Best used cars for under £10,000

Being on a budget needn't mean missing out. We highlight the best used cars for under £10,000 on the market today

BuyaCar team
Aug 10, 2018

With a budget of £10,000, there's a bewildering amount of choice on the market. For example, there are currently 9869 cars currently on sale for less at BuyaCar. Monthly finance payments for these vehicles range from £94 to £203 per month

Tall sport utility vehicles (SUVs) such as the Dacia Duster are well within reach, as are upmarket offerings from the likes of Audi.

There are plenty of other benefits in buying a used car. Vehicles registered before 1 April 2017 are taxed under the old rules, which mean the cars on this list have a lower annual road tax charge than newer equivalents.

However, look out for diesel cars that don't meet the latest emissions standards, known as Euro 6. These came into force in September 2015, so most cars that were on the road before this date don't comply. These older cars are more likely to incure future diesel charges and will be charged to drive in some future inner-city clean air zones, being set up in London, Birmingham and other British cities.

Best used cars for under £10,000

Volkswagen Golf

Best used car under £10,000 for compact quality

Our pick VW Golf 1.4 TSI SE 5dr
Latest VW Golf deals from £7,449
Finance from £83 per month

Luxury and everyday practicality come together in the VW Golf. Luxury in the form of a smooth ride, quiet interior, as well as deep-down quality, and practicality, with plenty of legroom and split-fold rear seats that fold flat.

There are plenty of basic S models around, but go with SE or Match for their uprated rear suspension that makes the car smoother on bumpy roads and more agile in corners. The diesel engines are strong and economical but if you only do average mileage consider the mid-power 1.4 TSI petrol that will nudge 50mpg yet do 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds.
VW Golf buying guide


Mazda 6 Tourer

Best used car under £10,000 for large hatchback practicality

Representative example Mazda 6 2.2D SE Tourer
Latest Mazda 6 Tourer deals from £8,415
Finance from £147 per month

If you’re looking for a lot of space for not a lot of money, big family estate cars like the Mazda 6 Tourer are hard to beat. It will seat five in comfort, while with the back seats folded, its load space is an impressive 1,632 litres. It's a little less a Ford Mondeo at 1,740 litres but the Mazda 6 makes up for it with its more stylish looks and higher quality.

It’s also enjoyable to drive thanks to direct steering, strong brakes and plenty of power if you pick the 150hp diesel engine. It’s comfortable and quiet on the motorway, too. However, there's not always a great number of used cars available, so you may need to extend the £10,000 budget slightly depending on when you buy.
Mazda 6 buying guide


Nissan Qashqai

Best used car under £10,000 for crossover practicality

Our pick Nissan Qashqai Visia 1.2 DIG-T 113bhp
Latest Nissan Qashqai deals from £9,489
Finance from £146 per month

Practical, economical and good to drive, the Qashqai is the family-size crossover by which all others are judged. The current model has been on sale since 2013 and prices for these cars have now fallen below £10,000.

Low-mileage drivers will appreciate the 1.2 DIG-T petrol’s 50mpg economy and reasonably lively performance. If you do a high mileage however, the more economical 1.5 dCi diesel should be your choice, although it will be more expensive.
Nissan Qashqai buying guide


Suzuki Swift Sport

Best used car under £10,000 for hot hatch performance

Our pick Suzuki Swift Sport 1.6 3dr
Latest Suzuki Swift Sport deals from £7,495
Finance from £131 per month

Admittedly, the best hot hatchback - delivering powerful performance and practicality - for under £10,000 is the Ford Fiesta ST, but the Suzuki Swift Sport is ahead when you look at value for money.

For around £9,500, you can get behind the wheel of one that’s a year younger than the Ford and with a fraction of its miles. The Swift Sport has an engine that doesn't have the turbochargers fitted to most modern hot hatchbacks, which means that the power builds steadily as you rev the engine, giving it a sporty feel. It's grippy and stable in corners too, making it great fun to drive.
Suzuki Swift buying guide


Audi A1

Best used car under £10,000 for small car quality

Audi A1

Our pick Audi A1 Sport 1.4 TFSI 3dr
Latest Audi A1 deals from £9,000
Finance from £133 per month

The Audi A1 brings the brand’s famed quality within reach of more people. Granted it’s a tiddler compared with limousines like the Audi A8, but it boasts the same attention to detail and rock-solid aura. It’s underpinning are similar to the VW Polo, so if you need to carry four adults in limo-like comfort you should look elsewhere.

