Best used cars for less than £8,000

Think that £8,000 won’t leave you with many options? Think again. The choice is yours - from stylish hatchbacks to spacious seven-seaters

BuyaCar team
Dec 19, 2021

There are thousands of reliable and interesting used cars on the market in very good condition costing less than £8,000 - whether you're after a relatively new and fun-to-drive hatchback or a sensible seven-seater. We’ve picked out some of the best options to choose from here at BuyaCar.

If you have £8,000 in cash lying around, you might be tempted to go right ahead and spend it. But you could instead look at the best value finance deals, as desirable cars with higher cash prices might well come with lower PCP finance monthly payments than cheaper less desirable ones, so it could be worth your time to experiment with the different options. And we can help you, whatever your decision.

Best used cars for under £8,000

1. Seat Leon

Best car under £8,000 for all-around ability

Our pick Seat Leon 1.2 TSI 110 SE Technology
Used deals from £7,890
Monthly finance from £299*

You’re unlikely to find a Volkswagen Golf at this age and mileage for £8,000, but the Seat Leon is a more-than-worthy alternative. Seat is owned by Volkswagen and the Leon has a lot in common with the Golf under the skin - including engines, gearboxes and in-car tech - and it feels very similar as a result. However, the Leon is actually a little more fun to drive, as befits Seat’s sporty image.

The Leon is just as roomy and practical as the Golf, though, and its 1.2-litre petrol engine - which is far more punchy than you'd expect from its small size - is just as economical (expect around 45mpg).

Go for the Technology pack and you’ll get sat-nav to add to the car’s standard-fit digital radio, Bluetooth, all-round electric windows, air-conditioning, hill-hold control and alloy wheels.


2. Vauxhall Insignia

Best car under £8,000 for motorway trips

Our pick Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi SRi Nav
Used deals from £4,290
Monthly finance from £190*

First introduced in 2008 to replace the Vauxhall Vectra, the Insignia became very popular with business drivers because of its value for money and economical engines. This is even more true when buying a used one.

We’d recommend going for one of the post-2013 models, which are now plentiful for under £8,000. These have significant upgrades inside, including a wraparound dashboard and touchscreen media system. If you’re doing a lot of miles, opt for the 2.0-litre CDTI diesel engine. It’s punchy, but even in real-world fuel driving it should get more than 50mpg, meaning that it shouldn’t cost much to fuel.


3. Ford Focus

Best car under £8,000 for small families

Our pick Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Titanium
Used deals from £5,394
Monthly finance from £209*

Not only is the Focus reliable and comfortable, it’s also one of the most fun-to-drive medium family cars, thanks to its precise steering and strong engines. The 1.6-litre diesel may not make the Focus particularly fast, but it's economical and suitably powerful for lugging a small family and their luggage around without fuss.

As the Focus has long been one of the best-selling cars in the UK, there’s an enormous number of used versions available. For £8,000 you can get a post-update 2015-on Zetec model with alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a heated front windscreen. You can also often find the more luxurious Titanium version within budget, so if you fancy treating yourself then be sure to keep an eye on our listings.


4. Kia Picanto

Best car for under £8,000 for young drivers

Our pick Kia Picanto 1.0 '2'
Used deals from £6,629
Monthly finance from £194*

The latest version of the Kia Picanto is still easy to drive but now offers a much more stylish, modern look. Because it's so affordable, a number of 2019 versions can be found for less than £8,000. We'd recommend getting a slightly older model, however, to get the ‘2’ trim in budget, as this makes the car feel much more upmarket than the entry-level model, with features such as alloy wheels, electric windows all-round, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and steering wheel-mounted controls.

The Picanto’s party-piece is Kia’s very long seven-year/100,000-mile manufacturer warranty, so there’s plenty of added peace of mind included if you opt for a car that’s less than seven years old. Another plus point is the boot which is huge for a city car at 255 litres and on the road it’s a relatively fun drive and feels nimble, especially around town.


5. Mini Hatchback

Best car for under £8,000 for badge appeal

Our pick Mini Cooper
Used deals from £7,495
Monthly finance from £280*

It may only be a small car but the combination of Mini heritage and BMW engineering - since BMW owns the brand - provides this car with the kind of drive and feel that typically only larger, pricier cars can boast. Add the Cooper name and it rises to another level, as you get a more powerful engine.

There are many personalisation options to choose from with the Mini, not to mention option packs. This presents used buyers with a huge opportunity to buy something very well equipped for a lot less money, since even if the original owner added many thousands of pounds worth of options, these shouldn't bump up the second-hand price too much.

Add the surprisingly potent 1.5-litre petrol engine to the car’s agile handling around corners and funky interior, and you’ve the ingredients for a whole lot of fun.


6. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Best car for under £8,000 for carrying passengers

Our pick Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 2.0 CDTi SRi
Used deals from £6,995
Monthly finance from £0*

A seven seater is a bit like a bag for life - trusty, easy to use and ready to carry huge amounts of stuff at a moment’s notice - and much like you cram your shopping into a bag for life, you can cram a near-endless supply of luggage into a Vauxhall Zafira.

Alternatively, you can unfold the rear seats and seat two kids in the back, too, and a couple more in the middle row. Think about how popular you’ll be with the local football team. Your £8,000 will get you the latest style Zafira Tourer, complete with a sharp looking front end and (optional) touchscreen media system.


7. Honda Jazz

Best car for under £8,000 for carrying tall items

Our pick Honda Jazz 1.4 i-VTEC ES Plus
Used deals from £5,000
Monthly finance from £180*

Don't underestimate the value of clever rear seats in a car. While the Zafira's two rows of rear seats fold into the floor, the Jazz’s are particularly smart because they not only split and fold down like all other hatchback seats, but the seat bases can also be folded up against the seat back to create a huge load space extending from floor to ceiling - perfect for standing tall objects such as plants from the garden centre.

Add a spacious hatchback boot and the little Jazz has the potential to be a pretty big load mover considering how small and easy to drive it is. It’s also easy to get in and out of, while the 1.4-litre petrol engine is one of the smoothest and quietest in this type of car.

With prices for the latest Jazz falling, you can take your pick from pretty much any of the previous-generation models, with some of the current generation of Jazz making an appearance, too.


8. Nissan Note

Best car under £8,000 for small car practicality

Our pick Nissan Note 1.2 DiG-S Tekna
Used deals from £4,790
Monthly finance from £0*

If you often carry lots of luggage, shopping or just about anything else, the amount of usable space a car offers can make the difference between travelling in comfort or being crammed, poked and prodded while trying to concentrate on the road.

Space is the Nissan Note’s forte as it offers a substantial 411 litres of boot space with the seats up, and a whopping 1,495 litres with the seats down - both of which are huge amounts for a car of this size.

The 1.2-litre petrol engine is our pick of the range as it feels energetic and easily achieves over 50mpg. Road tax should be free on manual models that were registered before April 2017, and only £30 on automatics, so there are plenty of savings to be had.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
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
APR: 9.9%

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.


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