If you’ve got £10,000 to spend on a used car, what are your options? Much will depend on what you’re looking for, but we’ve selected 20 cars for sale on Auto Trader to provide some inspiration. To be selected, a car must be no more than three-years-old and with a sensible amount of miles on the clock. As always, inclusion doesn’t represent an endorsement.
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Honda Civic: £10,000
We kick things off with the current Honda Civic, which majors on practicality and comfort. That it’s not the drivers’ car it once was won’t matter to the majority of owners, but the poor rearward visibility is hard to ignore. A new Civic is on the way, so you might find your budget goes further when buying a used example.
This 2014 car is powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine and comes with a host of desirable options, including Bluetooth, cruise control, parking sensors and automatic wipers. As a bonus, the next two services are included within the price.
Skoda Octavia: £9,667
Why buy a Volkswagen Golf when you can buy a car that offers more space and better value for money? The Skoda Octavia is an evergreen member of our used car galleries, and for good reason. They might not be the most exciting cars on the planet – vRS models aside – but they’re practical, solidly built and usually well equipped.
This 2014 example offers exceptional value money with just 6,077 miles on the clock. The SE trim offers a good level of specification, while the 1.2-litre petrol is surprisingly adept at hauling this hatchback along. The DSG transmission wouldn’t be our first choice, but that’s our only complaint with this one.
Ford Fiesta: £8,499
You know those monthly ‘sales’ figures that seem to show just how well the new car industry is doing? The knock-on effect of these new car registrations is a surplus of nearly-new used car stock. The Ford Fiesta is a good case in point.
This pre-registered Fiesta has ‘travelled’ a mere seven miles and is offered with a £1,896 saving off the new price. It’s one of a huge number of similarly priced Fiestas, meaning you can pick and choose your engine and trim.
Volkswagen Up: £9,950
Look, it’s another pre-registered bargain. Seriously, armed with a £10,000 budget, you can select from a wide range of superminis and city cars. The Volkswagen Up is arguably the perfect city car, even if we’d choose the Skoda Citigo when buying new.
It’s hard to ignore this Volkswagen Up in ‘High Up’ spec, and not just because it’s finished in Honey Yellow Metallic. It offers a big car specification for a small car price.
Mazda 3: £9,982
Thanks to the dominance of the Golf, Focus and Astra, cars like the Mazda 3 tend to get overlooked. Which is a shame, as the 3 is one of the best looking cars in the segment, not to mention one of the sharpest to drive.
This 2015 car has covered 39,000 miles and has a full service history. Check out the cabin which, again, is one of the nicest in the family hatchback segment.
Kia Cee’d: £10,000
Buying a Kia Cee’d makes a great deal of sense, not least because a two-year-old example will have the remainder of Kia’s seven-year warranty. It also helps that the Cee’d is well-equipped and fuel efficient.
The 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine in this 2015 example could return around 51.4mpg and has covered just 9,401 miles.
Suzuki Swift: £10,000
A new Suzuki Swift will be launched this year, but it’ll have to be pretty special to improve on the outgoing model. It looks great, is good to drive and offers a generous level of standard spec.
The SZ-L is a desirable special edition, offering black 16-inch alloy wheels, sat nav, DAB digital radio, LED daytime running lights and a cheeky rear spoiler. New, you’d pay from £11,649, but this 2016 example is on sale for £10,000. Buy it, because the world needs more Horizon Orange cars on the road.
Abarth 500: £9,995
The Abarth 500 is the closest you’ll get to a sports car in a supermini body, with ‘go-kart’ like handling and terrific steering feel. Some won’t like the firm ride, but that’s a small price to pay for a pint-sized performance hero.
This 2015 car looks the business and has covered a mere 6,822 miles. We love the chequered-red roof and 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
BMW 1 Series: £10,000
The rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series is the sharpest handling member of the family hatchback segment and is blessed with an efficient range of diesel engines. Its biggest drawback: space for rear seat passengers.
If you don’t care about your passengers, this 2014 car will be hard to ignore. The specification is generous, while the 59,598 miles on the clock suggests a stress-free life on the motorway.
