Best cheap cars 2024

There are lots of brilliant used cars that are comparatively cheap to buy. Here are our 10 favourites.

Phill Tromans Cazoo

By Phill Tromans

Updated: 3 January 2024

Finding a cheap used car in 2024 may be easier than you think. While new cars are increasingly expensive, the average price of a used car dropped during 2023 and there are lots of great used cars that are relatively cheap to buy, whether you’re after a city runabout or a family-friendly cruiser.

Here, we’ve rounded up 10 excellent used cars that could be yours for less than £10,000.

1. BMW 1 Series (2011-2019)

The BMW 1 Series is a premium-brand hatchback that’s fun to drive and has a top-quality interior yet is suprisingly cheap to buy and run. We’re focusing on the previous-generation 1 Series, which was sold new between 2011 and 2019 and represents great value for money.

Models like the 118i petrol and 116d diesel will give you enough oomph for overtaking or pulling out of junctions safely yet they’re very fuel-efficient. Although it’s not as practical as some hatchbacks, the 1 Series has enough space for four adults and every version feels balanced and controlled through corners and reassuringly solid on the motorway.

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2. Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe is a stylish pure-electric car that has a good battery range. Although it's one of the earliest mainstream electric cars, it feels up to date and it means there are lots of used examples at very attractive prices. It's also good to drive and surprisingly roomy for such a small car.

The electric motors and battery ranges used in the Renault Zoe have been upgraded over the years, which adds to the choice for drivers on different budgets. Older versions have an official maximum range, while later models will cover almost 250 miles of a full charge, according to official figures.

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3. Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster has always been an absolute bargain when bought new, and used examples are even more of a bargain. For less than £10k you can buy a proper, spacious family SUV dating from as recently as 2019, and if you don’t mind going slightly older, you’ll find lots of examples available for a lot less than that.

Your budget should give you a choice between the newer Duster, sold new from 2018, and the older model, which is still a great car to drive and packs in lots of features for the price. You could even stretch to a four-wheel-drive model, for the full SUV experience.

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4. Volkswagen Up

The Volkswagen Up proves that good things sometimes come in small packages. First released in 2012, the Volkswagen Up is tiny on the outside but it’s remarkably roomy on the inside and it feels sturdy and comfortable for such a small car at speed.

Compact dimensions make it very easy to park and fuel and insurance costs should be very low. The interior is basic but it’s stylish, easy to use and has the solid, well-built feel you expect of a Volkswagen. The Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo are worth a mention here, too – these cars are all-but-identical to the Up apart from the brand logos and a few design details and are similarly affordable.

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5. Vauxhall Corsa (2014-2019)

The previous-generation Vauxhall Corsa, sold new between 2014 and 2019, is one of the UK's best-selling cars, which means there are loads of used examples to choose from. You can find a wide range of cheap Corsas for less than £10k in a range of trims and with petrol and diesel engine options.

We’re big fans of the Corsa – it’s comfortable, quiet and deceptively spacious inside for a small hatchback. It was well-equipped for the price when new, so it’s even better value as a used car.

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6. Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a smart, stylish small hatchback that’s a more premium alternative to cars like the Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa. We're looking at the previous-generation model, sold between 2009 and 2017; for £10,000 you should be able to find a mid-range model that gives you a decent amount of standard features.

The Polo feels like a very well-built car and has an impressive amount of interior space considering its size. It’s sensible and comfortable to drive rather than exciting, but that matches its stylish yet understated looks.

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7. Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia has always been exceptional value and the previous-generation model (sold new between 2015 and 2021) gives you a lot of car for little money. As little as £7,000 or so will get you a 1.0 S model, which has the basics, but for less than £10,000 you can get a more feature-packed SE or SE L model with less than 50,000 miles on the clock.

Whichever version you go for, you’ll end up with a brilliant hatchback that has more interior and boot space than many rival cars and is good to drive, especially around town. The engines give excellent fuel economy. and if you need extra practicality you could opt for the estate version, which has a massive boot.

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8. Ford Focus (2011-2018)

The Ford Focus has long been one of Britain’s most popular cars, which means there are lots of used models, and many are well below our £10,000 mark. It’s not just cheap though – the Ford Focus is a car that can put a smile on your face thanks to its responsive steering and agile feel on the road. That it's such great value gives it a definite feel-good factor too.

While a new Focus was released in 2018, the previous-generation model, sold new between 2011 and 2018, is more affordable. There are loads of efficient petrol and diesel engines to choose from, and a variety of trim levels, too.

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9. Peugeot 208 (2012-2019)

The Peugeot 208 is another great little hatchback and older models can be picked up for surprisingly little money. You’ll get the best deals on the previous-generation 208, which was sold new from 2012 to 2019 and has sharp styling that still looks good today.

It’s comfortable to drive and has a very appealing look and feel inside. A budget of £10,000 should easily get you a relatively low-mileage model with a petrol or a diesel engine, and if you’re after something truly exciting you should even be able to find the fun-to-drive GTi performance model.

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10. Seat Leon (2014-2020)

The Seat Leon's blend of style, sportiness and value makes it one of the most appealing mid-size cars you can buy. Available as a three-door or five-door hatchback or as a sleek estate called the Leon ST, the previous-generation model – sold new between 2014 and 2020 – has a lot to offer.

Whichever version you choose, the Leon is a car that gives you real confidence behind the wheel thanks to its nimble yet solid feel on the road. It's available with a good range of petrol and diesel engines and all of them give a good balance between fuel efficiency and power. Overall ownership costs for all but the high-performance models are low and most versions have lots of standard features.

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