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Best cars for under £10,000

Best cars for under £10,000

Best cars for under £10,000
April 16
17:59 2017

A £10,000 budget will get you a basic new car. It could also get you an amazing used one. Here are some best pre-owned cars in that bracket

2017-04-16 16:00

For £10,000, you can afford to enter the new car market with a great range of base level hatchbacks and superminis. Although you’ll probably have to option them lightly, they should offer you a reasonable drive, the top-drawer economy and more reliability than you can shake a stick at. However, thanks to the phenomenon that is depreciation, you could also consider a greater spec of vehicle with the only drawbacks being age, mileage, maintenance, and the fact that someone has owned the car before you. It’s worth considering, right?

So with an imaginary £10,000 in our pockets, we trawled the classifieds to see what a five-figure sum would get us if we were realistic. For that money you can get your hands on all manner of exuberant used cars, although practical drivers will probably aim for a young, low mileage model in order to make the best use of their cash.

In our hunt, we discovered an Audi A1 from 2011, which originally cost £14,115 but today will set you back some £6,800. With a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder engine cranking out 55.4mpg, that’s not a bad deal at all.

Buying a used car: all you need to know

We also found a Nissan Leaf from 2014 with just 9,000 miles on the clock for a very, very reasonable £7,500. The original price just a handful of years ago? £26,490.

Obviously a test drive and full inspection is a must with any used car, even if newer models are less likely to have developed faults or to have been exposed to poor maintenance. But with a clean service history and proper care, there shouldn’t be too much to fear when approaching the second-hand dealership.

With a bit of patience and intuition, you’ll be climbing into the driving seat of your brand new used wheels before you can say ‘half price hero’. The examples below prove that it is possible…

Scroll down to read more about our half-price heroes, which can all be bought for less than £10,000…

Best cars for under £10,000

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf Visia (2014/14 reg, 9k miles)

The Nissan Leaf is an electric car pioneer, but the used market doesn’t hold it in such high regard – just look at how much money it loses when compared with a Peugeot 308 of a similar age. Still, if battery power fits into your lifestyle, the Leaf is an enticing prospect.

For this price, go for a car with a battery lease deal. We found a Leaf in Nissan’s approved used network that had six months of free battery lease included, and the offer of a free home charge point installation. Work out the cost of the lease first to see if it’s really the right choice for you.

Price new: £26,490
Now: £7,500
Engine: 80kW electric motor
Economy: N/A
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2012)

Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi Laureate 4×4 (2013/63 reg, 48k miles)

There’s nothing quite like the Dacia Duster on sale today. It offers no-nonsense family motoring in a car the size of a Nissan Qashqai, yet has new prices to match the Nissan Juke’s. True, it’s not as upmarket as those models, but its basic nature is part of the charm.

The Duster uses running gear from existing Renault and Nissan models, and equipment is basic – both factors that help keep costs down. Yet three-year-old Lauréate models, which have alloy wheels, air-con and electric windows, are available for less than £8,000.

Do check for rust before you buy. Some models have suffered from it, although because the Duster only went on sale in 2012, all cars are still covered by Dacia’s six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Price new: £15,495
Now: £7,700
Engine: 1.5-litre 4cyl, 109bhp
Economy: 53.3mpg
Euro NCAP: 3 stars (2011)

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308 1.6 HDi Active (2014/14 reg, 40k miles)

The latest Peugeot 308 moved upmarket in the family hatchback class. The smart exterior clothed an interior featuring high-quality materials and not many buttons, thanks to a new touchscreen infotainment system.

Under the skin, the 1.6 HDi diesel delivered some of the best economy figures of any new car. You might not match Peugeot’s claimed 78mpg average, but you should get reasonably close. Some owners have reported unresponsive touchscreens, but the car ranked 47th for build quality in Driver Power 2016.

Price new: £19,095
Now: £7,500
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 113bhp
Economy: 78.5mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2013)

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.6 SZ-T (2013/63 reg, 55k miles)

While rival brands have unveiled crossovers with new names, Suzuki repurposed the SX4 badge – and added S-Cross – for its offering in this class. But at launch, this car (only recently facelifted) was a genuine contender.

