Best used car deals 2021

Check out the best used car deals: save thousands on city cars, SUVs and sports cars, with great value finance and low monthly payments

Simon Ostler
Dec 19, 2021

If you’re looking for the best car deals available, then shopping for a used car is the only way to maximise value for money. Most used cars are much, much cheaper than brand new ones, whether it's a pre-registered car with barely 10 miles on the clock or a well-loved family car that's carried children to and from school and facilitated numerous summer trips to Cornwall.

Used cars aren't just cheap because they're old, though. The best used car deals around will offer great quality cars that have been well looked after at a fraction of their original cost. A large seven-seat Volvo XC90 that cost more than £50,000 new could be yours for less than £30,000, you could be driving a Mercedes C-Class for under £15,000, while you could spend less than £10,000 on a Volkswagen Golf. The choice is yours, but there are great savings to be found, no matter what type of car you go for.

In many cases, especially when you're looking at pre-registered car deals, the best car deals will also come with plenty of manufacturer warranty remaining. New car warranties typically last for between three and seven years, and there are plenty of used cars available that are still covered. More often than not, you won't even be able to tell the difference between a new car and used equivalent. The technology will be the same, it will look the same on the outside, and aside from a few extra miles on its service history a well looked after used car will be everything a new car can offer, at a much lower price.

You can make a used car even more affordable by opting for a finance deal, too. Used car finance works in the same way as it would with a new car, except the value of the car is much lower, meaning monthly payments can often be substantially smaller too.

Read on to find out more about some of the best car deals currently available on BuyaCar. All of these cars are available to buy with cash or with low-rate finance offers. Be aware that finance deals generally include a deposit contribution discount, which is not available to those buying with cash.

Best used car deals

Used car deals under £5,000 or £100 per month

1. Fiat 500

Our pick Fiat 500 1.2 Pop
Used deals from £5,995
Monthly finance from £118*

In 2014, the Fiat 500 was one of the 10 bestselling cars in Britain, with more than 44,000 sold in that year alone. You’ll now find some five- or six-year old cars available for less than £5,000 on BuyaCar, retaining all of the retro chic with which they rolled out of the factory.

Representative finance quotes typically start at less than £80 per month for entry-level Pop cars, and you can upgrade to a plusher Lounge model, which includes Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone, for between £10 and £15 per month. Either way, that still could give you change from £100 per month, making the 500 just as affordable as it is stylish.


2. Renault Twingo

Our pick Renault Twingo 1.0 Play
Used deals from £5,680
Monthly finance from £112*

The Renault Twingo is a very affordable used car, with 2016 models dipping below the £5,000 mark on BuyaCar, and with finance starting at less than £90 per month. It's a zippy city car with a small petrol engine - mounted at the back of the car - which provides reasonable fuel economy and nippy acceleration at slower speeds.

It's not super spacious, but adults will fit in the back without too much fuss and the car does have rear doors, so getting in is reasonable easy, too. One reason for the low prices is likely to be lack of demand compared with some models.

New car buyers have tended to prefer other city car rivals, such as the Volkswagen Up or Citroen C1, and this version of the Twingo is no longer sold brand new. Fear not, though, as that's excellent news if you're looking for an affordable used model.


3. Volkswagen Up

Our pick Volkswagen Move Up 1.0
Used deals from £6,400
Monthly finance from £125*

Cheap, reliable and surprisingly spacious, the VW Up is one of the city cars by which all others are judged. There are plenty of four-year-old, low-mileage examples for less than £5,000 on BuyaCar, with monthly payments regularly available from between £80 and £90 per month.

Three-door versions are the cheapest - and most common option in this price bracket - in entry-level Take Up specification, which is cheap to insure. Most drivers, however, will be better off with the better-equipped Move Up model, which includes air-conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking, which weren't standard on the cheaper version.

Bluetooth came as standard with High Up cars. It's incorporated into a small dashboard module - check to ensure that it's included with any car you're considering and hasn't been lost.


Used car deals under £10,000 or £160 per month

1. Volkswagen Golf

Our pick Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI SE
Used deals from £9,624
Monthly finance from £182*

There are plenty of four-year-old VW Golf models with reasonable mileages and with good specifications for less than £10,000 on BuyaCar. If that’s your budget then congratulations: you can afford an excellent car. If you want a comfy, pleasant to drive and high-quality machine, then you can stop looking and get a Golf; it's a very impressive machine.

