The Best Used Cars For Under £5,000

Here’s a list of some of the best cars you can buy for under £5k.

Buying a new car can be expensive, especially if you’re looking to buy a newer model directly from a manufacturer or dealership. You may find that when looking for a brand-new car, you struggle to find anything that fits your budget. 

One of the best ways to find cheaper cars is to explore the second-hand market. The used car market in the UK is highly competitive and is currently thriving with quality vehicles you can get for a cut price.

You don’t even have to obtain a particularly old car to get a saving, as even after just three years from its initial sale, a car’s value will depreciate by as much as 50%. This means you can get a used car with modern features for a lot cheaper. 

It may not seem like much when looking for brand-new cars, but if you enter the second-hand market with £5,000 to spend, you can easily find some quality vehicles if you know where to search. 

At Car Adviser, we’ve scoured the internet looking for the best-used vehicles you can get at multiple prices, including cars for under £5,000. Here’s a list of some of the best options we’ve seen sold consistently for under £5,000. 

We have many other articles for those with larger or smaller budgets, meaning that you can use Car Adviser to help you find the perfect car that suits your circumstances.

You can also find guides on what to look out for when buying used cars and various maintenance tips on Car Adviser

In this guide

Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster has always been an excellent value-for-money car, even when bought new, meaning that grabbing one from the second-hand market represents tremendous saving potential. 

The Duster is an SUV, meaning that it has a spacious interior for passengers and storage, with it boasting a fantastic boot area. If comfort is your main priority, then the Duster is a great option, as it comes with quality seats and so much legroom no matter where you’re sitting. That said, the interior doesn’t have the sparkle and can look a bit plain. 

The driving experience for the Duster could be more inspired, which is the case for most SUVs. There could be a better deal of thrust, with its weak acceleration making it feel like it’s plodding when you try to get it up the gears. The suspension is refined, though, with it being reasonably smooth at high or low speeds. 

The Duster has good fuel economy for this type of vehicle, making it an economical choice even once you’ve made your purchase. 

The biggest issue with the Duster is that it’s lacking in a lot of safety features. This omission seems odd for an SUV that will likely be designed to carry families, as it stops it from being a no-brainer choice in this category. 

The Duster is a fantastic option, especially when buying it new, and is sure to be a reliable and practical option for various owners. 

Dacia Duster Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Porche Boxster

If you want to grab a cheeky and fun convertible off the second-hand market, you can quickly get a Porche Boxster for under £5,000. The Boxster is, perhaps unfairly, known as the poor man’s Porche, and although that is said to be an insult to the car, it also illustrates the vehicle’s value and how it’s a sensibly priced car. 

The Boxster is not a practical car at all, as it only able to seat two people and lacks boot space. It is, however, an enjoyable car to drive, as it is agile and handles nicely with sharp and responsive steering while also being quick when accelerating.

In fact, the handling is one of the best things about this car, as it has an incredible amount of grip, which can make driving around town extremely fun. It does start to feel fragile at super high speeds, especially if you’re driving with the roof down, but for some, that can add to the excitement of the car. 

The driving position of the Boxster is an excellent position for thrill seekers. It’s low to the ground, making the car feel much faster; however, it’s still comfortable, meaning that it’s great when at both low and faster speeds.

The view from the seat is excellent when looking forward; however, it can be hard to see when reversing or checking your blind spot. This may be a bit offputting for some drivers. This is because the pillars are much larger for convertibles to ensure structural integrity. 

Porsche Boxster Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Volkswagen Golf

For decades, the Volkswagen Golf has been one of the most popular and revered cars on the road. Known for its refinement and good driving ability, this iconic vehicle boasts an array of impressive features that appeal to drivers of all sizes and skill levels.

Whether you are looking for a reliable commuter car or a fun weekend cruiser, the VW Golf is guaranteed to exceed your expectations. With its sporty styling, agility on the road, and advanced safety features, this car offers everything you could want in a second-hand vehicle. 

With the Golf being a very popular and long-lasting model from Volkwagen, countless options are available on the second-hand market. It can be picked up fairly cheaply, and in terms of sheer driving experience, it is one of the best budget hatchbacks you can get.  

Despite its many advantages, some potential negatives associated with the Volkswagen Golf should be considered when making a purchasing decision. For example, many drivers have complained about the Golf’s limited cargo space, making it difficult to transport bulky items.