It’s better suited to a family of four because it’s not the biggest car in this market, but the mid-spec SZ-T has lots of kit, including sat-nav, DAB radio, a reversing camera and hill hold. What helps the S-Cross stand out from the pack is that it drives like the smaller Swift supermini.

Price new: £17,749
Now: £7,000
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 118bhp
Economy: 51.4mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2013)

Hyundai i40 Tourer

Hyundai i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi Active (2013/63 reg, 50k miles)

Family cars are falling out of favour, as demonstrated by the Hyundai i40. For starters, the Tourer estate is the more popular bodystyle, while cars that have just had their first MoT are selling for less than half the price new.

Go for the BlueDrive diesel and you’ll get its low emissions, although the 114bhp engine will be strained if you regularly load the car up. But the best bit is that you’ll still have nearly two years of warranty remaining – that’s two years more than most models the same age.

Price new: £20,355
Now: £7,990  
Engine: 1.7-litre 4cyl, 114bhp
Economy: 65.7mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2011)

Audi A1

Audi A1 1.2 TFSI SE (2011/11 reg, 49k miles)

A few years ago, if you wanted a premium supermini, it was MINI or nothing. Yet that car’s retro looks weren’t to all tastes, so a more modern alternative was only a matter of time. Step forward Audi’s A1.

It hit showrooms in 2010, and while it uses the same basic platform and engines as the VW Polo and SEAT Ibiza, Audi’s specific brand of cool, efficient quality is felt throughout the interior. At this price range, you’ll find plenty of three-door A1s – the five-door Sportback didn’t arrive until 2012, so is a couple of grand more – and we’d recommend the punchy TFSI petrol engines over the rattly diesels.

With claimed economy of 55mpg, you can’t go wrong with the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol version of the A1, although main dealer servicing costs will be higher than for its Polo and Ibiza counterparts.

Price new: £14,115
Now: £6,800
Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl, 85bhp
Economy: 55.4mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2010)

Volkswagen Scirocco

Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT (2009/09 reg, 79k miles)

The Scirocco name has a history that’s as long as the Golf’s, but there was a gap of 16 years between the Mk2 and Mk3 models. The third Scirocco again used Golf underpinnings to deliver fun handling, although it was draped in a close-fitting body hiding a four-seater cabin that’s more practical than many other coupés’.

You can get a 2.0 TSI model for around £7,500. GT spec brings a range of desirable extras, while Viper Green paint is a bonus, as it gives the Scirocco the look of the Iroc concept that previewed it.

Price new: £21,345
Now: £7,400
Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 197bhp
Economy: 37.2mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2009)

DS 3

DS 3 1.6 THP Ultra Prestige (2013/63 reg, 22k miles)

When it first arrived, the DS 3 wore a Citroen badge and was a big hit. It offers a tempting alternative to the MINI hatch for buyers who aren’t keen on the Brit’s retro looks. There are plenty of variants around, while the vast choice of personalisation options means there’s lots of variety.

At the top of the range is the Ultra Prestige, which was quite a pricey upgrade. As a used buy, its plush two-tone leather seats and long kit list are attainable. With power from PSA’s 1.6 THP petrol engine, it’s a fun drive, too.

Price new: £21,345
Now: £8,995
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 153bhp
Economy: 48.7mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2009)

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion (2013/63 reg, 35k miles)

THE Mk7 Golf set new standards for quality and luxury in the hatchback class, while the ultra-efficient BlueMotion model raised the bar when it came to efficiency. With claimed economy of 88mpg, it’s one of the most economical cars in any class, but get behind the wheel, and you’ll be hard-pressed to tell that this is an eco-minded special.

While older BlueMotion models had miserly levels of standard equipment and long gearing to achieve their mpg figures, the Mk7 BlueMotion features a six-speed box and plenty of toys, including air-con, heated mirrors, Bluetooth and hill hold.

Price new: £21,270
Now: £8,990
Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl, 108bhp
Economy: 88.3mpg
Euro NCAP: 5 stars (2012)

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