Legroom in the back of the Audi A1 isn't as generous as you'll find ina  Volkswagen Polo or Skoda Fabia, and it can be awkward to get there if you opt for the three-door A1, which requires you to squeeze behind the tilting front seats, rather than the five-door A1 Sportback. There is a choice of petrol and diesel engines, but the smooth and punchy 123bhp 1.4 TSI suits the car’s character perfectly and is the one to have.
Audi A1 buying guide


Citroen C4 Cactus

Best used car under £10,000 for crossover comfort

Our pick Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 Flair
Latest Citroen C4 Cactus deals from £6,590
Finance from £117 per month

Distinctive, economical and comfy – the C4 Cactus marks a return to form for Citroen. It isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but then good Citroens never are. The most eye-catching features are its protective plasticAirbump panels on the doors and ‘eyebrow’ daytime running lights above the headlights. However, their divisive nature means that an updated version of the car, launched in 2018, no longer features them so prominently.

It’s certainly practical, but could be more so if the rear seat was a split-fold affair, allowing you to boost luggage space and have space for one passenger in the back. It's one of the measures that helped keep the price of the Cactus cheap. The car’s selection of efficient petrol and diesel engines should keep running costs low too.
Citroen C4 Cactus buying guide


 Dacia Duster

Best used car under £10,000 for SUV value

Our pick Dacia Duster 1.5dCi 110 Laureate
Latest Dacia Duster deals from £7,880
Finance from £138 per month

When it comes to value for money, little can touch a Dacia Duster. New, the SUV range starts at just £9,500 before discounts. But buy used and those pounds fall away. The high-specification Laureate that confounds those who dismiss Dacia as a budget brand by having air conditioning, 16in alloy wheels, electric windows all-round and cruise control. Save even more money by going for mid-range Ambiance trim which is still reasonably well specified.

The diesel engine is fairly economical and powerful enough for swift progress, but most cars sold before September 2015 don't meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, and so will be charged in future low emission zones being set up in cities that include London and Birmingham.
Dacia Duster buying guide


Volkswagen up!

Best used car under £10,000 for city car convenience

Representative example VW up! 1.0 59bhp Move up! 5dr
Latest VW up! deals from £4,463
Finance from £77 per month

Choosing between the little Volkswagen’s sister cars the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii is no easy task but the up! gets the nod for its more desirable image, higher quality fittings and, since 2016, slightly wider engine range. There’s a three-door version but the five-door makes much better use of the available space.

The up! is reasonably roomy but to be fair, the back seats are unlikely to be used that often. Instead, it’s forte is nipping along city streets, sipping fuel. If long journeys are a regular part of your driving diet, choose the more powerful but less economical 74bhp engine.
VW up! buying guide


Ford Fiesta

Best used car under £10,000 for supermini efficiency

Our pick Ford Fiesta 1.0 98bhp EcoBoost Zetec 5dr
Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £5,500
Finance from £92 per month

Stylish, great to drive, economical and reasonably well packaged. Until it was replaced by a new version in 2017, this was the best-selling car in Britain.  – no wonder the Ford Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling new car. It’s only real shortcoming is a lack of rear interior and boot space.

For under £10,000, your only option is really the older model. Opt for a 1-litre EcoBoost model with 100hp, which is economical and energetic. Zetec trim provides just about all of the equipment that you need.
Ford Fiesta buying guide


Mini Convertible

Best used car under £10,000 for fun

Our pick Mini Convertible 1.6 Cooper 2dr
Latest Mini Convertible deals from £8,999
Finance from £152 per month

Mini's trademark design features, including bug-eyed headlights, upturned grille and curved rear, have been a familiar sight on the roads since the 1960s. And they haven't changed a great deal since the first modern Mini in 2000. So even though a £10,000 budget won't quite stretch to the very latest Mini Convertible, you lose very little on the style front.

The previous-generation Convertible is smaller than the current model, which does make it cramped in the back. But it's still in demand, which keeps values high and helps to make finance quotes more affordable. The 122bhp 1.6-litre Cooper can do 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds and will hit 50mpg with a light foot.


Audi A3

Best used car under £10,000 for luxury

Our pick Audi A3 2.0 TDI SE
Latest Audi A3 deals from £9,599
Finance from £107 per month

The Audi A3’s build quality is unrivalled in its segment, even by the Volkswagen Golf, a car that is mechanically very similar. There are plenty of petrol and diesel options; a choice of three or five doors; as well as the option of a Cabriolet (starting at £14,899 on BuyaCar), and as a saloon(from £12,299).

For less than £10,000, you'll be looking at a hatchback. The petrol options are smooth and quiet; more powerful versions are quick too. If you do want a diesel, the 2.0 TDI engine is economical (49.3mpg in real-world testing) but also surprisingly powerful, and has good in-gear acceleration
Audi A3 buying guide


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