Best used cars for under £10,000

Being on a budget needn't mean missing out. We highlight the best used cars for under £10,000 on the market today

BuyaCar team
Feb 4, 2019

With a budget of £10,000, there's a bewildering amount of choice on the used car market. For example, there are currently 9204 cars currently on sale for less at BuyaCar. Monthly finance payments for these vehicles range from £103 to £189 per month

Tall sport utility vehicles (SUVs) such as the Dacia Duster are well within reach, as are upmarket offerings from the likes of Audi.

There are plenty of other benefits in buying a used car. Vehicles registered before 1 April 2017 are taxed under the old rules, which mean the cars on this list have a lower annual road tax charge than newer equivalents.

However, look out for diesel cars that don't meet the latest emissions standards, known as Euro 6. These regulations came into force in September 2015, so most cars that were on the road before this date don't comply. Those vehicles which don’t meet these rules are more likely to incur future diesel charges and will be charged to drive in some future inner-city clean air zones, being set up in London, Birmingham and other British cities.

Best used cars for under £10,000

 

1. Volkswagen Golf

Best used car under £10,000 for compact quality

Our pick VW Golf 1.4 TSI SE 5dr

Latest VW Golf deals from £8,089
Finance from £132 per month

Luxury and everyday practicality come together in the VW Golf. Luxury in the form of a smooth ride, quiet interior, as well as deep-down quality, and practicality, with plenty of legroom and split-fold rear seats that fold flat.

There are plenty of basic S models around, but go with SE or Match for their uprated rear suspension that makes the car smoother on bumpy roads and more agile in corners. The diesel engines are strong and economical but if cover less than around 15,000 miles a year,consider the mid-power 1.4 TSI petrol that will nudge 50mpg yet do 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds.
VW Golf buying guide

2. Mazda 6 Tourer

Best used car under £10,000 for large hatchback practicality

Our pick Mazda 6 2.2D SE Tourer

Latest Mazda 6 Tourer deals from £10,250
Finance from £176 per month

If you’re looking for a lot of space for not a lot of money, big family estate cars like the Mazda 6 Tourer are hard to beat. It will seat five in comfort, while with the back seats folded, its load space is an impressive 1,632 litres. It's a little less than a Ford Mondeo at 1,740 litres but the Mazda 6 makes up for it with its more stylish looks and higher quality.

It’s also enjoyable to drive thanks to direct steering, strong brakes and plenty of power if you pick the 150hp diesel engine. It’s comfortable and quiet on the motorway, too. However, there's not always a great number of used cars available, so you may need to extend the £10,000 budget slightly depending on when you buy. That said, prices should be helped (for buyers) by the fact Mazda has recently launched the new Mazda 6.
Mazda 6 buying guide

3. Nissan Qashqai

Best used car under £10,000 for crossover practicality

Our pick Nissan Qashqai Visia 1.2 DIG-T 113bhp

Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £8,719
Finance from £128 per month

Practical, economical and efficient to drive, the Qashqai is the family-size crossover by which all others are judged. The current model has been on sale since 2013 and prices for these cars have now fallen below £10,000.

Low-mileage drivers will appreciate the 1.2 DIG-T petrol’s 50mpg economy and reasonably lively performance. If you do a high mileage however, the more economical 1.5 dCi diesel should be your choice, although it will be more expensive to buy.
Nissan Qashqai buying guide

4. Abarth 595

Best used car under £10,000 for hot hatch performance

Our pick Abarth 595 Competizione

Latest Abarth 595 deals from £8,250
Finance from £119 per month

The hot version of the Fiat 500 only really has the Mini hatchback to compete with when it comes to combining retro styling with modern hot hatch mechanicals.

Prices for a pint-sized Abarth 595 are now comfortably below the £10,000 mark. For your money, you get a characterful 1.4-litre turbo engine (and accompanying boost gauge), sporty styling and a cracking noise from the exhaust. It may not handle quite as well as the previous generation Ford Fiesta ST, but it sure can put a smile on your face.

5. Audi A1

Best used car under £10,000 for small car quality

Audi A1

Our pick Audi A1 Sport 1.4 TFSI 3dr

Latest Audi A1 deals from £8,725
Finance from £127 per month

The Audi A1 brings the brand’s famed quality within reach of more people. Granted it’s a tiddler compared with limousines like the Audi A8, but it boasts the same attention to detail and rock-solid aura. 

