Best cars for under £15,000

With this budget, you're sure to find a car that suits you: the best cars for under £15,000

John Evans
Aug 10, 2018

With a budget of up to £15,000, there's a used car to suit virtually every need and circumstance.

From nimble two-seat sports cars to seven-seat people carriers, there are currently 14839 cars available on this site costing between £10,000 and £15,000 with finance costs ranging from £83 to £303 per month.

All of the featured cars can be bought for under £15,000, at less than three years old, so they still feel fairly new. Stick to cars that were first registered after September 2015 and you'll guarantee that they comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards and avoid many future diesel charges.

Click below to search them all or scroll down to find our ten top-value picks.

Best cars for under £15,000

Volkswagen Golf

Best family hatchback for under £15,000

Our pick VW Golf 1.4 TSI Match 5dr
Latest VW Golf deals from £7,449
Finance from £83 per month

It might not have the tweaks applied to newer VW Golfs from 2017, but the 2015 model is almost indistinguishable and, when it comes to the bits that matter, just as good. There's solid build quality, neat styling inside and out, a comfortable ride on British roads and stable, accurate cornering.

Since VW's dieselgate scandal, the Golf's diesel engines have fallen out of favour, but that's not a problem when the alternative is the car's smooth and powerful 1.4-litre petrol engine. It's economical, returning around 40mpg in real-world driving and road tax is just £30 a year. Match trim is well-equipped with adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance from the car in front; parking sensors front and rear; air conditioning; and a dashboard touchscreen with digital radio.
VW Golf buying guide

 

Nissan Qashqai

Best family crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta Premium
Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £8,995
Finance from £145 per month

With good visibility, light steering and a comfortable ride, driving the Nissan Qashqai is arguably even easier to drive than a standard hatchback like the Ford Focus. And as one of the best-selling cars in the country, there's plenty of choice on the used market, with highly-specified cars available for less than £15,000.

The car was updated last year, but beyond the new grille, little really changed. This makes the slightly older and cheaper models great value. If you need more space (the Qashqai's boot is on the small side), have a look at the larger Nissan X-Trail, which offers the option of seven seats. Prices start from £12,000 or from £199 per month on finance.Nissan Qashqai buying guide

  

Ford Fiesta ST

Best hot hatch for under £15,000

Our pick Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr
Latest Ford Fiesta ST deals from £5,500
Finance from £92 per month

When this version of the Ford Fiesta ST arrived in 2013, it blew away the competition, delivering more driving joy than most cars that were twice the price. There was no secret formula: just an energetic petrol engine that launched the car forward at an exhilarating rate; sharp and responsive steering; plus enough grip to keep it on the road in tight corners. Most importantly, you could experience it all without ever breaking the speed limit.

Mid-spec ST-2 trim is our choice for its heated seats, rear privacy glass and a sporty starter button. Despite the arrival of a new Fiesta ST in the coming months, this car will keep you grinning for years to come.
Ford Fiesta ST buying guide

 

BMW 3 Series

Best premium family car for under £15,000

Our pick BMW 318d SE
Latest BMW 3 Series deals from £9,680
Finance from £144 per month

A three-year-old BMW 3 series for just £9,680 represents remarkable value for money. It’s the complete car: comfortable, great to drive and that BMW logo on the bonnet. It's not just about badge snobbery: BMW's strong image helps to maintain the car's value, which reduces the cost of finance.

Despite the adverse publicity, diesel engines are an excellent fit, providing smooth, quiet and economical power. Cars that meet the latest emissions standard, known as Euro 6, are less likely to be affected by inner city charges in clean air zones. Most 3 Series models from with a 65 plate from September 2015 or later will comply with the standard, but it is worth double checking.
BMW 3 Series buying guide

 

VW Touran

Best large people carrier for under £15,000

Our pick Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI SE Family
Latest VW Touran deals from £13,200
Finance from £207 per month

The seven-seat VW Touran is a grown-up Volkswagen Golf, with extra practicality but a similar level of quality and comfort. A new version went on sale at the end of 2015, and the first of these cost around the £15,000 mark. You can identify them from older models by the crease running along the side, under both door handles.

Both current and previous versions make for spacious family cars, with enough legroom for three adults in the middle row and the back row of two seats, which are best for children, or for folding down to create space for luggage.

