Best used cars for under £15,000

With a budget of £15,000 the world of used cars really is your oyster, our list of the best cars at this price ought to get you excited

Simon Ostler John Evans
Aug 20, 2020

Got some spare cash to the tune of £15,000 and stuck with what to do with it? We're here to help with this handy list of 10 great used cars available on BuyaCar that sit perfectly within your budget.

And these are great cars, the fact they're sitting on the used market does nothing to diminish their quality, it just makes them even better value for money. From nimble two-seater sports cars to seven-seat people carriers, there are currently 17263 cars available on this site costing between £10,000 and £15,000 with finance costs ranging from £115 to £311 per month. The best news is all of these cars are ready and waiting to be delivered straight to your door, so there's no need to go staking out the local dealerships.

Better still, even the oldest cars on this list will be no more than four years old, so you can be sure you'll be getting into a car that still has its best years ahead of it. Stick to cars that were first registered after September 2015 and you'll guarantee that they comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards too, so you can avoid the latest ULEZ charges.

If you're keen to get started on your search for the perfect car, read on for our pick of 10 used cars we think are the best you can buy for under £15,000 - and they're all available right now on BuyaCar.

Best used cars for under £15,000

1. Volkswagen Golf

Best family hatchback for under £15,000

Our pick VW Golf 1.4 TSI Match 5dr
Used deals from £14,486
Monthly finance from £175

It might not have the all the tech you get with post-2017 facelift models, but the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is almost indistinguishable from the outside and, when it comes to the bits that matter, it's just as good. Opt for one of these and you'll get solid build quality, neat styling inside and out and a comfortable ride on British roads with stable and responsive cornering.

Since VW's involvement in the dieselgate scandal, the Golf's diesel engines have fallen out of favour, but that's not a problem when the alternative is the car's smooth and powerful 1.4-litre petrol engine. It also returns decent fuel economy with figures reaching around the 40mpg mark during real-world driving, and road tax is just £30 a year.

Match trim is well-equipped with adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance from the car in front, parking sensors front and rear, air-conditioning and an eight-inch touchscreen media display mounted on the dashboard with digital radio included.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Seat Ateca

Best family crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI SE Technology
Used deals from £10,350
Monthly finance from £146

Crossovers are a fairly recent phenomenon, but their high driving position and comfort mixed with low running costs and practicality make them the perfect all-rounder. You only need to take a quick glance at the crossover market sales figures to see just how popular these cars are.

The Seat Ateca is arguably the best medium-sized crossover around, and the fact used prices have just dropped below the £15,000 mark makes it a very, very tempting proposition. There is plenty of space inside - it offers ample room for five adults - plus a larger boot than many of its rivals. The sharp angles around the Ateca's front-end makes it look sporty and aggresive, setting it appart from other, more spongy alternatives.

SEAT ATECA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Fiesta ST

Best hot hatch for under £15,000

Our pick Ford Fiesta ST-2 3dr
Used deals from £11,100
Monthly finance from £185

When this version of the Ford Fiesta ST arrived in 2013, it blew away the competition, delivering more driving joy than most cars that were twice the price. There was no secret formula: just an energetic petrol engine that launched the car forward at an exhilarating rate, sharp, responsive steering and enough grip to keep it on the road around tight corners. Most importantly, you could experience it all without ever breaking the speed limit.

Mid-spec ST-2 trim is our choice thanks to its heated seats, rear privacy glass and a sporty starter button, at this kind of price you can be looking at low-mileage 2017 models. Despite the arrival of a new Fiesta ST which is available on BuyaCar from just over £15,000 and worth the extra investment if you can afford to stretch over your budget, this previous-generation model will keep you grinning for years to come.

FORD FIESTA ST BUYERS' GUIDE

4. BMW 3 Series

Best premium family car for under £15,000

Our pick BMW 320d Saloon SE
Used deals from £10,298
Monthly finance from £171

The BMW 3 Series is a good car, fullstop. While the very latest version is available for over £20,000 on BuyaCar, the fact you can get the previous generation model for less than £15,000 makes the idea of buying one worth a second a thought.

It’s the complete car, it's comfortable, great to drive and sports a very desirable badge on the bonnet. But it's not just about the posh badge, BMW's strong image helps to maintain the car's value, which helps to reduce the monthly payments of a PCP finance deal.

Despite the adverse publicity, diesel engines are an excellent fit for the 3 Series, providing effortlessly smooth, quiet and economical power - we like the 2.0-litre 320d the best. It's also worth noting that most 3 Series models from with a 65 plate will comply with the Euro 6 standard, and are therefore less likely to be affected by charges in clean air zones. You're in luck here too, as £15,000 will get you the keys to models from 2016.

BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Volkswagen Touran

Best large people carrier for under £15,000

Our pick Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI SE Family
Used deals from £10,990
Monthly finance from £203

The seven-seat VW Touran is a grown-up Volkswagen Golf, with extra practicality but a similar level of quality and comfort. A new version went on sale at the end of 2015, and the first of these cost around the £15,000 mark. You can identify them from older models by the crease running along the side, under both door handles.

