Best cars under £5,000

Bargain prices for some seriously good used cars: see the best cars for under £5,000

BuyaCar team
May 4, 2018

Take a family away for a fortnight during the school holidays, and it's not hard to spend the best part of £5,000 on travel, accommodation, food and drinks. Which makes buying a car for £5,000 look like terrific value, if not quite as exotic as cocktails on the beach.

A relatively small budget won't limit you to some old clunker. None of the cars below are more than four years old, and a few still have some of the manufacturer's warranty remaining. All have lost a great deal of their value, and are now at a bargain price, with many years life left.

There is usually a choice of cars available for under £5,000, including stylish city runarounds, ones that are big enough for young families, and even electric vehicles. However, the selection can be limited: all of the cars below were available at the time of writing, but there may not always be used models available for such a low price.

If you can't see the car you like for under £5,000, you may need to increase your budget by a few hundred pounds, which should only have a minimal impact on any finance payments. Cash buyers should note that all BuyaCar vehicles include a finance incentive that's not available if you are purchasing outright.


Citroen C1

Best car under £5,000 for choice

Our pick Citroen C1 1.0i Platinum 3dr (2014, 15,000 miles)
Typical price £4995  Representative finance £87 per month

A new version of the Citroen C1 went on sale in 2014 with the stand-out design that's shown above. These cars are now starting to appear for under £5,000, which is extremely low for a model that's still in production.

It's nippy and economical in town, thanks to its small 0.9-litre engine, but you will have to get used to the C1 thudding into potholes.The interior looks almost as quirky as the exterior, which helps to disguise the expanse of plastic.
Citroen C1 buying guide


Dacia Sandero

Best car under £5,000 for space

Our pick Dacia Sandero 12V Ambiance 5dr (2014, 30,000 miles)
Typical price £4995  Representative finance £92 per month

With a starting price of £5,995 when new (which has recently been increased), Dacia Sanderos have always been budget cars. They are cheap and cheerful, lacking some of the features that you might expect but offering considerably more space than city cars like the Citroen above.

If you were buying new, then you'd have to opt for the entry-level Access car to get a real bargain, and do without features, such as a radio. Fortunately your money goes much further on the used market, where, for under £5,000, a mid-range Ambiance car can be yours, which does feature the radio, along with a USB port and Bluetooth so you can connect your phone wirelessly. Find a Laureate car and you'll also have air conditioning.

As the price is so cheap to begin with, the car doesn't have a lot more money to lose, which helps to keep finance repayments low.
Dacia Sandero buying guide


VW up!

Best car under £5,000 for city driving

Our pick VW up! 1.0 Take up 3dr (2014, 30,000 miles)
Typical price £4995  Representative finance £84 per month

Where the Citroen C1 feels cheap and cheerful, the up! feels more grown-up, with a clearly laid-out dashboard and a smoother driving experience. It's less uncomfortable on rough roads and surprisingly stable on the motorway. There's space in the back for a couple of adults too, although there's no chance of them being able to stretch their legs.
Volkswagen up! buying guide


Skoda Fabia

Best car under £5,000 for owner satisfaction

Our pick Skoda Fabia 1.2 SE 5dr (2014, 50,000 miles)

Typical price £4995  Representative finance £88 per month

To get behind the wheel of a Fabia you need to consider a car with higher than average mileage or one that’s slightly older in years – probably both.

That's because the previous-generation Fabia remains in demand, thanks to its high level of customer satisfaction and reliability. It feels well screwed together, is comfortable on the road and has more space in the back than most of the cars in this list.


Vauxhall Corsa

Best car under £5,000 for young drivers

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa 1.0 ecoFLEX Expression 3dr (2013, 11,000 miles)

Typical price £4795  Representative finance £92 per month

Good visibility, light steering and a straightforward layout make the Vauxhall Corsa a top choice for driving schools, and a popular option for first drivers. Lower-powered models come with cheap insurance, engines are efficient and it's reasonably spacious too, in the front and back.

At this price, you'll be looking at the previous-generation Corsa, but it doesn't look so much different from the current car, so it won't feel too dated.


Renault Zoe

Best car under £5,000 for electric power

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Intens (2014, 30,000 miles)

Typical price £4995  Representative finance £96 per month

If you've got a driveway to park your car in (so it can be charged) and typically drive less than 50 miles a day, then an electric car could suit you well. Particularly a car such as the Renault Zoe, which doesn't look odd either inside or out, and was designed from the ground up as an electric car. This meant that designers could make the most of the extra space available from not having an engine, resulting in a roomy interior.

With a price of under £5,000 and cheap recharging, you might be wondering what the catch is. Well, quite a crucial part of the car is missing: you'll need to hire the batteries, which costs at least £50 per month which - at this price, is a hefty increase.
Renault Zoe buying guide


Kia Picanto

Best car under £5,000 for a long warranty

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.0 5dr (2014, 24,000 miles)

Typical price £4943  Representative finance £91 per month

The Picanto city car has many strong points, among them its neat design, zippy three-cylinder engine and roomy interior

But head and shoulders above them is its seven-year new car warranty. It means that a 2014 model has three years’ cover still remaining – as much as most new cars - offering plenty of peace of mind. Owners rate the car as reliable too, so you'll hopefully never need to use it.
Kia Picanto buying guide


Fiat 500

Best car under £5,000 for style

Our pick Fiat 500 1.2 Pop (2014, 23,000 miles)
Typical price £4990  Representative finance £84 per month

Fiat has a strong record for making small cars that are brimming with character. The Fiat Panda is an example and here’s another, the 500.

The 500 is not as practical as the Panda but it is much more desirable thanks to the appeal of its large bug-eyed headlamps and compact, 1960s styling.

The two-cylinder TwinAir petrol engine suits it perfectly: the car surges forward with puppy dog-like energy when you rev the engine, which also produces a gentle growl from the exhaust. You're more likely to find the cheaper 1.2-litre engine for under £5,000, which has steadier acceleration but virtually as economical in real-world driving.
Fiat 500 buying guide


Hyundai i10

Best car under £5,000 for value

Our pick Hyundai i10 S Air (2015, 32,000 miles)
Typical price £4995  Representative finance £82 per month

This is probably the best value of the whole selection. The i10 is a serial award winner, a favourite of sister magazine Auto Express.

it doesn't even look like a tiny car, thanks to its design, and doesn't feel like one inside either, with a reasonable amount of legroom in the back for its size (if you do take regular long journeys, then no city car like the i10 is going to offer comfort).

New Huyndais are sold with a five-year warranty. It’s not as long as sister company Kia’s seven-year warranty but does mean our example has two years’ cover remaining.
Hyundai i10 buying guide


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