Audi A1: £10,000
Other superminis might offer better value for money, but few can offer a feel good factor quite like the Audi A1. The cabin might be a little sombre, but the quality is what you’d expect from an Audi.
Predictably, this 2014 car passed a recent MOT with flying colours and no advisories. What’s more, 23,680 miles is sensible for a three-year-old supermini.
Dacia Duster: £8,296
Buy a new Dacia Duster in Laureate trim today and you’ll spend upwards of £13,995. Great value, but why would you when this 2015 example is on sale for just £8,995?
The 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine is tried and tested, while the Woodland Brown metallic paint gives the Duster an upmarket feel. One-owner from new and 22,938 miles complete the deal.
SEAT Leon: £9,295
Another Volkswagen Golf by another name, the SEAT Leon offers great value for money when new, and even better value for money on the used car network. It’s a good seller, so there’s plenty of choice.
Take this 2015 Leon 1.6-litre TDi in SE spec. Just one-owner from new, 35,139 miles on the clock and a DSG transmission. All this for £9,295.
Toyota Aygo: £7,994
There are hundreds of Toyota Aygos available for £10,000, but we’ve avoided the rather spartan X-Play models.
Instead, how about this X-Clusiv model, which offers 15-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen entertainment system and reversing camera. A £7,994 price tag is quite a saving on the £13,035 on the list price when new.
SsangYong Tivoli: £9,995
One day, we might look back on the Tivoli as the car that transformed the fortunes of SsangYong in the UK. It’s the Korean firm’s most credible car to date, offering exceptional value for money across the range.
It hasn’t been on sale long, but used examples are creeping beneath the £10,000 mark. This 2015 example has covered 8,027 miles and comes in mid-spec EX trim level.
Nissan Pulsar: £9,000
OK, so the Nissan Pulsar isn’t the most exciting car in the family hatchback segment, but it does offer a jaw-dropping amount of rear legroom. A curious USP, granted, but it’s like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the back of a Pulsar. Of sorts.
In fairness, there’s more to the Pulsar than a huge amount of rear legroom, it’s just that the car doesn’t sparkle. This 2015 example is good value at £9,000.
Citroen DS3: £10,000
This could be our favourite car in this £10,000 gallery. The Citroen DS3 is at its best when powered by the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, making this 2014 DSport a potential peach.
Highlights include a full leather interior, climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear park-assist and just one owner from new. Where do we sign?
MINI Hatchback: £7,995
The MINI One D is a hidden gem of the current MINI range. The One might be the entry-level model, but the 1.5-litre diesel engine is the same unit you’ll find in the more costly Cooper D. And it’s a cracking engine, too.
This 2015 car should offer the same feel good factor as more expensive MINIs, thanks in part to the orange paintwork. The claimed 83.1mpg is an added bonus.
Renault Twingo: £9,499
We happen to think that the Renault Twingo is most desirable when powered by the non-turbocharged SCe 70 model, despite giving up 20hp to the 90hp TCe model. It helps that the power peaks at 6,000rpm, encouraging you to explore the upper reaches of the rev counter in the name of good fun.
This 2017 Twingo is a pre-registered car with just five miles on the clock and loaded with the toys associated with the Dynamique trim level.
Honda Jazz: £7,995
Face it, you knew we’d be recommending a Honda Jazz. The fact remains: the Jazz is one of the best used cars you can buy. It offers more space than a standard supermini, has an excellent track record for reliability, and cars tend to be driven by careful and considerate owners.
The Si trim is the ‘sporty’ member of the range and this Milano Red example has covered a mere 17,137 from new. Yours for less than £8,000.
Hyundai Veloster: £10,000
We finish with a curveball: the Hyundai Veloster. The quirky-looking coupe is a rare sight on UK roads as it never sold in huge numbers. It’s not the sharpest car to drive, but the extra side door makes it interesting/strange/weird (delete as applicable).
This 2015 car is being sold through a Hyundai main dealer and will be covered by the manufacturer warranty until 2020. With 7,005 miles on the clock, we have to ask: what has it been doing for the past two years?