Top 25: Used buys for £10,000 in 2020
After a used car but need some inspiration? Well we've picked out 25 used cars for less than £10,000 in 2020 to show you what you can get for your money.
BMW 3 Series Convertible
When new, the 2007 to 2012 3 Series Convertible cost more than £35,000 in most trim levels, with plenty of variants priced at more than £40,000 before any options. So for £10,000 with low miles and good history they look like excellent value. This generation came with a folding metal top, which can sometimes get stuck with an expensive repair bill. Fortunately, £10,000 is enough for a looked-after example – and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to engines at that price, too. We’ll have a 335i please…
Honda Civic Tourer
A new Honda Civic arrived in 2017, but the previous model is something of a bargain. Enjoyable to drive and interesting to look at, the Civic is available with a fun but not-that-economical 1.8 VTEC petrol or a 1.6 i-DTEC diesel that’s capable of more than 70mpg in real world driving. It is an extremely useful load lugger thanks to its cavernous boot and versatile “magic” seats. Reliability is strong, too – so it’s a great used buy.
Bentley Turbo R
If you have £10,000 to spend and you’re not bothered about being sensible, how about a Bentley? Our theoretical budget will get you a desirable Turbo R, with a 6.75-litre V8 engine borrowed from the Mulsanne. As well as offering effortless performance, the Turbo R has loads of leather and wood in the cabin - so it feels every bit the true Bentley. And if you look after it, it's likely to prove to be a sensible investment. Just be prepared to put a few thousand a year aside for maintenance costs - and that's before you spend money on petrol...
Of course you can get a used Vauxhall Corsa for £10,000. You can get one for £500. In fact, you can almost get a brand-new Vauxhall Corsa for £10,000. But to get the best deals, look for a pre-registered example – a car registered by the dealer and so officially second-hand, but effectively as good as brand new. That means you get the current number plate and a car with just a handful of miles, but with discounts of thousands of pounds off the new price. All because you’re listed as the second owner on a piece of paperwork… £10,000 gets you a pre-reg model in a decent trim level too, so you get handy gadgets like Apple CarPlay.
A lot of people don’t quite ‘get’ the Subaru brand. But if you do, then you’ll see plenty of appeal in the XV. It's a niche contender to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, but one with genuine off-road capability and a reputation for lasting forever. The XV was expensive when new so it sold in relatively small numbers, but £10,000 gets you a 2014 model with average miles and the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
The Hyundai Tucson replaced the ix35 as the Korean firm's Qashqai rival in 2015 and early examples are now dropping below £10,000. It represents excellent value for money and has plenty of space for all the family. Our budget will get you a 2015 model with the desirable 1.7-litre diesel engine. Provided it's been serviced correctly, it should have the remainder of its original five-year warranty remaining.
You don't have to settle for something boring with a £10,000 budget. There are plenty of desirable second-hand cars on the market for this price, including the second-generation Audi TT, which still looks the part today. You'll be able to choose from petrol or diesel engines with our budget, as well as coupe or convertible models. £10,000 will get an S Line coupe from around 2013.
Buyers looking for a bit of flash without the need for practicality are well catered for with the Mercedes-Benz SLK. £10,000 is enough for a low-mileage, 2011 SLK with full history. Most cars from dealers are the SLK 200, but you’ll also find the quicker SLK 280 or 300 within our budget. It’s not the most exciting roadster – you’ll have more fun in cars made by BMW or Porsche – but if you’re more keen on gentle cruising than tackling tricky bends then it’s ideal. And there’s huge choice, with plenty of really classily, well-equipped examples to choose from.
If you want an upmarket hatchback but the usual German choices aren’t up your street, the Volvo V40 is a decent alternative and is affordable second hand. It isn’t quite as classily finished inside as an Audi A3, but it’s quiet, comfy and easy to drive – not to mention safe. The vast majority of V40s for sale in our price bracket use the economical 1.6-litre D2 diesel engine, but the D3 and D4 can be found within budget and are much nicer to drive. Pick a higher, SE Lux trim and you’ll get modern technology like adaptive cruise and DAB radio.
If you're looking for a big boot and incredible value for money, the Skoda Octavia should be high on your shortlist. It shares a platform with the Volkswagen Golf but is both bigger and more affordable than its Volkswagen relation. Our budget will get you a mid-spec SE model from around 2014 with the very good 1.4 TSI petrol engine - or consider a diesel if you're planning to cover lots of miles. There's an estate version, too, if you need even more space than offered by the hatch.
Kia Cee’d SW
Once upon a time, people laughed at Kia for making terrible cars – but that feels like a distant memory now. Fortunately, despite the now very impressive cars it makes, they’re still quite affordably priced. That’s especially true on the used car market, where recent, low-mileage Cee’ds are great value. We’d pick the more practical SW estate, which can be bought at just a couple of years old within our £10,000 budget - and with low miles and a decent level of specification. The engines aren’t exactly brimmed full of pizzazz but if you just want a sensible, practical, affordable estate car the Cee’d SW is great.
On the one hand, there's probably no more luxurious all-rounder available on the second-hand market than a Range Rover. Our £10,000 budget will get you plenty of choice, with the TDV8 diesels being the most desirable and slightly more frugal than the supercharged petrols. Having said that, you might want to avoid any with high miles or showing signs of neglect. And it's probably worth considering an aftermarket warranty.
Vauxhall Monaro 5.7
With a 5.7-litre V8 and more than 330PS, the Monaro isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s barely for anyone – you really wouldn’t want to drive this every day of your life unless you have an unlimited supply of money for petrol and rear tyres. But at least it has plenty of space. For £10,000 you’ll get an immaculately presented car with reasonable mileage and full history. It might not be as refined as a big, powerful car from a European car maker, but for novelty and rarity value there aren’t many cars to match it at this price.
