10 Best Cars Under £1.5k
If you're shopping for cars on a tight budget, it doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality. Keep an eye out for older, used models, and you'll find that there are plenty of cars under £1500 that offer everything you could want. These include nippy city cars, as well as big people carriers for long-distance family trips and everything in between. Check out our list of the best cars under £1.5k, and you might just find the affordable car that you've been looking for.
1. Volvo V70 Estate 2003
Big, practical, and reliable, the Volvo V70 Estate is one of the go-to vehicles for families on a budget. The second generation, produced between 2000 and 2007, delivered a whole lot of power with a 2.4-litre engine. It also saw some impressive tweaks made to the spacious interior cabin, with an improved dashboard and comfier fabrics for the seating. The body also ticked a lot of style boxes, with a surprisingly effective combination of sleek sportiness at the front and chunky solidity at the back.
2. Renault Scenic 2005
Renault first launched the Scenic back in 1996. As a compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), it was intended to combine the practicality and convenience of a MPV or minivan with the agility of a SUV. The second generation ran from 2003 and 2009, and proved to be a big seller. You’ll love its powerful 2.0-litre engine, and the smooth, responsive handling makes it a genuinely enjoyable car to drive around town. Loads of boot space and a clear, comfy interior also make it ideal for large family outings. With all of these great features, it’s one of the best cars for £1500 or less out there.
3. Ford Focus 2005
Since it first replaced the Ford Escort back in 1998, the Focus has been hugely popular with first-time buyers and families, and is also used often for company fleets. The retooled 2005 model takes some of the impressive features and upgrades from older models. Its solid, curvy build has a low-key style that’s matched by the sophisticated interior, and you’ll love how roomy it is inside. A large, efficient 2.0-litre engine and highly responsive steering make it a blast to lug around town, even with the whole family in tow. You won’t have to look too hard on the used market to find some seriously cheap deals on this highly popular model, making it one of the easiest-to-find cars under £1500.
4. Kia Picanto 2006
Launched back in 2004, the Kia Picanto is the smallest vehicle in the South Korean manufacturer’s range. It offers a subtly quirky aesthetic in a pleasingly compact package, and it’s one of the cheapest city cars available. The 2006 model came with a 1.0-litre petrol engine, and while this doesn’t bring heart-racing power, the car’s comfortable suspension and convenient dashboard ensures an easy, stress-free driving experience. And for such a diminutive car, you’ll be surprised at how much space there is inside, even for the taller passengers.
5. Honda Civic 2004 (hatchback)
The Civic has established a firm reputation for reliability ever since it was first launched in the early 1970s, and many eighth-generation models from 2004 are still ferrying families around town as safely and effectively as ever. And while you might find prettier or more exciting hatchbacks in its class, the comfort offered by the 2004 Civic is also hard to beat at this price range. Legroom inside the cabin is plentiful, it offers a smooth, responsive ride, and the 1.7-litre engine is pleasingly quiet. With so much on offer, this Civic is easily one of the best cars under £1.5k on the used market.
6. Peugeot 206 Estate 2006
First launched in 1998, the Peugeot 206 was the French manufacturer’s biggest-selling model as recently as 2012, when it was finally discontinued. It remains one of the most popular used cars on the market, which could be down to its bold, distinctive looks, subsequently borrowed for most other Peugeots. The 2006 model also offers excellent performance, with responsive steering and a powerful engine. A comfy and spacious interior makes it a great option for a family car, and it can handle everyday city drives just as well as longer motorway journeys.
7. Mini Convertible 2007
Thought looking for cars under £1500 meant that you wouldn’t find a cool convertible? Mini Convertibles, particularly those from 2007 and earlier, will make you think again. BMW’s modern-day reboot of the Mini is just as eye-catching as its classic 1960s predecessor, and the retractable roof brings open-air summer style to go along with it. 2007 saw the Mini Convertible get a revamped 1.4-litre engine that offers decent fuel efficiency as well as great acceleration. The addition of light, responsive steering makes the driving experience as fun as its iconic looks.
8. SEAT Ibiza 2011
The Ibiza is SEAT’s biggest-selling car, and it’s always been one of the best-looking superminis out there. It also happens to be a lot more affordable than its rivals. On the 2011 model, the distinctive grille and arrow shape of the front really stand out with a subtle sportiness, and the interior is also a lot more sophisticated than you might expect from its price point. The Ibiza makes use of great engine tech from the VW Group, and is a great all-rounder, with excellent performance and handling to match its practicality. You might be surprised at just how cheap you can find this stylish car on the used market.
9. Renault Megane 2006
The Renault Megane has proved to be a versatile model over the years. A compact family car, it’s undergone a number of redesigns and different body styles. Back in 2006, the car’s second generation turned heads with a stylish new look, and particularly with the distinctive bumpy shape of its rear end. The interior has a comfy, sophisticated feel to match, and the engine performance is noteworthy – particularly if you opt for a diesel version, which offers even better efficiency than the already-impressive petrol engines.
10. Ford Fiesta 2003
The 2003 Ford Fiesta is the fifth generation of the American manufacturer’s hugely popular supermini car. Improving even further on its reliably great handling, it’s one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive at this price point. An older big-seller like the 2003 Fiesta will be easy to find used, and you can probably find one without a lot of miles on the clock for well under £1500. Low insurance and servicing costs mean that you’ll save even more in the long-term.
Any of these cars under £1500 would be an ideal choice if you’re on a tight budget, once you’ve decided which type suits your driving needs. Making the most of older, used cars allows you to balance affordability with the kind of market-leading quality that you expect from an established brand and manufacturer. Take a look at cars for £1500 and below in our listings, and you could be riding off in your next vehicle sooner than you think.