It boosts economy because it's designed to keep the engine at its most efficient speed for as long as possible. Combined with the hybrid system, which has a battery and motor to recover energy under braking and then use it to provide power, this results in excellent fuel economy figures at slower speeds.

When maximum power is demanded, at high acceleration, the combination is less successful and the gearbox sends the engine revs soaring, resulting in noisy progress until you've reached your desired speed.
Toyota Yaris buying guide


5. Vauxhall Mokka

Best cheap automatic car for a high driving position

Latest automatic Vauxhall Mokka deals from £7,795
Finance from £130 per month

Vauxhalls make fantastic second-hand cars, thanks to extremely attractive prices and decent all-round performance. That's the case with a 2015 automatic petrol or diesel Mokka, which costs less than £10,000 even in top-of-the-range SE specification, which includes part-leather seats, heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as sat-nav.

It's not a bad family car for the price, with rear seats that can accommodate growing teenagers and an average-sized boot that's similar in size to the current Ford Focus. The ride is a little firm, though, so it does bob over speed bumps. An updated version of the car, renamed Vauxhall Mokka X, isn't quite within the £10,000 budget yet.
Vauxhall Mokka X buying guide


6. Kia Soul

Best cheap automatic car for standing out

Latest automatic Kia Soul deals from £8,499
Finance from £143 per month

Not everyone will love the Kia Soul's gawky looks, but those that do are a captive audience because there's nothing quite like it on the roads. Underneath the distinctive design is a spacious car that cushions rough roads effectively.

This does mean that it leans a little in corners, so it's best driven smoothly, which makes an automatic gearbox the ideal choice.


7. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Best cheap automatic car for seven seats

Latest automatic Citroen Grand C4 Picasso deals from £10,491
Finance from £174 per month

The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is not in this list because it has a good automatic gearbox. In fact, the automated manual shift is slow and jerky. However, this is one of the few seven-seat cars less than five years old that's available with an automatic gearbox for under £10,000.

As such, it could be a godsend if you're looking for a large vehicle on a limited budget. If you can spend a little more, then it's worth looking at other options, such as the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer or Kia Carens.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso buying guide


8. Hyundai i30

Best cheap automatic car for an unlimited mileage warranty

Latest automatic Hyundai i30 deals from £8,094
Finance from £137 per month

You’ll still have some warranty left on some Hyundai i30s that are selling for less than £8,000, thanks to the manufacturer’s five-year cover from new.

It buys you a modern, comfortable family hatchback, with plenty of space and good fuel economy. The car was recently replaced by a new model, but still feels up to date. For this price, you have the choice of diesel or petrol automatic cars.
Hyundai i30 buying guide


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