In addition, some drivers have noted that the Volkswagen Golf is not always fuel-efficient, with some models getting as little as 30 miles per gallon. 

That said, the VW Golf is still a fantastic option for those looking for a car second-hand. 

Volkswagen Golf Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series has long been known as one of the top sports saloons on the market. With its sophisticated styling, excellent performance, and high-quality features, the BMW 3 Series is a standout choice for anyone looking for a quality vehicle that offers both luxury and agility. 

The BMW 3 Series is known for its superior handling, thanks to its well-tuned suspension and powerful engine. Whether you’re tearing around tight corners or zipping through traffic on the motorway, this car always feels responsive and surefooted under pressure.

And with an array of high-tech features like adaptive cruise control, a premium sound system, and a heads-up display, driving the BMW 3 Series is a truly luxurious experience from start to finish. 

However, you need to consider a few flaws about the 3 Series before opting to get one. For one, it is not particularly fuel efficient, averaging just 20 miles per gallon in city driving. In addition, BMWs are notorious for requiring frequent maintenance and repairs, which can cost you a fair bit over time.

While these downsides certainly do not make the BMW 3 Series a bad choice for luxury vehicle buyers, they are worth considering when comparing different models and deciding which car is right for you.

BMW 3 Series Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Ford Focus

Ford Focus for under £5,000

The Ford Focus is one of the most popular cars on the road today, and for a good reason. This reliable, well-designed vehicle offers all the features drivers want and need, from powerful performance to top-notch safety features.

Whether you are looking for a saloon or hatchback style, the Ford Focus has something to offer every driver.

This car stands out from the crowd thanks to its innovative design and advanced technology, especially if you can pick up a modern version. Its sleek exterior hints at the cutting-edge technology lurking under the hood, including fuel efficiency systems that help you save money at the pump.

Additionally, even though it is packed with high-tech features, this vehicle is still fun and easy to drive, making it a great choice for novice drivers. 

The second-hand market for Ford Focuses is already a big one, and that’s set to get even larger after Ford announced in 2022 that it’s discontinuing the model in favour of electric vehicles. This means that if you want a Ford Focus, it will have to be from the second-hand market. 

However, the Ford Focus does have some negatives and issues that potential buyers should be aware of before making a purchase.

For example, some Ford Focus models have been known to have transmission problems. Additionally, some Ford Focus vehicles are prone to rust, leading to structural damage over time and more repairs and maintenance.

Ford Focus Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is a sensible choice for car buyers looking for an eco-friendly vehicle. The Prius is known for its efficient design and outstanding fuel economy. Its pioneering hybrid technology makes it a great option for those looking to save petrol costs and reduce their environmental impact. 

The Prius is also straightforward to drive, with it being smooth to control while lacking any sudden bursts of acceleration. It’s also a hushed car, making it much more relaxing to drive around town and on the motorway.

Getting a Prius second-hand is a fantastic option, as these cars usually retain a high resale value, helping you to recoup cash once you sell it yourself.

However, the Toyota Prius does have some drawbacks that consumers should consider. For example, the Prius is often quite expensive compared to other used cars in its class, and many drivers find that the vehicle’s performance falls short of expectations. Its reliance on electric power means that the car lacks a bit of thrust, making it a dull driving experience.

Overall, the Toyota Prius has many positive attributes and is a great choice for buyers looking to go green while staying on a budget.

Toyota Prius Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

The Suzuki Swift is a fashionable, compact car that has enjoyed great success over the years. With its sleek design and responsive driving performance, it has become one of the most desirable used cars on the market, especially for those looking for a compact vehicle. 

That said, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of the Suzuki, as, despite its accolades, it has some drawbacks. On the one hand, its great fuel efficiency means that you can save money on gas over time.

Additionally, it has a long list of safety features, including airbags and anti-lock brakes, which help to keep you protected in all types of driving conditions. This can make it a very attractive car for young families or new drivers. 

The issue is that the car is relatively small compared to many other vehicles on the road, so tall or larger drivers may experience some discomfort while behind the wheel. In addition to that, passengers may feel a bit cramped, and there’s also not a great deal of boot space. 

It’s a good option if you need to whizz around town, as it has good manoeuvrability and excels in tight parking situations. However, it could feel a bit fragile when at high speeds on the motorway.

