There are some great used car bargains out there if your budget can’t quite stretch to a new model. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best pre-owned cars that could be yours for less than £5,000.
Check out our latest car deals or head over to our PCP calculator to get a better idea how much your next car could cost per month. If you’re not sure what to buy, read our list of the 10 best cheap used cars and our list of the 10 best small used cars for help making a decision.
1. Ford Fiesta
For less than our £5,000 budget, we found examples of a 2014 Ford Fiesta in Zetec trim with an economical 1.25-litre petrol engine. It’ll happily deliver fuel economy of 54.3mpg but its leisurely 0-62mph time of 13.3 seconds may be a little too sedate for some buyers. The Fiesta does, however, handle with a grin-inducing enthusiasm few rivals can match.
Zetec models come with 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome details and fog lights as standard. It’s neither as roomy as the Skoda Fabia, nor can its 290-litre boot carry as much luggage. However, you’ll find plenty of leather-trimmed touches, air conditioning and a heated windscreen – perfect for early morning winter commutes.
2. Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Fabia is a roomy supermini that’s both cheap to run and comes well equipped. We found examples of mid-range SE models – with 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and remote central locking – for less than £5,000.
Its cabin feels more upmarket than some rivals thanks, in part, to its VW Polo underpinnings and its 390-litre boot should be more than big enough for a big weekly shop. Our budget will stretch to a 1.2-litre model that’s happy to cruise along at motorway speeds and return as much as 51mpg. It’s not quite as fun to drive as a Fiesta but it rides comfortably and produces very little wind and tyre noise.
3. Hyundai i10
The Hyundai i10 serves up a tempting blend of cheap running costs, a comfortable, roomy cabin and a surprisingly grown-up ride. It isn’t the most involving car to drive but its diminutive size make it easy to park and a breeze to manoeuvre through tight city streets. It’s also one of the few small cars available with a conventional automatic gearbox for smooth, fuss-free gear changes.
We’ve found examples of SE spec cars from 2014 that had covered approximately 20,000 miles for less than £5,000. These models can not only return 61.4mpg thanks to their efficient 1.2-litre petrol engine, but they all come with air conditioning, a stereo with USB, MP3 and Aux connectivity, and two rear Isofix anchor points as standard.
4. VW Up
A second-hand VW Up could be the perfect used car for buyers looking for a more upmarket supermini that won’t break the bank. After a little digging, we found a number of 2014 models in Move Up trim with approximately 25,000-30,000 miles on the clock for less than £5,000. These mid-range models come with alloy wheels, air conditioning and tinted windows as standard.
Its 251-litre boot is big enough for a few large bags and there are plenty of useful cubby holes dotted about its well-built cabin. Our budget can’t quite stretch to the most recent 89hp 1.0-litre petrol engine but the older 59hp unit fitted to Move Up models is still capable of returning 68mpg.
5. Citroen C1
The Citroen C1 could be perfect if you’re looking for a funky French supermini for less than £5,000. We’ve found a good selection of ‘Edition’ models with approximately 25,000 miles on the clock within our budget. Unfortunately, these cars don’t come with the Airscape’s retractable fabric roof, but they’re offered with 14-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a stereo with Aux connectivity as standard.
Its 196-litre boot is noticeably smaller than some cars on our list but the C1 features a boatload of handy cubby holes in its smartly styled cabin to help carry smaller items. Our budget is enough to buy a car fitted with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that’ll not only return 74.3mpg, but it’ll be free to tax, too.
6. SEAT Mii
Pull the badges off a SEAT Mii and you could easily mistake it for a VW Up. It features similar smart styling, a near-identical 250-litre boot – fairly large for such a small car – and the same 59hp engine that’ll return 68mpg.
The Mii can’t quite match the Up’s upmarket interior but, for less than our £5,000 budget, we found examples of impressively well-equipped Toca models with significantly more standard kit than an equivalent VW. Air conditioning, alloy wheels, electric front windows and even parking sensors all come as standard on this high-spec Spanish supermini.
7. Kia Picanto
The Kia Picanto is an easy-to-drive city car that boasts a surprising amount of room in its simple, back-to-basics cabin. It might not come with the most impressive list of standard equipment, but entry-level models are offered with electric front windows, air conditioning and a leather-trimmed steering wheel as standard.
For £5,000, we found examples with a 1.0-litre petrol that had covered around 25,000 miles. This 68hp three-cylinder unit is a chirpy little engine that’ll not only return 67mpg, but makes the Picanto fairly fun to drive, too. For added peace of mind, the Picanto comes with an industry-leading seven-year warranty that’s transferable between owners.
8. Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 has its rivals truly licked in the style stakes. Its effortless retro charm has helped make it hugely popular and, as a result, there are some great used bargains available. We found a decent number of 1.2-litre petrol models that had covered approximately 25,000 miles from new for less than £5,000.
Entry-level Pop models don’t boast particularly impressive levels of standard equipment and taller adults may find the rear seats rather cramped but, if you’re looking for a charming supermini that’s both cheap to run and comfortable around town, the 500 could be ideal.
9. Dacia Logan MCV
We found examples of entry-level Dacia Logan MCVs in Access trim within our £5,000 budget with approximately 30,000 miles on the clock. These basic models lack alloy wheels, air conditioning and even a stereo but offer a vastly bigger interior than any other car on our list.
Its boxy estate body can swallow an impressive 573 litres of luggage – more than a Skoda Fabia Estate – while its high roofline means there’ll be enough headroom for tall adults in the back. Material quality is far from class leading and its cabin design is unlikely to get anyone’s heart racing, but it feels durable and should stand up to the rigours of family life well.
10. Suzuki Celerio
The Suzuki Celerio is one of the cheapest new cars on sale today so it’s no surprise nearly new cars can be found for less than £5,000. We found a selection of SZ2 models that had covered as little as 10,000 miles from new within our budget. These cars come equipped with central locking, DAB digital radio and a height adjustable driver’s seat as standard.
Unfortunately, our budget doesn’t quite stretch to models fitted with the updated Dualjet engine but the standard 1.0-litre unit can still return a fair 65.7mpg. Its 68hp output is enough to get this minute Suzuki from 0-62mpg in 13.5 seconds – slightly faster than an entry-level VW Up.
Save money on your next car
View the latest carwow offers on our car deals page or head over to our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much your next car could cost per month. Read our handy used car buying guide or head over to our car chooser if you’re not sure which car is for you.