Best Euro 6 diesel cars for under £150 per month

Got the need for a diesel car? Avoid future emissions charges with an affordable Euro 6 diesel car for under £150 per month

John Evans
Feb 24, 2021
2014 Citroen C4 Cactus

If your kind of lifestyle necessitates the use of a diesel engine, you might feel a little hard done by the scapegoating that seems to have befallen you. Diesel cars and their engines have been thrown under the bus in recent years due to their emission of particularly unhealthy gases. 

It's a stigma that's caused diesel cars to be hit hardest by the latest car emission laws that have come into effect.

London's new ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) requires owners of any diesel car or van that doesn't meet the latest emission standards - the majority of diesel vehicles on the road - to pay a £12.50 daily charge whenever they drive into the centre of the capital. Far fewer petrol owners will be affected.

Birmingham will set up a similar clean air zone next year and more than a dozen other councils are considering following suit.

How to avoid ULEZ charges

Getting a car capable of avoiding ULEZ charges doesn't need to break the bank. Any petrol cars registered from September 2005 will be compliant, but diesel buyers need to ensure that their vehicle complies with the most recent emissions standard, known as Euro 6, which became mandatory for new cars from September 2015.

Virtually every car sold as new since that date should comply with the Euro 6 limits, and be exempt from clean air zone charges. Some cars met the standard years earlier, so you've got plenty of choice. BuyaCar currently has 13510 Euro 6-compliant diesel cars for sale, with prices starting at £4,900, or from £97 per month with finance.

The imminent charges and threats of tax rises have caused diesel sales to plummet, but modern cars are generally much cleaner, and remain more efficient than petrol cars. Anyone driving more than 12,000 miles a year is likely to save by opting for diesel over petrol.

Read on for our pick of the best Euro 6 diesel cars available for under £150 per month. 

Best Euro 6 diesel cars for under £150 per month

1. Honda Civic

Used Euro 6 diesel Honda Civic diesel deals from £7,499
Monthly finance from £146*

Honda’s diesel engine returns almost 60mpg in real-world driving, which is better than the Mini Hatchback below, even if it is somewhat short of the official 75mpg figure.

It's quiet and responds to a prod of the accelerator with a burst of power. Honda owners rate the reliability of this version of the Civic too. It was replaced in 2017 by a new Civic, which is more expensive on the used market.


2. Mini Hatchback

Used Euro 6 diesel Mini Hatchback diesel deals from £6,998
Monthly finance from £150*

Adding a diesel engine to the sporty Cooper version of the Mini Hatchback doesn't sound like a promising recipe, but the powerful little motor is brilliantly suited to the nippy Mini, giving swift acceleration to go with its sharp steering response.

It's quiet when cruising at a steady speed, but fuel economy doesn't come close to living up to the official figure of almost 80mpg. Driven normally, you can expect just over 50mpg.


3. Audi A3

Used Euro 6 Audi A3 diesel deals Limited stock

Early 2014 and 2015 versions of the previous-generation Audi A3 have now slipped below the £150 mark, offering a level of quality that few cars of this age and price can match. Look out for SE Technik models, which include rear parking sensors and sat-nav.

The 1.6-litre diesel-powered A3 is efficient and quiet at steady speeds, with a reasonable amount of legroom for rear seat passengers.


4. Vauxhall Astra

Used Euro 6 Vauxhall Astra diesel deals from £6,395
Monthly finance from £137*

Vauxhall calls its 1.6-litre diesel engine a "whisper diesel" because it's so quiet. It's a good marketing line, but there's some truth in it too, because it is one of the quietest diesel engines available - you can still hear a rattle under acceleration, though. Nimble handling and punchy power make the Astra a good car to drive, but it falls down on fuel economy. You can expect around 50mpg in the real-world, which is a long way off the official 85mpg figure.

The Astra is also an excellent choice if you're on a budget because the manufacturer began producing Euro 6-compliant cars from 2014, which are cheaper than more recent cars. These 1.6 diesel engines were fitted to the previous-generation Astra, which remains a good family car, with reasonable levels of equipment. Prices on BuyaCar start at £6,395 or from £137 per month on finance.


5. Peugeot 208

Used Euro 6 Peugeot 208 diesel deals from £6,495
Monthly finance from £120*

The previous-generation Peugeot 208 is one of the best-value Euro 6 compliant cars, with plenty of 2015 and 2016 diesel models available. 

All cars include a dashboard touchscreen and most built after November 2015 come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can control smartphone apps using the screen or voice control. It might not match the very latest small cars for comfort or space, but it's hard to beat on price.


6. Mazda 3

Used Euro 6 Mazda 3 diesel deals from £9,290
Monthly finance from £165*

The Mazda 3 is unusual among family hatchbacks in having such a large diesel engine. It means it’s not among the most economical but does deliver strong performance (acceleration from 0 to 62mph in 8.1 seconds) and an ability to cruise at motorway speeds extremely quietly.


7. Seat Leon

Used Euro 6 Seat Leon diesel deals from £8,800
Monthly finance from £153*

Underneath the seat Leon's sharp-angled design are the same mechanical parts as you'll find in a Volkswagen Golf. Which means that you're getting the benefits of that car for a cheaper price and a design that's arguably more attractive.

SE models are a popular choice, with alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and touchscreen as standard. Choose an SE Dynamic Technology model for added sat-nav and parking sensors.


8. Citroen C4 Cactus

2014 Citroen C4 Cactus

Used Euro 6 Citroen C4 Cactus diesel deals from £6,800
Monthly finance from £133*

With plastic air bumps on the side of the car to help protect against car park bumps, and a minimalist fabric interior that's meant to promote calm and relaxed driving, the C4 Cactus isn't like any other car.

Not everyone is a fan - one reason why the airbumps were removed when the car was updated last year - but this also means that you can get a C4 Cactus at an excellent price, along with an efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine that provides steady performance.

Citroen C4 Cactus buyers' guide

*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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