Best used cars for under £400 per month

For under £400 per month everything from classy SUVs and smart saloons to crazy hot hatches and silent electric cars can be yours

Simon Ostler
Apr 20, 2021

If you've got a bit of money spare to the tune of £400 per month, you may be wondering what kind of car you could be driving. Well, a budget like that will get you the keys to some pretty exciting used cars, so if you play your cards right you could find yourself in the driving seat of a very desirable motor.

At this price point, you have several choices. From well-equipped and cutting-edge estate cars to high-quality, upmarket SUVs and some of the hottest hatchbacks around. Needless to say your car could well be the envy of your friends.

But bear in mind there are other very respectable cars available with much lower monthly payments, and you may find a model that does more than enough for you at a much lower price. In that case, you could afford to finance the car and take it on a road trip around Europe.

If you're looking to maximise your motoring prospects however, read on for our pick of the best used cars for less than £400 per month. All of the prices quoted here are based on a typical 48 month PCP agreement with an 8,000-mile allowance and 7.9% APR.

Best used cars under £400 per month

1. Volvo V60

Our pick Volvo V60 Inscription
Used deals from £21,680
Monthly finance from £344*

We'll start with something sensible, but by no means boring. Volvo has developed an incredibly powerful reputation for building safe, tech-heavy family cars. But, more recently, the likes of the V60 have become hugely desirable too with style to burn and a high quality interior.

The Volvo V60 has always been a hugely popular estate car, thanks mainly to its relatively good value and the abundance of space and practicality it offers. Those factors remain big reasons why this car stands so strongly against the likes of the BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant

For less than £400 per month, we've picked out the particularly classy Inscription model with driftwood interior inlays, 18-inch alloy wheels and front-end park assist.


2. Mercedes-Benz GLC

Our pick Mercedes-Benz GLC AMG Line Premium
Used deals from £19,795
Monthly finance from £358*

The medium-sized SUV market is bursting with high-quality cars from upmarket brands, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC fits into that bracket nicely.

Up against similarly priced rivals such as the BMW X3, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Lexus NX, the GLC has a tough job on its hands to entice buyers, but there is plenty to get excited about.

While it’s not the most enjoyable car to drive among its rivals, you do get a multitude of tech for your money. For less than £400 per month, you could get a GLC right up to AMG Line Premium spec which, among other things, includes a 10.3-inch touchscreen alongside a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and smartphone connectivity with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.


3. Volkswagen Golf R

Used deals from £23,499
Monthly finance from £352*

The Volkswagen Golf has long been the standard against which every family hatchback has been measured. It's practical, refined and built about as well as any other car on the market. 

You can of course, go for a much cheaper, economical diesel model that will suit you just fine for a daily commute, but we've decided to spend all your money here and head straight for the Golf R model.

With a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 302hp, the Golf R has mad levels of power, and is a very worthy option for anyone looking for a high-quality hot-hatch.


4. Skoda Kodiaq

Our pick Skoda Kodiaq 2.0-litre diesel SE L
Used deals from £16,750
Monthly finance from £253*

As a big and bulky SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq packs quite a punch. It’s well equipped, feels well put together and is great value if you find one in seven-seat SE L trim. Fortunately, these models are available on Buyacar for less than £400 per month.

The Kodiaq has cemented itself as one of the best large family cars you can buy. The interior is well thought out, making the absolute most of the available space, which means each and every passenger will sit comfortably. The boot is also huge and easy to pack thanks to its wide opening, in many ways it is the ideal family car.

The best engines are the 2.0-litre units, the single petrol option is the most powerful of the range, while the diesels are hardly slow but offer by far the best fuel economy. We'd recomend fishing one of those more frugal options out if you can.


5. BMW 330e

Our pick BMW 330e M Sport
Used deals from £16,200
Monthly finance from £329*

With the latest BMW 330e launching 2019, used versions of the previous-generation hybrid 3 Series have seen price drops in recent times.

