Best value second-hand cars

These cars represent excellent value when new. But they’re even more tempting when they’re second-hand at far lower prices

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Mar 5, 2021

Every car has a key selling point. Maybe it’s the fastest or the most comfortable. Perhaps it has the biggest boot or the best fuel economy. Other cars appeal because they offer good, old fashioned value for money.

There’s a sense that you’re getting more for your money than you should be. Like buying a family hatchback for the price of a city car. Or a car loaded with equipment that would be optional on key rivals at a similar price. Think of it as paying for dinner and getting the wine chucked in for free.

Such cars are even more appealing when they get older and are available at even lower prices. This is why we’ve pulled together a list of the best value second-hand cars - available at low cash prices and with particularly affordable monthly payments if you go for PCP finance.

Many of them will still be covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty, which gives you additional peace of mind, and all of them could be delivered to your door after just a few clicks on BuyaCar. So keep reading to choose the best value car for you.

Best car value for money

1. Dacia Sandero Stepway

Used deals from £5,999
Monthly finance from £137*

The Dacia Sandero is Britain’s cheapest new car. It’s also pretty good at holding its value, so you won’t lose a big chunk of cash after two or three years of motoring. However, there’s always a sense that you get more for your money in the Sandero Stepway.

It’s essentially a jacked-up Sandero with chunky SUV-inspired styling and roof rails. It also happens to be the biggest selling Dacia in the UK, so it must be doing something right. The fact it's so popular, meanwhile, means there are more used models to choose from, too.

Crucially, the entry-level Sandero Stepway comes with more kit than a basic Sandero, so you can be sure that you won’t be missing out on essential equipment that the cheapest standard Sanderos do without - like a radio. That said, we’d recommend upgrading from Essential to Comfort specification, not least because this comes with rear parking sensors, cruise control, sat-nav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Tonnes of equipment for such an affordable car.


2. MG 3

Used 2019 deals Limited stock

The MG 3 is an excellent alternative to the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. Launched in 2013, the supermini has the style and equipment to compete with mainstream rivals, but a price tag to pitch it against budget cars. Later models are even backed by a seven-year warranty, so a large proportion of used models even have a decent amount of manufacturer warranty cover remaining.

We’d recommend choosing an MG 3 registered after the 2018 facelift. Improved styling, a revamped interior and a new eight-inch touchscreen media system gave the MG 3 a welcome boost. A digital radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard.

It’s also surprisingly good to drive, feeling closer to the Ford Fiesta - a car which has a reputation for being comfortable but pleasingly sporty to drive - than just about any of its supermini rivals. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is a little dated, not offering as much punch at low engine speeds as the smaller turbocharged petrol engines that come with most rivals, but it thrives on being worked hard at which point it picks up speed well, so it’s actually great fun on a country lane.


3. Fiat Tipo

Used deals from £6,990
Monthly finance from £129*

The Fiat Tipo is often overlooked as a new car, with many drivers preferring the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf. This means it loses its value rather quickly, so even a 2018 model could be available for less than half the price it was new. And it was pretty affordable to begin with, which makes it a second-hand bargain.

There are two versions; hatchback and estate. Both feature a large boot and space for five adults, so the Tipo is ideal if you’re after a spacious family car on the cheap. It’s not exciting, but it’s certainly practical and bigger than most cars of the same age that are available for a similar price.

All versions feature air-conditioning, cruise control, a digital radio and Bluetooth. Lounge specification offers a touch more luxury than the more basic Easy versions, but look out for the Mirror trim. This features the likes of a seven-inch touchscreen media system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, rear parking sensors, 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and some smart chrome exterior details, making it look and feel more desirable.


4. Skoda Rapid Spaceback

Used deals from £7,495
Monthly finance from £146*

Skoda has cornered the value end of the market. No other car manufacturer offers such a tempting blend of price, space and equipment. It’s worth remembering that its cars are built around Volkswagen engines and tech, so you’re definitely getting more for your money than with a similarly sized VW or Audi (with all three brands being part of the same parent company).