It might seem like an obvious, boring choice – but the Volkswagen Golf is such a good all-round car that it has to feature in this list. For £10,000 there is a huge breadth of choice, ranging from recent, low-mileage cars with the excellent, economical TSI petrol engines, to slightly older high-performance GTI and GTDs - as well as convertibles. Also available within our £10,000 budget is the R32, which was discontinued in 2009. They might all be getting on a bit now, but with a 3.2-litre V6 and all-wheel drive, they’re extremely potent and likely to become a classic, if you’re planning on keeping yours forever.
If you're happy to look at older cars, a £10,000 budget will get a surprisingly premium vehicle that you'd otherwise expect to be well out of your price range. One such example is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. You'll be restricted to the last-generation model, most likely with higher miles, but you do get a choice of saloon, estate, coupe and even convertible models. Make sure it has full service history, and hunt out a 3.0-litre 350 CDI if you'd like something much nicer to drive than the popular 2.1-litre models.
If you need an MPV but you don’t want to give up on driver enjoyment, pick a Ford. Even the huge Galaxy is surprisingly nimble and has loads of grip through bends, but the S-MAX is better still. It isn’t just good to drive for an MPV, it’s good to drive full stop. But obviously it’s also practical, with a spacious middle row of seats and a pair of occasional use seats in the boot. Comfort is great, with supportive seats and very good ride quality, despite the excellent traction. Even the engines are good, with the 2.0 TDCi providing plenty of torque. Avoid the Powershift automatic gearbox.
A Porsche might seem beyond the realms of possibility for £10,000 – but there’s masses of choice of you go for a Boxster. If you want a lower-mileage car with better specification then go for later examples of the first generation, 986 model – but there’s plenty of later 987 models within budget too. It’s important to be realistic when buying a Boxster though. Prices might be affordable, but servicing costs, insurance and maintenance are likely to be expensive. It might cost the same as a family runabout to buy, but in the long run it will prove much pricier. But much, much more fun.
If you want a smooth, quiet, comfortable and economical car then, shy of a big executive saloon, there’s not much better than a Toyota Prius. The latest model is excellent but too new to make our budget – but there are plenty of examples of the previous Prius on sale for £10,000 or less. They have an outstanding reliability record and are easily capable of more than 60mpg, even if driven exclusively around town. But they’re comfy and easy to drive even outside of town – although on a B-road they’re not particularly good fun. A great £10,000 buy.
The Jaguar XF manages the rare feat of making you feel special when you drive it – and arguably that’s more true of the original, 2008 to 2015 car than the current one. There’s loads of choice at £10,000, including the facelift model introduced in 2012. Whether you're after a petrol or diesel, we'd opt for one of the 3.0-litre V6 engines - they're smooth, torquey and sound great. No matter which engine you go for, the XF offers a superb blend of handling and comfort.
In its latest incarnation the Peugeot 308 is an excellent car that gives all of its rivals a run for their money. Interior material quality, comfort, refinement and driving dynamics are all very impressive, with just a slightly long gearchange throw the only fly in in the ointment. And yet it’s incredibly good value used. Low mileage, high-power, well-equipped cars that are just two years old are available for within our £10,000 budget, even when equipped with desirable optional extras like an automatic transmission.
It’s excellent value new, so it’s no surprise that a used Skoda Superb is a smart buy. They’re huge inside, with masses of rear leg and headroom along with a huge boot. If you're looking for a sensible yet comfortable car for covering high mileages, you'll struggle to do better than a Superb. Our £10,000 budget will get you the latest (pre-facelift) model with low miles in good condition and with a decent level of specification. It's worth hunting out a 2.0-litre TDI for its extra punch and still impressive economy.
Lexus CT 200h
We’ve featured the Prius in this list – but if you’d prefer that same hybrid experience encased in a plusher car with more traditional hatchback styling, the Lexus CT 200h is just the ticket. Well-made, comfortable, relaxing to drive and economical, there’s plenty to like about the smallest Lexus. It can be a little loud when accelerating and it isn’t exactly fun to drive like a BMW 1 Series, but if you tend to drive in town or on the motorway it’s ideal. £10,000 gives you lots of choice, with plenty of immaculate, low-mileage examples on offer.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Seven seats, a nicely finished cabin and quiet, smooth driving dynamics combine to make the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso a very family-friendly machine. And one that’s very good value used. Go for the 2014-on model though – it’s much better than its predecessor. £10,000 will get you a low-mileage car with a good level of equipment. Almost all the cars we found for sale were fitted with the 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel engine, which isn’t exactly powerful, but there is at least a choice of auto or manual transmissions.
There's not much out there as trendy as the MINI Hatch for £10,000. If you're wanting the ultimate in fun, look for a Cooper S - with its exciting performance, enthusiastic exhaust note and brilliant handling. A regular Cooper will suit most buyers, however, and is available with petrol or diesel engines. Models with the optional Chili Pack are the most desirable, costing an extra £3200 when new, and adding things like 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning and a drive mode selector.
Fiat may have created an absolute hit when it came up with the 500 – but actually it’s a pretty poor car. The driving position is bad, the use of space isn't great, the handling is poor, there isn’t much space in the boot and the engines aren’t great. But it certainly looks the part – and if you like the looks, why not go for the wild Abarth version. Packing a fizzy, characterful 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, the Abarth is overly firm and doesn’t handle all that well, but it’s still a lot of fun and it turns heads in a way lesser, Fiat-badged 500s could only dream off. £10,000 gets a really recent, low-mileage car in perfect condition with full history.