Adding electric power to an already mighty fast 2.0-litre petrol engine makes for quite enthralling numbers, but also gives it the best fuel economy figures in the 3 Series range by quite a distance. In terms of actual electric range, the 10 miles it offers is not particularly useful, so don't expect the kind of economy you'd get from a newer plug-in hybrid.

As with virtually every BMW 3 Series out there, the 330e is fun to drive. The best news is your £400 per month budget will get you right up to M Sport trim with some sporty styling, a leather interior and stiffer suspension.


6. Peugeot 3008

Used deals from £16,200
Monthly finance from £245*

Peugeot has been on a bit of a roll lately, creating stylish, distinctive cars with genuine French flair and a novel approach to interior design - which is impressive enough in itself. But when you add the fact that the company, after years of producing cars with consistently poor reliability, has been regularly troubling the top ranks in consumer satisfaction and reliability surveys, you’ve suddenly got a tempting recipe.

And the Peugeot 3008 is one product of that recipe - a stylish, well built SUV that should provide enjoyable, stress-free family motoring. Aside from its looks, overall practicality is good, although larger families are more likely to be temped by the bigger 5008 or Skoda Kodiaq. That being said, there's plenty of boot space and the interior is well built, with plenty of storage to make use of.

At this price you’ll be able to pick one up that is virtually brand new. There are plenty of engines to choose from, we see little point in going for one of the more powerful options, so we'd recommend targeting either the 1.2-litre petrol or the 1.5-litre diesel, both are smooth and refined and offer excellent fuel economy.


7. Mini Hatchback John Cooper Works

Used deals from £17,500
Monthly finance from £350*

There are few cars that can put a smile on your face like a Mini can. Find yourself behind the wheel on an empty country road and nothing else really matters.

Find yourself at the wheel of a specialist John Cooper Works model and we question whether you'll ever want another car again. Although it's not a huge amount faster than a standard Cooper S model, it's all the extra styling features you get inside and out that make the JCW feel like a special occasion - not to mention that rather rowdy - if a touch synthetic - exhaust noise.

You get alcantara sports seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sporty bodykit. Buying one of these on the used market is advisable, as Mini tends to place extortionate price tags on optional extras, but we're happy to say £400 per month will get you models that are barely a year old.


8. Audi A7

Our pick Audi A7 Sportback
Used deals from £19,350
Monthly finance from £375*

The large saloon market has got more and more exciting over the last few years, and with cars like the Audi A7 Sportback on the market it's easy to see why.

Despite the lower roofline you get with a sportback, the space offered in this A7 is not far away from what you'd find in a proper saloon. It's also very versatile, with the hatchback-style boot providing an extra level of practicality.

But what you're really getting with the A7 Sportback is exciting performance, with a great range of very punchy engines. For £400 per month, you could be finding yourself a very powerful 3.0-litre engine pushing out around 300hp.


9. Kia Niro

Used deals from £17,995
Monthly finance from £311*

There’s nothing wrong with a Toyota Prius, but you might not want to look like an Uber driver every time you head out on the road. If that sounds like you, then a Kia Niro should be an excellent choice.

It comes in three different versions – hybrid, plug-in hybrid (which can run short trips on purely electric power) and a fully-electric version. It was also designed from the outset as a hybrid model, so the batteries don’t compromise the space available in that practical SUV body.

With your £400 per month, budget almost-new 2019 models will be well within reach, while the price of the electric e-Niro is gradually dropping towards that £400 per month target.


10. Nissan Leaf

Used deals from £20,000
Monthly finance from £351*

The original Nissan Leaf was the car that helped to make electric cars ‘normal’. This is the second generation of Nissan Leaf and, if anything, it makes electric motoring even less of a compromise.

With its wonderfully intuitive e-Pedal allowing you to control all but the most extreme braking with only your right foot, there is an excellent feel that goes into driving the Leaf. There’s plenty of space inside for a family of four, its electric motor is powerful enough to whisk you along surprisingly rapidly, and it should be able to manage at least 150 miles between charges. 

All of this comes well within budget, with £400 per month proving enough for almost-new 2019 models.


*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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