Cheapest used cars

£5,000 can buy more than you realise: some of the cheapest used cars are still within warranty and look almost as good as new

BuyaCar team
Nov 22, 2020

Think that finding a decent used car for £5,000 means making countless compromises and putting up with a car that's getting on in age and has covered many tens of thousands of miles? Think again? Buying a cheap second-hand car doesn't mean feeling like a second-class citizen. And just think what you can do with the money you save compared with even the cheapest new car.

Even at the most affordable end of the market, there is a huge selection of decent quality used cars available - from small and cheap-to-run hatchbacks to practical larger cars that may surprise you with the amount of practicality and equipment levels on offer. 

We're not talking about 10-year-old rust buckets here either. Some of the models below are only two or three years old and still have years left on their original manufacturer’s warranty, giving you good peace of mind. Others look as stylish as the day they left the factory, while another model even has a heated steering wheel to make colder winter mornings more comfortable.

There are currently 130 cars available for less than £5,000 right here on BuyaCar, so read on for our pick of the best cheap used cars and click on the button below if you want to get started with a car finance application to find out how much you can afford to spend.

Cheapest used cars

1. Fiat Panda

Used deals from £4,595
Monthly finance from £91

The boxy shape and cartoonish headlights of the Fiat Panda add to the car’s sense of charm, which make up for its noisy, bouncy and fairly slow performance.

The car’s shape also makes it one of the most practical city cars available: you’ll be able to carry four adults without anyone getting cramp, although the boot is small. Pop cars are cheapest but lack the air conditioning and remote central locking fitted to Easy models.

FIAT PANDA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £4,495
Monthly finance from £89

It’s hard to beat the Vauxhall Corsa's combination of space and value. The five-door car could accommodate a young family, particularly if they can live with a small boot. Three door cars (two front doors and the boot lid makes three) make getting into the back a chore.

The cheapest cars are the previous-generation Corsa, pictured above. S and Design cars are budget-specification, lacking alloy wheels and air conditioning. SE cars come with both, along with luxuries such as rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, heated front seats and even a heated steering wheel.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Fiat 500

Used deals from £4,490
Monthly finance from £94

The only car that in this list that comes close to rivalling the Fiat 500 for character is the Fiat Panda. The bug-eyed lights, tightly-curved roof and compact size still carry plenty of appeal.

You could argue that the cheapest Fiat 500 models are best of all, thanks to their retro cream-colour radio and absence of touchscreen, which was introduced on some models when the car was updated in 2015. Pop cars are cheapest but don’t include air conditioning.

FIAT 500 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volkswagen Up

Used deals from £4,250
Monthly finance from £94

If you're looking for a small city car for under £5,000, then it’s extremely hard to look beyond the Volkswagen Up, which is more comfortable and spacious than you’d expect from a car of its size, with rear seats that can accommodate adults - at a squeeze.

Skip the entry-level Take Up models and go straight for Move Up trim, which comes with air conditioning, remote central locking and electric front windows. Most of the cheapest cars are three door models, but you may find a more practical five-door car among them.

VOLKSWAGEN UP BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Peugeot 108

Used deals from £4,380
Monthly finance from £84

One of thre freshest of the cheap cars available on this list, the Peugeot 108 is closely related to the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1, and while we perfer the styling of the Peugeot, you can find cheap versions of all three for less than £5,000.

If you want a really cheap car, then you may be able to find the predecessor of the 108 - the Peugeot 107 - for a little less. It’s not worth opting for the older car, though, as its dashboard is made of cheap plastics that even Ikea would reject and its crash safety was barely average when it was independently tested by Euro NCAP … in 2012.

The 108 is safer and feels better-built. Avoid the entry-level Access models and your 108 will include air-conditioning and a touchscreen media system with digital radio and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly.

PEUGEOT 108 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Kia Picanto

Used deals from £4,599
Monthly finance from £96

Thanks to Kia’s seven-year warranty, you can buy Picanto for as little as £4,599 and still benefit from at least three years-worth of cover, providing reassurance that a car this cheap isn’t a false economy.

The previous-generation Picanto doesn’t really hold many surprises: its compact dimensions mean that it’s small inside, but if you rarely use the back seats, then that’s unlikely to matter. Small engines bring good fuel economy but slow acceleration at higher speeds.

KIA PICANTO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Dacia Sandero

Used deals from £4,490
Monthly finance from £93

The Dacia Sandero is officially the cheapest new car for sale in Britain with a super-low price of £6,995, and it's even cheaper if you buy a used one.

It’s not surprising to see that used versions regularly change hands for less than £5,000. People love the amount of space it offers - its boot is 320-litres, a full 69-litres bigger than the VW Up, plus there’s room for five adults.

Laureate models are readily available for this price. These get alloy wheels, air conditioning, and even a radio, which is missing from the most basic Access models.

DACIA SANDERO BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Renault Twingo

Used deals from £4,390
Monthly finance from £87
 

The Renault Twingo is a funky alternative to the cars above, and is only available with five-doors. The engine is located in the back, which means the front wheels have more room to maneuver, giving the Twingo the tightest turning circle this side of Hackney Carriage.

You won’t be spoilt for choice with £5,000, but it should get you into a 2015 model with around 30,000 miles on the clock. We recommend Dynamique spec - this gets stop/start to increase mpg (especially in town driving) as well as 15-inch alloy wheels and front foglights.

RENAULT TWINGO BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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