Used cars under £3,000 - Takshaka

I am looking for a car under £3,000 (from a dealer), can anyone recommend any particular makes/models to look out for in this price range?

I prefer 4/5 doors and a decent amount of boot space... but I am keeping my options open, mostly looking for something with a good few years life in it before it becomes a money pit!

Used cars under £3,000 - DieselBoy

At this price, any car has the potential to be a money pit, especially from a dealer. A £3k car from a dealer is probably only a £2.5k at most car as they have their profit to make.

Japanese and petrol are the two words you'll read a LOT on here. If that's not your thing then something mass produced and simple with cheap spares. Think Focus or Astra I suppose.

Used cars under £3,000 - Engineer Andy

Whatever you go for, use the KISS principle to keep it simple - the car should have as few gizmos and gadgets as possible (including with the engine, i.e. naturally asiprated, petrol) - i.e. the least to go wrong and either cost a fortune to repair or then is something you've paid more for that becomes a useless feature.

I'd go for a private sale from a local elderly person (who is likely to be giving up driving or is buying a new, smaller car for use in old age) who can prove the car has had a long and complete service history and has been looked after very well.

You might be able find a similar older car that was part-exchanged for a new one at a dealership before it gets passed on to auction, but it's still likely you'll pay more than privately. The only benefit of this would be, if it was serviced at that main dealer (or others) throughout its life, that it would likely be a decent car and they may even give you a warranty, even if that is only a few months. I suspect this is what would happen should I do this with my 13yo car at my local main dealership.

Don't buy a car with loads of bells and whistles, as it could become a money pity very quickly.

Used cars under £3,000 - badbusdriver

Ford Focus 1.6 petrol with manual gearbox.

1, they are very common, so in most parts of the country there are likely to be quite a few for sale locally, giving you some options.

2, they are reliable and will not cost much to run (so long as you don't end up with a bag of nails!)

3, they are roomy enough with a decent sized boot and should cope with most folks requirements.

£3k could get you into a 2011 private sale (>80k miles), maybe a year or two older from a dealer.

Plenty of other cars worth looking at depending on what is available near you, just stick to N/A petrol and manual gearbox. Make use of the gov website to check the MOT history as this will give an indication of whether or not the car has been well looked after (

Used cars under £3,000 - John F

Ford Focus 1.6 petrol with manual gearbox.

Or the early reliable Mazda/Ford auto, so no clutch/box problems. Here's what looks like a bargain a bit younger than ours...

....but with only half the mileage. V important at this age to get underneath and assess the rust. If you halt it, you should get at least another 70,000 miles out of it.

Used cars under £3,000 - SLO76
Simple Japanese designed petrol hatchbacks are usually the way to go for reliability but at this money it’s condition and history above all else. Where roughly do you live and i’ll take a look locally to see what’s available that looks worthy?
Used cars under £3,000 - barney100

Mate of mine has his own property maintenance one man band. He buys cars at a few hundred £s...not thousands and has done really well. An astra, Zafira, Mercedes E class, now a Jag estate and this is over a good few years. They are old cars but he has had great use from them and he's either very knowledgeable or just plain lucky. I'd include Volvo's on your list, you could get a good one for £3k. Check when the cam belt has been done though.

Used cars under £3,000 - Xileno

Focus is a good call but I would go for the 1.8. A bit more road tax and fuel costs but it is perkier and has a chain cam. It's a Mazda engine. The 1.6 is only just adequate in the Focus, even the higher powered version with the VCT which I think is 116bhp. You need to rev it quite hard to extract the power, it's quite a peaky engine. Ours has been reliable, it's Yamaha designed.

Used cars under £3,000 - Takshaka

I am in South Wales

Used cars under £3,000 - SLO76
I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

I just found a great car on Auto Trader:

If that low mileage main dealer approved part exchange Astra above is anywhere near you go and see it quickly. If it has a good service history and is as clean as it looks it’s a great cheap family hatch. At 48,000 miles it’s not even run in.

Edited by SLO76 on 01/08/2019 at 23:25

Used cars under £3,000 - Takshaka

Thank you all for the help, that gives me a lot of useful info!

Used cars under £3,000 - Takshaka

I drove around a few dealerships today and had a look around, saw a few cars of interest that I will go back and test drive in the next few days. If anyone would like to help me narrow down the list it would be most welcome!

06 Toyota Avensis 1.8 75k £1,995 Full dealership service history

08 Nissan Note 1.4 80k £1,995

08 Ford Focus 1.8 93k £1,995

10 Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 78k £2,395

05 Citroen C3 1.4i 98k £1,295

09 Nissan Note Acenta 1.4 63k £2995

09 Nissan Note Acenta 1.4 83k £2,695

08 Ford Mondeo Edge 1.6 £2,495

10 Renault Grand Modus Expression 1.2 £2,295

06 Ford Fusion Zetec £1,595

03 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 87k £1,195

Used cars under £3,000 - SLO76
The Avensis caught my eye, I posted a link to it above. Tough old cars and plenty of previous gen examples many years older still running yet. The burgundy Nissan Note looks quite fresh too.
Used cars under £3,000 - Takshaka

Yes, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I will test drive it later and unless I find anything wrong with it, I may not look any further.

Used cars under £3,000 - badbusdriver

Quite an extensive list, but fortunately they seem to just be spread over 3 garages!. Nothing jumps out as being a particulalry unwise choice, but for what its worth, i will give you my own opinions.

For reliability, the best would almost certainly be the Toyota avensis and least would probably be the Renault Grand Modus and Citroen C3 (neither are likely to have major problems, more niggly electrical or trim issues)

For outright space, the Mondeo is going to offer most, followed by the Avensis. Least spacious would be the Citroen C3 (not that it is particularly cramped)

For versitality, it would probably be between the Renault grand Modus and the Vauxhall Meriva with their tall bodies and miriad of various seating permutations (make sure all the adjustments work), closely followed by the Nissan Note's (tall body, sliding rear seat and adjustable boot floor height) and the Ford Fusion (tall body, big boot, fold flat front passenger seat). The rest are just conventional hatchbacks of various sizes.

For comfort and refinement, i'd guess the mondeo would take the honours, designed as it is to spend its life on the motorways with comfortable seats, supple suspension and good sound insulation. The boxy practical cars (Grand Modus, Note, Fusion and Meriva) are probably going to be the most prone to interior noise and harshness, though this can be affected a lot by the tyres, you want to avoid larger diameter wheels with low profile tryes (such as the Note at gem motors). The rest are a mixed bag with the Avensis (being aimed at the same market as the Mondeo) probably 2nd best, followed by the younger Focus.

For driving enjoyment, probably the Ford focus 1.8 would be best (though that is obviously dependent on the condition of the suspension, brakes, and quality of tyres). The Mondeo should score well here, but in the case of this generation coupled with that engine, i think it would be a bit of a sloth. it is a heavy old bus for a n/a 1.6 (i believe about 200kg more than the Avensis). We used to have a Fusion (1.4 petrol) so i can testify that it is great fun to punt down a twisty road, maybe not quite up there with the Focus or Fiesta, but much better than most. I have read that the note is also pretty good fun to drive, but no actual experience. The Avensis, C3, Grand modus and meriva would be least enjoyable to hustle, though that may not be of any concern to you whatsoever!.

Without seeing and test driving the cars, and just going by what i would be looking for in a car, my 1st choices would be the two Nissan Note's from Rhonda motor Co. The reason i have picked them over the Gem Motors one (apart from the aforementioned wheels), they have cruise control, which i am a big fan of.


Value my car