Best used cars for £15,000

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

John Evans
May 28, 2019

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 12885 cars available on this site costing between £10,000 and £15,000 with finance costs ranging from £80 to £294 per month.

All of the featured cars can be bought for under £15,000, and are less than four 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 used cars for under £15,000

1) Volkswagen Golf

Best family hatchback for under £15,000

Our pick VW Golf 1.4 TSI Match 5dr

Latest VW Golf deals from £6,649
Finance from £111 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


2) Seat Ateca

Best family crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Technology 

Latest Seat Ateca deals from £11,950
Finance from £149 per month

Crossover cars are a fairly recent phenomenon. Their reason for existing? The fact that they offer the high driving position of an SUV, with the low running costs of a hatchback.

Seat’s Ateca is the best medium-sized crossover around, and used prices have just dropped below the £15,000 mark. People love the space (it has room for five adults, plus a larger than average boot) and the style. The Ateca’s jauntily angled jawline makes the car look sporty, and a lot less bloated than many other mediumish family sized cars.
Seat Ateca buying guide

3) Ford Fiesta ST

Best hot hatch for under £15,000

Our pick Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr

Latest Ford Fiesta ST deals from £8,495
Finance from £145 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, this car will keep you grinning for years to come.
Ford Fiesta ST buying guide


4) BMW 3 Series

Best premium family car for under £15,000

Our pick BMW 318d SE

Latest BMW 3 Series deals from £10,480
Finance from £128 per month

A three-year-old BMW 3 series for just £10,480 represents remarkable value for money. It’s the complete car: comfortable, great to drive, and a desirable badge 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


5) VW Touran

Best large people carrier for under £15,000

Our pick Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI SE Family

Latest VW Touran deals from £9,990
Finance from £173 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


6) Mazda MX-5

Best sports car for under £15,000

Our pick Mazda MX-5 SE-L Nav

Latest Mazda MX-5 deals from £11,599
Finance from £179 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 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


7) Renault Zoe

Best electric car for under £15,000

Renault Zoe front

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav

Latest Renault Zoe deals from £8,290
Finance from £157 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


8) 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 £7,990
Finance from £150 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


9) Mini Countryman

Best small crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Mini Countryman 1.6 Cooper All4

Latest Mini Countryman deals from £8,499
Finance from £141 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.
Mini Countryman buying guide

10) Hyundai Ioniq

Best family hybrid for under £15,000

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq SE Hybrid

Latest Hyundai Ioniq deals from £12,999
Finance from £176 per month

As well as a petrol engine, the Ioniq 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 65-80mpg but that can almost halve on steady journeys where the electric motor is rarely used.

It’s very similar to the Toyota Prius - but bests it in three ways. It has a DCT style automatic gearbox, rather than a CVT that drones on and on. It’s more conventional looking. And it’s cheaper.
Hyundai Ioniq buying guide


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