Suzuki Swift Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is one of the most common cars on UK roads today, renowned for its sleek design, high performance, and flexible utility that makes it well suited for a variety of different drivers and situations. 

This model is highly recommended if you are in the market for a used car. The Honda Accord has a reputation for durability and reliability, with many owners praising its long-lasting engine and comfortable interior. This means that when you buy it used, you’re less likely to experience any issues or problems. 

Whether you need to drive long distances on the highway or run errands around town, the Honda Accord will get you where you need to go in style and comfort. 

The issue with the Honda Accord is that its popularity comes with the risk of over-inflated valuations and high maintenance costs. Compared to other used car models on the market, the Honda Accords tend to carry a higher price tag due to increased demand, although you can still find plenty for well under £5,000.

Additionally, the Honda requires frequent oil changes and tune-ups in order to stay in good working condition, which can drive up repair costs for owners over time if they’re invested in keeping the car in the best possible condition. 

Honda Accord Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Jaguar XF

Believe it or not, it’s possible to get one of the most classic cars available in the UK for under £5,000. Of course, you’re not going to be able to get a modern XF, but there is still plenty of great value Jaguar XFs made in the late 2000s that you can get your hands on. 

Launched in 2007, the Jaguar XF quickly became a popular choice among car enthusiasts, thanks to its impressive performance and elegant design. With a luxurious interior, an agile drive, and a powerful engine under the hood, this Jaguar model truly set the bar high in terms of luxury cars. 

The vehicle is a wonderful option for drivers who prioritise both performance and style. The XF is known for having high-quality materials, thickly padded seats, and precision headings, making the car’s interior a pleasure to be in.

The car also has some practicality, as its larger size makes it a good option for families, although it is best suited to those looking for something fun and elegant to drive. 

To get a Jaguar XF off the second-hand market, you will have to get one around ten years old. This means you have to put a great deal of trust in the seller and hope that it has been properly looked after during its lifetime.

The Jaguar XF is already a frail car, meaning that getting an older one could mean that you’re more likely to find maintenance issues and faults. However, that risk may be worth it for a car of this pedigree.

Jaguar XF Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Skoda Yeti

Skoda Yeti

Skoda has long been known for crafting affordable, high-quality vehicles that suit all driving needs. Their latest offering, the Skoda Yeti, is no exception. With its sleek design and high-performance engine, this compact SUV is beautifully designed and exceptionally functional.

The cabin offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo alike, with easy access to the vehicle’s controls and features. Furthermore, the Skoda Yeti is equipped with a wide range of driver assistance systems, ensuring a safe and smooth ride every time you hit the road.

With reliability and affordability as the main focus of Skoda, it does mean that it needs more in terms of sheer driving ability. It’s not particularly quick off the mark, and its handling is average at best.

It has a firm suspension which is nice on good quality roads, but it does mean that bumps and road irregularities are noticeable and can make the driving experience just a tad more uncomfortable than it should be. 

If you’re a single person driving around town mainly for work, this vehicle is an excellent second-hand option to get. That said, it may be better for longer haul journeys because of its lack of speed on faster roads.

Skoda YETI Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

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Customer score
4.7/5

Based on over 1,182 reviews.

Best Used Cars FAQs

When considering a used car, it is important to be aware of a few key factors to ensure you make the best possible purchase.

First, you should carefully inspect the vehicle for any signs of damage or wear and tear. It is also important to check things like mileage and engine performance to make sure that the car has been well-maintained over its lifetime. 

Additionally, taking the car for a test drive can help give you a sense of how the vehicle feels and drives on the road. Ultimately, by being thorough and thinking critically about each aspect of your potential used car purchase, you can feel more confident that you are getting a quality vehicle at an affordable price.

There is no easy answer when deciding whether buying a used or new car is better. On the one hand, used cars are more affordable, often having lower upfront costs and less depreciation over time. In addition, used cars can offer more variety and choice compared to new models.

However, new cars tend to be more reliable, making them a safer choice for those who want peace of mind about the condition of their vehicle. New cars usually also have more finance options, giving you more ways to pay for the vehicle.

Ultimately, the choice between used and new cars comes down to personal preferences and budget considerations. Whether you opt for a used car or a new one, do your research beforehand to get the best deal possible.

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