Best used family cars for under £10,000

May 03, 2024 by

A few years back, £10,000 would have been a very healthy budget for a used family car. But years of high inflation mean that 10 grand doesn’t go as far as it used to. Still, we’ve taken the hard work out of compiling a shortlist for you – here are Carwow’s favourite used family cars for under £10,000.

The top used buys combine space, practicality, reliability, and driver appeal. You can even buy a high-quality used EV for under £10,000.

The best used family cars for under £10,000 are:

1. Skoda Octavia

  • 2013-17
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Best for: Lots of space for people and luggage

You can’t go wrong with the Skoda Octavia. It’s a brilliant used car, and you should have no trouble finding an example of the previous generation within our £10,000 budget.
The Skoda makes a great family car, offering lots of space whether you are travelling in the front or the back. There’s a lot of boot space, too, far more than you’d find in a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf of the same age.
The Octavia is also a reliable car, especially if you choose one of the diesel models over a petrol. It’s safe as well as reliable, with a five-star rating from the experts at Euro NCAP.

2. Volkswagen Polo

  • 2017-
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Best for: Understated class and easy parking

If you need proof that a small hatchback can make a practical family car, the Volkswagen Polo is the car to convince you. It’s really roomy inside and drives with the sophistication of a larger car. The Polo is equally at home on a long motorway journey as it is running errands or dropping the kids at school.
Safety is excellent, with the kind of safety features and driver aids you’d more commonly find in bigger and more expensive models.
A budget of £10,000 gives a wide choice of both petrol and diesel Polos, although petrol models are around in greater numbers.

3. Kia Ceed

  • 2018-
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Best for: a long warranty

Every Kia comes with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, so even the earliest examples of the current Kia Ceed will still be covered against unexpected bills.
While that peace of mind is a big selling point, it’s not the only reason to choose the Kia. The Ceed looks great and comes packed with high-tech features and standard equipment. It’s roomy too.
Okay, some family cars are more fun to drive than the Kia, but as a used buy the Ceed is a very capable car at a tempting price.

4. Dacia Duster

  • 2017-24
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Best for: budget offroading

No list of budget buys is complete without the Dacia Duster. It’s cheap and cheerful as a new car, and even more of a bargain on the used market.
A budget of £10k is enough to buy an early example of the 2017-24 model. You’ll easily afford one of the earlier generations.
The later car is worth seeking out, for its more polished drive, better build quality, and roomy cabin.
There’s a choice of two- and four-wheel-drive models, and the 4x4s make very capable offroaders. Even if you have no plans to go far off-road they make great family cars if you live in the countryside.

5. Nissan Leaf

  • 2018-
  • Electric only
  • Best for: making the switch to an EV

If you’re ready to leave petrol and diesel behind, the Nissan Leaf makes a great introduction to the world of electric vehicles. It’s also a fine family car.
It’s not hard to find a Leaf for less than £10,000. Your money is best spent on one the current generation, sold from 2018 onwards. It’s more enjoyable to drive and better equipped than older models.
You’ll have a choice of cars with 40kWh or 62kWh batteries. The smaller battery is fine if you’ll mostly make short journeys. For longer trips it’s worth seeking out the 62kWh model for its longer range – over 200 miles on a charge is possible in real-world conditions.

Sell your car with Carwow

If you’re looking to buy a used family car but need to sell your current car first, Carwow can help. Just tap the button below and find out how much your car is worth. Our network of trusted dealers can bid on your car, ensuring you get the best price possible.