The newer Touran is the better option as it comes well-equipped (SE Family models have a panoramic roof as standard) and its diesel engines should comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, and so avoid some future diesel charges. Diesel is the best option for the Touran, as the engines are economical and powerful enough to haul a heavily-laden car.
VW Touran buying guide

 

Mazda MX-5

Best sports car for under £15,000

Our pick Mazda MX-5 SE-L Nav
Latest Mazda MX-5 deals from £9,899
Finance from £159 per month

Light, nimble and simple, the Mazda MX-5 is designed to make you fall in love with driving again. Push back the roof, start up the engine and feel the feel the wheels bobbing over bumps and twisting in corners, through the thin-rimmed steering wheel. It's best on summer afternoons on a country road, where you can rev the engine and scythe through corners well within the speed limit, unlike more powerful sports cars, which are barely into their stride by 60mph.

There are two body styles: the soft-top and the RF with a folding hard-top roof, which provides more security and better insulation in winter. The boot will accept a couple of carry-on suitcases, so the MX-5 is a reasonably practical proposition, too.
Mazda MX-5 buying guide

  

Renault Zoe

Best electric car for under £15,000

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav
Latest Renault Zoe deals from £6,000
Finance from £115 per month

If you have a medium-distance commute and the possibility of recharging your car at either end of your journey, there’s lots to recommend an electric car, especially one like the Renault Zoe. Quiet and nippy, it's quite capable of motorway speeds and comes well-equipped in in Dynamique Nav specification, with a TomTom sat nav, cruise control and rear parking sensors as standard.

The Z.E.40 model, launched in 2016 provides a realistic range of around 160 miles in between charges and picking one with the Quick Charge system allows it to be recharged from zero to 80% in 65 minutes - if you connect it to a fast charger. So-called ‘i’ versions of the Zoe have a battery included in their price, but most require you to lease the battery, which will cost at least £50 a month, and most likely more, depending on your annual mileage.
Renault Zoe buying guide

  

Skoda Superb estate

Best large estate car for under £15,000

Our pick Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 140 SE estate
Latest Skoda Superb Estate deals from £11,499
Finance from £189 per month

When it comes to shifting big loads, few cars can touch the cavernous Skoda Superb estate. Its boot expands from 660 litres with the seats up to a maximum of 1,950 litres with them folded down. That's more than you get in the Mercedes E-Class Estate and is on a par with the Volvo XC90 large SUV – for a lot less money.

All this loadspace doesn't come at the expense of interior space. Three adults can sit in comfort in the back thanks in particular to a generous supply of legroom.

The Superb provides a smooth ride wherever it's driven but it’s on the motorway, soaking up the miles comfortably and quietly, that the Superb estate excels. For this role, the 2.0 TDI diesel is the engine to choose.
Skoda Superb buying guide

 

Mini Countryman

Best small crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Mini Countryman 1.6 Cooper All4
Latest Mini Countryman deals from £8,899
Finance from £138 per month

The crossover crowd is brimming with cars at the moment, but petrol powered crossovers with the option of an automatic gearbox are few and far between.

The Countryman looks like a Mini that’s eaten all the pies, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s still a funky looking thing.

It’s also one of the most driver-focussed crossovers, and is genuinely fun and engaging to drive. Plus it has a useful four-wheel drive system that gives it off-roading credentials, and will come in handy in the winter months. As with all Minis, they are very customisable from the factory, so be picky with colour choices as there are hundreds of options.

 

Toyota Auris

Best family hybrid for under £15,000

Our pick Toyota Auris 1.8 VVT-I Excel
Latest Toyota Auris deals from £7,999
Finance from £142 per month

With the hybrid parts from a Toyota Prius, covered with a more conventional design, the Toyota Auris promises excellent fuel economy without the drama.

As well as a petrol engine, it has a battery that's charged by recovering energy that would normally be wasted during braking, as well as from the engine when it's efficient to do so. This then drives an electric motor to provide a power boost during acceleration, or to drive the car at slow speeds.

In typical stop-start city conditions, the system can return fuel economy of around 80mpg but that can almost halve on steady journeys where the electric motor is rarely used

It’s a reasonably roomy family hatchback but really, its technology and in-town economy benefits without a diesel engine are why you might want the Auris. And there are few rivals at this price.
Toyota Auris buying guide

 

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