Best used cars for under £5,000

Modern motors on a tight budget: the best used cars for under £5,000 - or £25 a week

John Evans
Aug 10, 2018

For less than £5,000, or  £25 per week on finance, you could be driving a car that's less than five years old, with a modern design and even a warranty in some cases.

Choice isn't always guaranteed, as there are only a limited number of relatively recent cars available for under £5,000, so you may need to be patient if you're set on a particular car. But there are currently 129 cars available on BuyaCar for less, ranging from small city cars to larger family models. Finance starts at £74 per month

Savvy buyers will be keen to learn that used cars registered before 1 April 2017 are taxed under old rules, and are cheaper to tax than their newer equivalents.

Scroll down for our pick of cars for £5,000, or click below to search through the latest deals.

Best used cars for under £5,000

Skoda Citigo

Best used car under £5,000 for city car convenience

Our pick Skoda Citigo SE 1.0 5dr
Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,400
Finance from £79 per month

The Skoda Citigo is one of three virtually identical small cars, the others being the VW up! and Seat Mii.

Neither offer quite as much value as the Citigo: you can buy a three-year-old car for less than £5,000 in popular SE trim, which includes air-conditioning, a fully adjustable driver’s seat and electric front windows.

For this price, you’re most likely to find the least-powerful 60 horsepower petrol engine, which is quiet and nippy enough for town driving.

The Citigo may look small but the interior is surprisingly spacious and the 251-litre boot close to class-leading.
Skoda Citigo buying guide


Dacia Sandero

Best used car under £5,000 for value

Our pick Dacia Sandero 1.2 75bhp Ambiance
Latest Dacia Sandero deals from £4,990
Finance from £89 per month

Until recently, the basic Dacia Sandero didn't cost much more than £5,000 as a new car, so it’s no surprise that you can get a fairly recent model for less. Cheapest of all are the entry-level Access models which come without even a radio as standard. Unsurprisingly, most buyers avoid this and opt for the more generous Ambiance trim with electric front windows and a radio with Bluetooth, so there are far more of these higher-specification cars available.

The Sandero offers much more space and practicality than the city cars, which are more common in this price range. Increase your budget by £1,000, and you could get behind the wheel of a 0.9-litre petrol version, which is smoother, more powerful and more efficient than the more basic 1.2-litre engine.
Dacia Sandero buying guide


Fiat 500

Best used car under £5,000 for style on a budget

Our pick Fiat 500 1.2 Pop
Latest Fiat 500 deals from £4,375
Finance from £74 per month

The Fiat 500 offers a rare combination of desirability and low prices. The cute and curvy design of the city car still looks fresh, and it’s available even on a tight budget. Entry-level Pop cars include electric front windows and a retro-lloking radio, which might not be high-tech but does fit with the car's style. 

The cheapest 1.2 petrol engine is not as advanced as its more expensive and nippier 0.9-litre TwinAir alternative but in real-world terms, it’s almost as economical. The lack of legroom in the rear means that the back seats are best left to children. Approach it as a two-seat runabout and you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
Fiat 500 buying guide


Citroen C3 Picasso

Best used car under £5,000 for space

Our pick Citroen C3 Picasso 1.6 HDi VTR+
Latest Citroen C3 Picasso deals from £5,495
Finance from £105 per month

The Citroen C3 Picasso is one of the zanier-looking family cars, but one of the more sensible choices. It can seat five adults comfortably; has sliding rear seats, so you can choose between more legroom or a huge 500-litre boot; and comes well equipped as standard.

Prices regularly dip below £5,000 for early 2013 models, you may need to be patient to find a car within budget: but you’ll need £6,000 or £120 a month for more choice.
Citroen C3 Picasso buying guide


Peugeot 208

Best used car under £5,000 for looks and value

Our pick Peugeot 208 1.2 VTi Access
Latest Peugeot 208 deals from £4,999
Finance from £81 per month

The Peugeot 208 is popular for its curved design but the car isn’t just a pretty face. It’s roomy inside, and has a decent-sized boot that’s slightly larger than you’ll find in a VW Polo.

The small steering wheel is supposed to make the car feel more nimble in corners, and all but the entry-level Access and Access+ cars come with a dashboard touchscreen. You can also expect air conditioning, cruise control with a speed limiter and a refrigerated glovebox to keep drinks and snacks cool as standard in every car.
Peugeot 208 buying guide


Toyota Aygo

Best used car under £5,000 for city car value 

Our pick Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i x 3dr
Latest Toyota Aygo deals from £4,799
Finance from £86 per month

The Aygo uses the same mechanical parts as the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108, so all have the same amount of interior space and are similar to drive. But where the other two models only come with a three-year new car warranty, the Aygo has five years’ cover, making it the better used car buy - a 2015 car will still have around two years of its warranty remaining.

A car of that age will typically only be available for £5,000 in entry-level X trim, which lacks air conditioning and Bluetooth but low-mileage examples are common.
Toyota Aygo buying guide


Renault Twingo

Best used car under £5,000 for putting the fun in functional 

Our pick Renault Twingo 0.9 Dynamique
Latest Renault Twingo deals from £4,699
Finance from £77 per month

The latest version of the Renault Twingo is just beyond the £5,000 budget, but if you can stretch to £6,000, it's worth paying a bit more, as its tight turning circle makes it extremely manouevrable and it can seat four adults.

The older car's fairly spacious to, despite its mini dimensions. It's efficient too, but only has three doors, so it's a bit of a scramble to get into the back. The nwer car has five doors.


Skoda Fabia

Best used car under £5,000 for space and reliability

Our pick Skoda Fabia 1.2 SE
Latest Skoda Fabia deals from £5,299
Finance from £90 per month

Skoda’s Fabia is larger than the Skoda Citigo further up this list, so a similar amount of money will buy you extra space but you'll have to compromise with an older model that has covered a few more miles. 

Cars aren't continuously available for less than £5,000, so you may need to wait until one becomes available. At this price, you’ll be looking at the previous-generation Fabia with large, curved headlights (lights on newer cars are more angular). It's still a good car, and SE models include air conditioning, alloy wheels and electric front windows as standard. The downside is a 1.2-litre petrol engine that takes almost 15 seconds to go from 0-62mph.


Vauxhall Corsa

Best used car under £5,000 for supermini value

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Sting (AC) 3dr
Latest Vauxhall Corsa deals from £4,295
Finance from £81 per month

Ford’s Fiesta outsells the Vauxhall Corsa on the new car market but it’s the Corsa that’s the better used buy for less than £5,000, because you can get a newer, lower-mileage and better-specified car for this budget.

There are plenty of basic and mid-range cars to choose from, including the low-insurance Sting model, which comes with white bonnet stripes, roof and side mirrors, plus air conditioning. The three-door model is cheapest but has wide-opening doors that can be a nuisance in tight parking spaces and a steeply-sloped roof that reduces headroom for rear passengers. If these could be an issue, choose the five-door version.


Kia Picanto

Best used car under £5,000 for peace of mind

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.0 1 3dr
Latest Kia Picanto deals from £4,195
Finance from £78 per month

Kias come with a mammoth seven-year warranty, limited to 100,000 miles, which is the longest in the car industry. Like most warranties, it can be transferred to new owners.

This makes the Picanto city car an appealing choice for the money. Not only does the warranty provide extra peace of mind, but the car’s 1-litre petrol engine is smooth, nippy and economical - at least in town. You’re better off looking at the larger Kia Rio if you’ll frequently be taking the car on faster roads.
Kia Picanto buying guide


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