The news gets better still, as VW has relatively recently launched a new version of the Golf. That means that this older model has started to fall in price, meaning you can get a better car for your budget than in the recent past.

Around £10,000 is enough to get you a reasonably powerful petrol-engined Golf in SE trim, which comes with a touchscreen media system with digital radio and Bluetooth, air-conditioning, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.


2. Nissan Qashqai

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta
Used deals from £9,239
Monthly finance from £182*

This version of the Nissan Qashqai went on sale in 2014, and early models in mid-range Acenta trim are now available for well under £10,000 on BuyaCar. The Qashqai remains one of Britain’s most popular cars, thanks to its comfort, practicality and build quality.

It might look tall and chunky - providing a tough SUV-style for those who want something that looks like a 4x4 - but from behind the wheel, its light steering and reasonably good visibility make it as easy to drive as a Ford Fiesta.

A new version of this crossover is now on sale, but there are no dramatic changes, so you shouldn’t feel short-changed by not having the very latest model. There are roomier rivals (particularly when it comes to boot space), such as the Seat Ateca and Peugeot 3008, and we’d avoid versions with the noisy automatic gearbox, but otherwise, the Qashqai a solid choice.


3. BMW 1 Series

Our pick BMW 118i M Sport
Used deals from £10,250
Monthly finance from £192*

Prices of this version of the BMW 1 Series start at around £9,000 on BuyaCar and you can expect prices to drop further now a new version is available. Good news for those on a budget is that this model looks much sleeker and less controversial than the new model, so you shouldn't be pining after the new version.

Furthermore, it doesn't take much more than £9,000 to find an updated 2015 version of the car, with narrower lights (shown above) that give it a more modern look and more efficient engines that should save you money when it comes to filling up.

Despite the price, the 1 Series feels just as well engineered as the rest of the BMW range, with a reasonably comfortable ride, sharp and responsive steering, and a well-built interior.


4. Mini Cooper

Our pick Mini Cooper Hatchback
Used deals from £8,698
Monthly finance from £165*

If you rarely use your car’s rear seats and are looking for a motor that will put a smile on your face, then a Mini Cooper should be near the top of your list, especially as this generation of the car is now available for much less than £10,000 on BuyaCar.

While it's no supersized people carrier, so space for carrying lots of passengers is lacking, the Mini's small size makes it very engaging to drive, living up to its billing as offering a 'go kart' feeling from behind the wheel.

The zippy engine and quick steering give the Mini an energy that eludes many rivals, while the classic design and heavily-styled interior are a world away from the generic looks of many other small cars.


5. Hyundai ix35

Our pick Hyundai ix35 CRDi SE
Used deals from £10,370
Monthly finance from £196*

With a five-year warranty from new, an enormous boot and plenty of standard equipment, the Hyundai ix35 is a bargain for less than £10,000. Finance payments on some models sneak underneath the £160 per month bar too.

Opt for an ix35 and you'll benefit from a large 591-litre boot, which is 160 litres bigger than you'll find in a Nissan Qashqai. The ix35 was discontinued in 2015 and replaced by the Hyundai Tucson, so it doesn't feature the very latest technology, but it isn't outdated and offers strong value.

Entry-level S cars have air-conditioning, alloy wheels and a USB connection for your phone. It's worth paying a little extra for an SE car, though, as these include Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly, cruise control, rear parking sensors and heated front and rear seats. SE Nav cars add sat-nav and a reversing camera on top of this.


Used car deals under £15,000 or £200 per month

1. Mercedes C-Class

Our pick Mercedes C220d BlueTec AMG Line
Used deals from £12,499
Monthly finance from £221*

Less than £15,000 - or around £200 per month, will get you a Mercedes C-Class in excellent condition, with reasonably low mileage. This includes 2015 cars in Sport trim, which feature sat-nav, bright LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The diesel engine in the popular C220d model isn't the quietest under acceleration but soon purrs along as you pick up the pace. It also offers strong fuel economy for a car of this size, so you shouldn't have to worry about filling up often.

Automatic cars are much more desirable, thanks to their smooth gear changes, while AMG Line trim makes the car look sportier with larger alloy wheels. Due to their desirability, automatic AMG Line models may cost a little more to purchase for cash buyers, but could cost less per month for those taking PCP finance.

That's because their desirability as used car purchases means they're likely to be worth more than alternatives when you hand them back at the end of the contract. That's a bonus for cash buyers, too, as you'll get more back when you come to sell, making automatic AMG Line versions a wise choice.