This is certainly true of the Skoda Rapid Spaceback. Not only does it feature a boot that’s larger than a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, there’s also lots of headroom and legroom for adults travelling in the back seats. That makes it a great cut-price family car.

An update in 2017 improved the styling and introduced the option of the excellent 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This offers, suitably er… rapid acceleration in the city, plus the benefit of a sixth gear for relaxed and economical motorway cruising. Equipment levels are good across the range, but the SE Tech versions feature a 6.5-inch media system, sat-nav, climate control, cruise control and an all-important umbrella under the front passenger seat, which makes them a top value choice.


5. Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Used deals from £8,000
Monthly finance from £156*

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is one of the used car market’s best kept secrets. It’s a more affordable alternative to the Nissan Qashqai, which happens to be Britain's favourite family crossover. The S-Cross, however, as a less obvious choice allows you to get more car for your money.

Not only does it look similar to the Qashqai on the outside, the boot is also of a similar size, so it’s ideal for a couple of large suitcases or a folding pushchair. A facelift in 2016 improved the styling and upped the level of equipment, but the big news was the arrival of the excellent 1.0-litre 'Boosterjet' petrol engine, which is both powerful and economical.

Some versions feature AllGrip four-wheel drive, which includes various driver-selectable modes. The SX-4 S-Cross should provide reassurance and security, whatever the great British weather throws at it, but just bear in mind that like the Qashqai this is a car designed for on-road driving.


6. Kia Rio

Used deals from £7,900
Monthly finance from £154*

Its name is Rio, but it’s not great at dancing on the sand. If this reference to 80s pop music leaves you scratching your head, it’s probably best to ask your parents. We’re not sure what Simon Le Bon would make of the Kia Rio, but it offers excellent value on the second-hand market.

It’s one of Kia’s most affordable new cars, with prices starting from just £13,500. You also get the same seven-year warranty as the more expensive Kia models, so it feels like you’re getting something on the cheap when you pick up a used version, since even affordable four-year old versions should have three years' manufacturer warranty left - the same as most brand new cars.

The current Rio arrived in 2017, so even the earliest models are covered by Kia’s warranty until 2024. The Rio 1 is likely to be the most affordable, but we’d recommend upgrading to the Rio 2 as this feels much more desirable with a better spread of standard equipment. This mid-range model features 15-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen media system, rear parking sensors and cruise control.


7. Ford Ka+

Used deals from £6,895
Monthly finance from £119*

It would be easy to overlook the Ford Ka+ in favour of the more popular Ford Fiesta, but that would be a mistake for drivers after maximum value. It’s actually based on the same platform as the previous-generation Fiesta, but it’s a little taller, so there’s more headroom inside, making it a good small car for those who want to carry passengers in the rear seats regularly.

The good news continues in the boot, where there’s a surprising amount of space for a city car. A large suitcase will fit without problem, and there’s enough room for a weekly trip to the supermarket.

Squint hard, and the Ford Ka+ looks like a miniature Aston Martin, with its broad front grille. If SUV styling is more your thing, meanwhile, you can even opt for a Ka+ Active, which features chunky off-road styling and a raised ride height. Not convinced? How about the fact that the Ford Ka+ is one of the most affordable cars on the BuyaCar website with monthly payments starting from as little as around £100* per month on PCP finance with a relatively small deposit?


8. Hyundai i30

Used deals from £10,000
Monthly finance from £160*

The Hyundai i30 is a family hatchback designed to compete with the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. Whisper this, but the i30 could be a match for the three of them despite its affordable pricing.

For a start, it comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Then there’s the boot, which is larger than you’ll find in the Golf or the Focus. It gets better, because all i30 models come with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and automatic headlights.

The current model arrived in 2017, so the earliest models will be covered by warranty until 2022. There are also three five-door bodystyles to choose from; an affordable hatchback, a sporty-looking fastback and a more practical estate, known as the Tourer. If you’re feeling rebellious, there's also a high-performance i30N version, which is an exhilarating alternative to the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R.


*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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