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
Nov 5, 2021

Every car has a key selling point. It might have the biggest boot, offer the best fuel economy or have the comfiest seats. While these are all tempting propositions, many cars appeal purely because they offer the best all-round value for money.

These cars appeal thanks to their ‘bang for your buck’ feel - in that you feel 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.

Such cars are even more appealing when they make an appearance on the used market. 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.

A number 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 value cars

1. Dacia Sandero Stepway

Used deals from £6,450
Monthly finance from £292*

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. Nissan Leaf

Used deals from £8,995
Monthly finance from £230*

You may be surprised to hear that the very first mainstream electric car, the original Nissan Leaf, went on sale an entire decade ago. While this may not be great news for making you feel old, it is great news when it comes to finding an affordable and usable second-hand EV.

While an official range of either 109, 124 or 155 miles - depending on the car's age - is fairly low by today’s standard, these are still plenty for most day-to-day journeys. If you want the highest range you will need to opt for the larger 30kWh battery pack that features on later models. The Leaf will also sit four adults in comfort and has a pretty big 370-litre boot, too, so it offers decent levels of practicality.

The range expanded in March 2013 to three trim levels, and the base-level Visia was well equipped with electric windows, climate control, power mirrors and Bluetooth, but it doesn’t have fast charging or an infotainment screen fitted. Opting for the mid-level Acenta or higher is probably the best option, and there are plenty of these models on BuyaCar for less than £14,000.


3. Fiat Tipo

Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £0*

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. Renault Captur

Used deals from £7,100
Monthly finance from £166*

If you take the underpinnings of the hugely-popular fourth-generation Renault Clio hatchback and add in all the added practicality of an SUV body, you get the Renault Captur. This compact SUV was always a good-value option, especially for use as a family car, and now used examples can be found for some very reasonable prices for a car of this class.

The Captur offers a high driving position, plenty of space for a car of its size, and is reasonably comfortable to drive, too. There are a range of both petrol and diesel engines available - the options change slightly, depending on the car’s age - and all of these should achieve over 40mpg pretty easily, so running costs aren’t too steep, either.

The trim levels on offer were originally Expression, Expression+, Dynamique, Dynamique S and Signature. Arange facelift in late 2017 saw these simplified to just Play, Iconic, GT-Line and S Edition. All models feature alloy wheels, cruise control, Hill Start Assist and electric windows, but an upgrade may be required if you want air-conditioning.


5. Vauxhall Astra

Used deals from £7,390
Monthly finance from £200*

A regular sight on UK roads, the Vauxhall Astra has been a favoured go-to for fleet drivers and private buyers for many years. The latest generation Astra has been with us since 2015, and with the next model scheduled to arrive 2022, prices for used examples of the outgoing car are starting to drop to some very tempting levels.

The seventh-generation Astra is one of the best family hatchbacks on the market with its efficient engines, comfortable driving experience and overall quality - which has been greatly improved over previous models.

Which spec of Astra is best will depend on your needs. The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will prove best for those who regularly take short trips but don’t find themselves on the motorway too often. Whereas if you are a commuter or drive regularly for business, one of the diesels will be far better. Whichever engine you opt for, we’d recommend choosing at least the SRi trim as this includes improved safety kit such as forward collision alert, traffic-sign recognition, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assistance. As well as sportier styling and 17-inch alloy wheels.


6. Kia Rio

Used deals from £9,826
Monthly finance from £0*

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 £14,100. 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 £7,650
Monthly finance from £134*

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 £150* per month on PCP finance with a relatively small deposit?


8. Hyundai i30

Used deals from £12,950
Monthly finance from £0*

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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