2. Kia Sportage

Our pick Kia Sportage 1.6 GDi 2
Used deals from £11,495
Monthly finance from £214*

Kia’s seven-year warranty and reputation for practical design have always made the brand a sensible choice, but the current Sportage adds extra appeal, with an original design and steering that’s responsive and accurate, for smooth driving. It also offers a large boot and good rear legroom and best of all that warranty is transferable to those who get one as a used car.

The latest generation of the Sportage was launched in 2016 and early models offer fantastic value, with finance payments starting at £214 per month. Both petrol and diesel models cost from £11,495 on BuyaCar, with that long warranty meaning you could have several years of manufacturer cover left.

Even entry-level ‘1’ models include alloy wheels, air-conditioning, all-round electric windows and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly. Sat-nav and parking sensors come as standard on grade 2 and above.


3. Mazda CX-5

Our pick Mazda CX-5 2.2D Sport Nav
Used deals from £13,499
Monthly finance from £244*

It might have been replaced by a new model several years back, but the previous-generation Mazda CX-5 remains an excellent family car, a great example of a high-riding crossover that combines the ease of driving of a traditional hatchback with the higher driving position of an off-road car.

It’s comfortable over bumps, but remains agile in corners, giving the driver confidence that it’ll go where it’s pointed. There’s plenty of space in the back and boot (compared with other family car rivals), and it’s well-equipped too, with alloy wheels, a media system with Bluetooth and climate control on all cars.

But perhaps the biggest benefit is that all diesel CX-5 models comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, which means that they won't be affected by future inner-city clean air zones, including London's Ultra Low Emission Zone.

MAZDA CX-5 (2012-2017) BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Skoda Octavia

Our pick Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI SE
Used deals from £8,490
Monthly finance from £165*

If your family hatchback feels cramped, then there's no need to get a boxy estate car or a tall and chunky crossover for more space. A Skoda Octavia could fit the bill perfectly. The car is enormous inside when you compare it to a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, with a huge boot and plenty of legroom for passengers in the back. The economical engines and competitive pricing all combine to make it one of BuyaCar's favourite family hatchbacks.

It's an even bigger bargain as a used car too, with prices that are cheap by any standard. Newer petrol-powered Octavias, registered in 2018, start at £13,750 on BuyaCar, or from £218 a month on finance.. These are updated models with the distinctive four-headlight design and a modern touchscreen media system, which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

SE cars are worth the premium over the basic entry-level S specification, thanks to their standard cruise control, parking sensors and dual-zone air-conditioning.


Used car deals under £20,000 or £275 per month

1. Range Rover Evoque

Our pick Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 Pure Tech
Used deals from £20,599
Monthly finance from £294*/span>

Range Rover Evoque prices continue to fall, following the launch of a new model, making popular versions of this in-demand car affordable for those with around £20,000 or £250 per month to spend. That now gets you an entry-level (but still luxurious) version.

The latest Evoques are equipped with a quieter and smoother 2.0-litre 'TD4' diesel engine, which became available in 2015 and monthly payments start from around  for this - or a cash price of around  on BuyaCar.

Yes, this isn't the latest model, but since the new car looks so similar, most people won't notice that you're not driving a brand new model.


2. Audi Q3

Our pick Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI quattro SE S tronic
Used deals Limited stock

With the arrival of a new Audi Q3, the previous-generation version has become a lot more affordable. You can pick up a five-year old model for around £15,000 on BuyaCar, but if your budget will stretch to it, then there are four-wheel drive, automatic cars .

Most 2015 cars are updated versions of the Q3, which have a more imposing front grille, with a black or chrome border that runs into the front lights. They may not feel as nimble to drive as a BMW X1 but they are spacious and comfortable.

The Q3 also excels in feeling beautifully built inside - very solid and high quality. This makes the Q3 feel like a premium product that is built to last - exactly what you want from a used car.


3. Jaguar XE

Our pick Jaguar XE 2.0D R-Sport
Used deals Limited stock

You won't need anything like £20,000 for a high-specification version of Jaguar’s smallest saloon. It’s more than a match for the BMW 3 Series, thanks to its excellent blend of comfort, power and agility in corners.

The rear seats can be a little cramped if you’re taller than average, but there is plenty of room for children. R-Sport cars look the part, thanks to beefier front and rear bumpers, as well as larger alloy wheels.