Both current and previous versions make for spacious family cars, with enough legroom for three adults in the middle row and the back row of two seats, which are best for children, or for folding down to create space for luggage.

The newer Touran is the better option as it comes well-equipped (SE Family models have a panoramic roof as standard) and its diesel engines should comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, and so avoid some future diesel charges. Diesel is the best option for the Touran, as the engines are economical and powerful enough to haul a heavily-laden car. This budget will get you a great choice of 1.6-litre models, while you may be able to squeeze in a 2.0-litre if you spend every penny.

VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mazda MX-5

Best sports car for under £15,000

Our pick Mazda MX-5 SE-L Nav
Used deals from £12,498
Monthly finance from £202

Light, nimble and simple, the Mazda MX-5 is designed to make you fall in love with driving again. Push back the roof, start up the engine and feel the wheels bobbing over bumps and twisting in corners, through the thin-rimmed steering wheel. It's best on summer afternoons on a country road, where you can rev the engine and scythe through corners well within the speed limit, unlike more powerful sports cars, which are barely into their stride by 60mph.

There are two body styles: the soft-top and the RF with a folding hard-top roof, which provides more security and better insulation in winter, but does come in just over budget. The boot will accept a couple of carry-on suitcases, so the MX-5 is a reasonably practical proposition, too. There are several of the latest model available on BuyaCar, we've gone for the SE L Nav which brings a decent level of comfort and convienience to this little bundle of fun.

MAZDA MX-5 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Renault Zoe

Best electric car for under £15,000

Renault Zoe front

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav
Used deals from £6,500
Monthly finance from £117

If you have a medium-distance commute and the possibility of recharging your car at either end of your journey, there’s lots to recommend an electric car, especially one like the Renault Zoe. Quiet and nippy, it's quite capable of motorway speeds and comes well-equipped in in Dynamique Nav specification, with sat nav, cruise control and rear parking sensors as standard.

The Z.E.40 model, launched in 2016 provides a realistic range of around 160 miles in between charges and picking one with the Quick Charge system allows it to be recharged from zero to 80% in 65 minutes - if you connect it to a fast charger. So-called ‘i’ versions of the Zoe have a battery included in their price, but most require you to lease the battery, which will cost at least £50 a month, and most likely more, depending on your annual mileage.

As used electric cars go, there is no doubt this first-generation Renault Zoe is one of the more affordable on the market. Even the latest Zoe launched in 2020 starts on the used market from around £25,000, so this is your best bet if you're looking to go electric at this price.

RENAULT ZOE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Skoda Superb estate

Best large estate car for under £15,000

Our pick Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 140 SE estate
Used deals from £10,698
Monthly finance from £178

When it comes to shifting big loads, few cars can touch the cavernous Skoda Superb estate. Its boot expands from 660 litres with the seats up to a maximum of 1,950 litres with them folded down. That's more than you get in the Mercedes E-Class Estate and is on a par with the Volvo XC90 large SUV – for a lot less money.

All this loadspace doesn't come at the expense of interior space though. Three adults can sit in comfort in the back thanks in particular to a generous supply of legroom.

The Superb provides a smooth ride wherever it's driven but it’s on the motorway, soaking up the miles comfortably and quietly, that the Superb estate excels. For this role, the 2.0 TDI diesel is the engine to choose.

SKODA SUPERB BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Mini Countryman

Best small crossover for under £15,000

Our pick Mini Countryman 1.6 Cooper All4
Used deals from £9,398
Monthly finance from £178

The crossover crowd is brimming with cars at the moment, but petrol powered crossovers with the option of an automatic gearbox are few and far between - in the case of the Mini Countryman, you get a decent choice of both.

The Countryman looks like a Mini that’s eaten all the pies, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s still a funky looking thing.

It’s also one of the most driver-focussed crossovers, and is genuinely fun and engaging to drive. Plus, in All4 spec, it has a useful four-wheel drive system that gives it off-roading credentials, and will come in handy in the winter months. As with all Minis, they are very customisable from the factory, so be you can afford to picky with colour choices as there are hundreds of options.

MINI COUNTRYMAN BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Hyundai Ioniq

Best family hybrid for under £15,000

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq SE Hybrid
Used deals from £11,995
Monthly finance from £150

As well as a petrol engine, the Ioniq Hybrid has a battery that's charged by recovering energy that would normally be wasted during braking, as well as from the engine when it's efficient to do so. This then drives an electric motor to provide a power boost during acceleration, or to drive the car at slow speeds.

In typical stop-start city conditions, the system can return fuel economy of around 65-80mpg but that can almost halve on steady journeys where the electric motor is rarely used.

It’s very similar to the Toyota Prius - but bests it in three ways. It has a DCT style automatic gearbox, rather than a CVT that drones on and on. It’s more conventional looking. And it’s cheaper.

HYUNDAI IONIQ BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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