Best used cars under £25,000 for 2023
Have £25,000 for your next car? There’s no need to settle for a mediocre new car; go used and you can get a bigger, better or faster car
Keen to drive something that has a little more class and quality? £25,000 is an awful lot of money in the used car market, so if that's the kind of budget you're working with, we've got some good news for you. Whether you're looking for out-and-out luxury, or something with a bit more of an exciting streak, there's some properly high-end options on the table.
These may be used cars, but nothing on this list will be much more than a couple of years old and none of them will have covered excessive mileage. You really can get a huge amount of car for your money here, so you may question why you'd ever want to buy a brand new car again.
BuyaCar has a huge selection of used cars ready for your attention, and there are currently thousands priced between £20,000 and £25,000 alone. Your perfect car is right around the corner, and there's no better place to start than with this list of cars that offer a little bit of everything. Convertibles, sports cars, economical hybrids and super-practical estates are all on the cards.
So, if you're in the market for a great used car deal to the tune of £25,000, read on for the low-down on our favourite picks.
Best used cars for under £25,000
The Volvo V90 may not quite offer the practicality of classic boxy Volvo estates, but it has style and luxury in spades - and it’ll still fit in several trolleys’ worth of Swedish flatpack furniture. Volvo has focused on comfort instead of sportiness here, which you may well appreciate on the commute home after a long day at work.
In typical modern Volvo fashion, the interior feels special and high-tech. There’s a large portrait-oriented touchscreen media system, and a crisp digital instrument cluster in place of traditional dials. Three trim levels make up the bulk of the V90 range, starting with Momentum, but even this model comes with sat-nav, heated front seats, a hands-free bootlid and advanced driver assist features.
The D4 diesel engine is most common in used Volvo V90s on BuyaCar, and it may well be the best fit. With 190hp on tap, the D4 feels brisk, and the automatic gearbox is smooth - which adds to the Volvo’s relaxed driving experience.
Its strengths are great looks, a choice of economical and powerful engines, and a comfortable ride. More than anything, though, it has that indefinable thing - star quality. Within a £25,000 budget, top-of-the-range GT Line Premium models are open to you with the excellently frugal 1.5-litre diesel engine. You won’t be going back very far in time either, with low-mileage 2019 models available.
The interior looks as if it’s been lifted out of a concept car and features a digital instrument display similar to the one found in the Audi TT. The only thing you’ll need to get used to is the small steering wheel that you look over, rather than through, to see the instruments.
Family car, practical car and sports car in one: the Seat Leon Cupra is an exciting hot hatchback that combines huge performance and the ability to carry people and luggage. It sat at the top of the range of the last-generation Seat Leon and, while there’s a new Cupra Leon, the old model looks just as sharp and is equally speedy.
It’s lower than the standard Leon and its 2.0-litre petrol engine is much more powerful. It’s also extremely well equipped, highlights including 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, parking sensors and sat-nav.
Like all Leon models, the interior is a model of restrained sophistication - although Cupra-specific touches make it feel slightly more upmarket. There’s plenty of room in the front and back, and those rear seats also split and fold to make more of the good-sized boot.
While people carriers still have their place for large and active families, SUVs have become far more popular and are almost as versatile. One of the best is the Skoda Kodiaq.
Most models are seven-seaters, and there’s enough room in the rearmost seats for adults. Drop that third row of seats and the boot is vast. It’s also a very modern vehicle with a light and airy interior, smart looks and a comfortable ride not easily unsettled by the UK’s broken roads.
Having the capacity to carry seven people, and the weight that comes with lots of people and luggage, means you’d be better off with one of the more powerful diesel engines - although there are some with petrol engines which will be more suitable if you’re mainly going to use the car around town. Handily, the most powerful 2.0-litre option is available within your £25,000 budget, as are four-wheel-drive models, but the 150hp 2.0-litre two-wheel-drive diesel will be plenty if you don’t need to tow heavy loads.
It’s possible to get a nearly new Mazda MX-5 within our £25,000 budget but, for more space and luxury, a BMW 4 Series is a good option. The 4 Series has been recently replaced by a new-generation model, but the last model has more handsome styling to our eyes. Importantly, it’s the one within budget, too.
There’s nothing last-generation about the way it feels, though. You’ll still enjoy a precise and agile driving experience, plus a high-quality interior with plenty of equipment. Most buyers went straight for the top-of-the-range M Sport specification, with bright LED headlights, connected online features, heated seats and an upgraded media system.
A wide choice greets 4 Series buyers; as well as the two-door coupe, there are convertible and Gran Coupe models, the latter adding a rear set of doors and a large hatchback opening. You can have two- or four-wheel drive, and a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines. The 420d diesel provides punchy acceleration and strong quoted fuel economy of nearly 50mpg, but the 420i petrol arguably suits the car’s sporty nature better than a diesel.
As diesel falls from favour, a used hybrid makes more sense than ever. The C-HR offers the smoothness and refinement of a petrol engine boosted by an electric motor when you need it, and the promise of short bursts of pure electric power in city running.
Together, they help boost fuel economy with the result that around town, up to 57mpg should be possible. Out on the open road, expect more like 50mpg – not bad for a family car with decent reserves of power.
Its interior looks futuristic but the quality of the plastics is a rung or two below a BMW. Entry-level Icon trim is well equipped but don't ignore higher-spec Design with its extra safety kit - it’s well within budget even if you look at extremely low-mileage facelift models.
Buying a used car removes one of the major barriers to electric car ownership: the price. Take the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, for example; even when picking up a nearly new model, this advanced electric family car is no more expensive than any rival diesel model - £25,000 is enough for low-mileage versions.
Yes, a diesel car can travel much further on a tank of fuel than the Ioniq can on a full charge. Even so, the Ioniq is among a new generation of electric cars that really do impress in this respect. It’ll cover up to 194 miles on a full charge in the real world. That should be enough for most round-trip commutes or a busy weekend’s driving.
A bonus is that it looks like any normal car, while Premium SE trim has most of the things drivers could want including air-conditioning, sat-nav and heated front seats. If you’re not ready to go electric, the Ioniq also comes in hybrid, and plug-in hybrid flavours.
The Mercedes E-Class is a properly upmarket saloon, and at this price it's pretty hard to ignore. It’s festooned in leather, and up front it has a full arsenal of technology, including a system that will change lanes on the motorway for you.
There’s an options list as long as Peter Crouch’s legs, but even from standard you’ll get 64-colour mood lighting, self-parking functionality, and sat-nav.
Go for the E220d diesel in AMG Line trim. It’s smooth and quiet even when accelerating, and you should regularly see more than 55mpg on the digital readout. Find a car with the Premium package and you'll get keyless entry too.
*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:
48 monthly payments of £192
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
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.