Best used cars for under £15,000

With a budget of £15,000 the world of used cars really is your oyster. Our list of the best cars at this price ought to get you excited

BuyaCar team
May 10, 2021

Got some spare cash to the tune of £15,000 and stuck with what to do with it? We're here to help with this handy list of eight great used cars available on BuyaCar that sit perfectly within your budget.

And these are great cars, the fact they're used models does nothing to diminish their quality, it just makes them even better value for money. From nimble two-seat sports cars to seven-seat people carriers, there are currently 10323 cars available on this site costing between £10,000 and £15,000 with finance costs ranging from £152 to £332 per month. The best news is all of these cars are ready and waiting to be delivered straight to your door, so there's no need to go staking out the local dealerships.

Better still, even the oldest cars on this list are relatively new, so you can be sure you'll be getting into a car that still has its best years ahead of it. Stick to cars that were first registered after September 2015 and you'll guarantee that they comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards too, so you can avoid the latest ULEZ charges.

If you're keen to get started on your search for the perfect car, read on for our pick of eight used cars we think are the best you can buy for under £15,000 - and they're all available right now on BuyaCar.

Best used cars for under £15,000

1. Volkswagen Golf

Best family hatchback for under £15,000

Our pick VW Golf 1.0 TSI Match Edition 5dr
Used deals from £10,980
Monthly finance from £188*

A £15,000 budget is now easily enough to buy post-2017 update Volkswagen Golf models, which are a little smarter than pre-update ones thanks to LED daytime running lights. Our favourite Match Edition version stands out further with chrome front-end trim and stylish alloy wheels. Opt for a used Volkswagen Golf and you'll get solid build quality, neat styling inside and out and a comfortable ride on British roads with stable and responsive cornering.

The Golf's diesel engines are still good options if you’ll mostly be doing longer journeys, but we recommend the smooth and powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine for most drivers. It also returns decent fuel economy with figures reaching almost 50mpg during real-world driving, and insurance costs should be reasonable as well.

Match Edition 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 an eight-inch touchscreen media system mounted on the dashboard with digital radio included. This is no longer the latest version of the Volkswagen Golf, but we found the interior quality to be better and the media system easier to use on the version we have here than on the newer version.


2. Seat Ateca

Best family crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Technology
Used deals from £10,299
Monthly finance from £152*

Crossovers are a fairly recent phenomenon, but their high driving position and comfort mixed with low running costs and practicality make them strong all-rounders. You only need to take a quick glance at crossover sales figures to see just how popular these cars are.

The Seat Ateca is arguably the best medium-sized crossover around, and the fact used prices have just dropped below the £15,000 mark makes it a very, very tempting proposition. There is plenty of space inside - it offers ample room for five adults - plus a larger boot than many of its rivals. The sharp angles around the Ateca's front-end makes it look sporty and aggresive, setting it appart from other, softer looking alternatives.


3. Mini Cooper S

Best hot hatch for under £15,000

Our pick Mini Cooper S 3dr
Used deals from £10,590
Monthly finance from £205*

The Mini Cooper S badge is a well-known one, and it signifies that the car you’re looking at is the first of two Mini hot hatchbacks. There’s a more powerful John Cooper Works version of the Mini, but it’s too firm-feeling for all but perfectly surfaced tarmac. The Cooper S is a much better all-rounder, still offering lots of driving thrills but it is more economical, more comfortable and cheaper to buy than the hard-riding JCW.

It’s just as fast as the Ford Fiesta ST and is very agile, but arguably features a higher-quality interior. There is a lot of standard equipment, such as climate control, air-conditioning and keyless push-button start, plus a big touchscreen in the centre with a digital radio and smartphone connectivity.

An updated Mini Cooper S was launched in April 2021, but the changes are broadly cosmetic compared with the version we have here. The three-door Mini is enduringly popular although, if you need more space in the back seats, the five-door Mini will appeal.


4. BMW 3 Series

Best premium family car for under £15,000

Our pick BMW 320d Saloon Sport
Used deals from £12,499
Monthly finance from £235*

The BMW 3 Series is a fantastic car, full stop. While the very latest version is available for over £23,000 on BuyaCar, the fact you can get the previous-generation model for less than £15,000 makes the idea of buying one worth a second thought.

It’s the complete car, it's comfortable, great to drive and sports a very desirable badge on the bonnet. But it's not just about the posh badge, BMW's strong image helps to maintain the car's value, which helps to reduce the monthly payments of a PCP finance deal.

Despite the adverse publicity, diesel engines are an excellent fit for the 3 Series, providing effortlessly smooth, quiet and economical power - we like the 2.0-litre 320d the best. It's also worth noting that most 3 Series models sold from mid-2015 with a 65 plate will comply with the Euro 6 standard, and are therefore less likely to be affected by charges in clean air zone charges. You're in luck here too, as £15,000 will get you the keys to models from 2016.


5. Renault Grand Scenic

Best large people carrier for under £15,000

Our pick Renault Grand Scenic Play TCe 140
Used deals Limited stock

The Renault Grand Scenic is often overlooked for other people carriers like the Ford S-Max or Volkswagen Touran, but it’s worth checking out if you’re in need of a lot of seats and space. Adults should be happy enough in the middle row of seats and, while the third row is best reserved for children, that’s the case in many of the Scenic’s rivals too. Extra practical touches, like the tray tables, USB sockets and numerous storage cubbies should all help take the stress out of family life and long journeys.

Neither engine is particularly exciting, so the choice of petrol or diesel will come down to whether you do regular long journeys or not - you’re better off with diesel power if you do. One thing the Grand Scenic does have on its side is style, with sharp lines and vast 20-inch alloy wheels that are fitted as standard. The Scenic is arguably stylish enough to compete with an SUV, especially if you choose a car with a contrasting black roof. Despite the big wheels, the Scenic is very comfortable and relaxed to drive.

Even the entry-level Play specification comes with rear parking sensors, a touchscreen media system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone connectivity, and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. Iconic, a mid-spec trim, adds sat-nav and a driver tiredness warning.


6. Mazda MX-5

Best sports car for under £15,000

Our pick Mazda MX-5 SE-L Nav
Used deals Limited stock

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 carving their way around corners, through the thin-rimmed steering wheel. It's best on sunny days on a country road, where you can enjoy working the engine hard and scything 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, but does come in just over budget. The boot will accept a couple of carry-on suitcases, so the MX-5 is a reasonably practical proposition, too. There are several of the latest model available on BuyaCar. We've gone for the SE L Nav which brings a decent level of comfort and convienience to this little bundle of fun.


7. Renault Zoe

Best electric car for under £15,000

Renault Zoe front

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav
Used deals from £6,458
Monthly finance from £126*

If you have a medium-distance commute and the possibility of recharging your car at the end of your journey, there’s lots to recommend an electric car, especially one like the Renault Zoe. Quiet and nippy, it's quite happy at motorway speeds and comes well-equipped in in Dynamique Nav specification, with 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 the battery included in their price, but most require you to lease the battery, which will cost at least £50 per month, and most likely more, depending on your annual mileage.

As used electric cars go, there is no doubt this first-generation Renault Zoe is one of the more affordable on the market.


8. Skoda Superb Estate

Best large estate car for under £15,000

Our pick Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE estate
Used deals from £13,399
Monthly finance from £220*

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 though. Three adults can sit in comfort in the back thanks in particular to a good amount 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-litre TDI diesel is the engine to choose.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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