All diesel XE cars should also meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, so are unlikely to be hit by pollution charges. Even so, if you are looking at a 2015 car, it's worth double-checking to ensure that it’s compliant.


Used car deals under £25,000

1. Mercedes SLC

Typical Example Mercedes SLC 250d AMG Line
Used deals Limited stock

Stylish roof-down motoring can be yours this summer, as prices of three- and four-year old Mercedes SLC models dip below £25,000 on BuyaCar. Many of these cars have covered less than 5,000 miles and all have hard folding tops, which makes the model more secure when parked and cosier when it gets cold.

As a result, it doesn't matter whether you're shopping in summer or winter - or even whether the summer is looking like it's going to be cool and rainy - the SLC is a great all-year round convertible.

Look for cars with optional Airscarf heating, which are fitted with vents in the head restraints, that’ll blow warm air over your neck when you have the roof down on cooler days.


2. Volkswagen Golf R

Typical example VW Golf R
Used deals Limited stock

The VW Golf may be an ordinary hatchback, but that doesn't stop the range-topping R model from being a rapid, fun-to-drive performance car. With an incredibly powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and power going to all four wheels, the Golf R is fast, sure-footed and exciting from behind the wheel.

The fact it's so desirable helps to boost demand on the used market, which means that there are few low cash prices, however it does mean that this can be a good value car on PCP finance - as the monthly payments are determined by the difference between the initial cash price and what the car's expected to be worth at the end of the contract.

Still a price of less than £24,000 for a Golf R with a slick automatic gearbox, plus a performance upgrade that boosts power and improves cornering, is a great deal. And because the car holds its value well, cash buyers are sure to get a decent amount back when they come to sell, too.


3. Alfa Romeo Giulia

Typical example Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 JDTM-2 180hp Super auto
Used deals Limited stock

Alfa Romeo’s sporty family saloon car is available with decent savings as a nearly new car. Avoid the temptation of the high-performance Quadrifoglio model (and its high used price tags), and you’ll find diesel-powered versions of the stylish and fun-to-drive Giulia starting from well under £25,000 on BuyaCar.

It’s reasonably powerful but pleasingly economical, and if you drive carefully - easier said than done, as it's an enjoyable car to drive quickly - fuel economy can reach around 50mpg. Despite low fuel bills, it's still fun to drive and the cabin is a nice place to spend long journeys.


4. Audi A6 Allroad

Our pick Audi A6 Allroad
Used deals Limited stock

Audi’s most understated luxury car isn’t as well known as its small hatchbacks or large SUVs, but many owners consider it the best car in the range. It’s based on the standard A6 Avant estate, but has been raised up, fitted with four-wheel drive and clad in extra protection underneath.

This gives it as much off-road ability as most owners will ever need - with the raised ground clearance helping it to negotiate bumpy tracks without fuss and the four-wheel drive offering good all-weather grip - while the leather-clad interior feels suitably upmarket. This is a genuinely luxurious car for an affordable price.


Used car deals over £25,000

1. Volvo XC90

Our pick Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum
Used deals from £30,000
Monthly finance from £438*

Now that Volvo's large seven-seat XC90 has been on sale for a number of years, it is falling into the range of buyers with a budget of around £30,000 or £400 per month. Although the car has been updated more recently, the changes are so minor that few drivers will spot the differences between an early 2015 model and a new car.

More importantly, you get the benefits of a spacious interior for five passengers and an extra third row for two people which is a little less roomy, but still usable for adults.

Driving is a relaxing experience, with a comfortable ride - particularly with more expensive models that are fitted with air suspension - and a minimalist dashboard with high-quality wood and metal fittings, that has a calming effect on occupants.


2. Porsche Boxster

Our pick Porsche Boxster 3.4 S
Used deals Limited stock

Buy used and you may just get the best Boxster that Porsche will ever make. That’s because the latest version of the two-seat convertible has been fitted with a small four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is more powerful and economical than the six-cylinder motor in cars that were built before 2016. However, it's the older cars that sound more dramatic and are more engaging to drive.

Many think that the turbocharger in the newer models has ruined the car, making it quieter and with acceleration that’s too smooth to make the driver feel fully involved, unlike the characterful six-cylinder engine in this version.

For less than £35,000, you could have a low mileage, pre-2016, Porsche Boxster S, which has more power than the basic car and a glorious exhaust soundtrack whenever you press the accelerator.


*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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