Legroom in the back of the Audi A1 isn't as generous as you'll find in a Volkswagen Polo or Skoda Fabia (two cars which share the same mechanicals) and it can be awkward to get there if you opt for the three-door A1, which requires you to squeeze behind the tilting front seats, rather than the five-door A1 Sportback. There is a choice of petrol and diesel engines, but the smooth and punchy 123bhp 1.4 TSI suits the car’s character perfectly and is the one to have.
Audi A1 buying guide

6. Citroen C4 Cactus

Best used car under £10,000 for crossover comfort

Our pick Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 Flair

Latest Citroen C4 Cactus deals from £6,849
Finance from £115 per month

Distinctive, economical and comfy – the C4 Cactus marks a return to form for Citroen. It isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but then good Citroens never are. The most eye-catching features are its protective plastic Airbump panels on the doors and ‘eyebrow’ daytime running lights above the headlights. However, their divisive nature means that an updated version of the car, launched in 2018, no longer features them so prominently.

It’s certainly practical, but could be more so if the rear seat was a split-fold affair, allowing you to boost luggage space and have space for one passenger in the back. It's one of the measures that helped keep the price of the Cactus cheap. The car’s selection of efficient petrol and diesel engines should keep running costs low too.
Citroen C4 Cactus buying guide

 7. Dacia Duster

Best used car under £10,000 for SUV value

Our pick Dacia Duster 1.5dCi 110 Laureate

Latest Dacia Duster deals from £6,995
Finance from £124 per month

When it comes to value for money, little can touch a Dacia Duster. New, the SUV range starts at just £9,995, and that is for the recently updated model. But buy used and those pounds fall away. The high-specification Laureate that confounds those who dismiss Dacia as a budget brand by having air conditioning, 16in alloy wheels, electric windows all-round and cruise control is naturally the most expensive. But you can save money by going for mid-range Ambiance trim which is still reasonably well specified.

The diesel engine is fairly economical and powerful enough for swift progress, but most cars sold before September 2015 don't meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, and so will be charged in future low emission zones being set up in cities that include London and Birmingham.
Dacia Duster buying guide

8. Volkswagen up!

Best used car under £10,000 for city car convenience

Our pick VW up! 1.0 59bhp Move up! 5dr

Latest VW up! deals from £4,995
Finance from £79 per month

Choosing between the little Volkswagen’s sister cars the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii is no easy task, but the up! gets the nod for its more desirable image, higher quality fittings, and, since 2016, slightly wider engine range. There’s a three-door version but the five-door makes much better use of the available space.

The up! is reasonably roomy but to be fair, the back seats are unlikely to be used that often. Instead, it’s forte is nipping along city streets, sipping fuel. If long journeys are a regular part of your driving diet, choose the more powerful but less economical 74bhp engine.
VW up! buying guide

9. Ford Fiesta

Best used car under £10,000 for supermini efficiency

Our pick Ford Fiesta 1.0 98bhp EcoBoost Zetec 5dr

Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £5,500
Finance from £90 per month

Stylish, great to drive, economical and reasonably well packaged, the previous generation Fiesta is a great car. Until the new version came along in 2017, it was the best-selling car in Britain. Its only real shortcoming is a lack of rear interior and boot space.

For under £10,000, your best option is to go for a 1-litre EcoBoost model with 100hp, which is economical and energetic. Zetec trim provides just about all of the equipment that you need.
Ford Fiesta buying guide

10. Audi A3

Best used car under £10,000 for luxury

Our pick Audi A3 2.0 TDI SE

Latest Audi A3 deals from £8,889
Finance from £132 per month

The Audi A3’s build quality is unrivalled in its segment, even by the Volkswagen Golf, a car that is mechanically very similar. There are plenty of petrol and diesel options; a choice of three or five doors; as well as the option of a Cabriolet (starting at £13,000 on BuyaCar), and as a saloon(from £12,189).

For less than £10,000, you'll be looking at a hatchback. The petrol options are smooth and quiet; more powerful versions are quick too. If you do want a diesel, the 2.0 TDI engine is economical (49.3mpg in real-world testing) but also surprisingly powerful, and has good in-gear acceleration. 
Audi A3 buying guide

Audi A3 deals
        

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