Best Used Cars

Fancy a new car? How much have you got to spend? And what if instead of a new vehicle, you used that pot to dip into the used car market? There are a lot of variables to consider when buying second hand, but despite the potential pitfalls awaiting unwary buyers, if you know what to look for you can bag yourself a bargain. Whether it's a supercar or a runaround you're after, there's a used car out there offering bang for your buck. Check out our run-down of ten of the best used cars for sale, and make your money go further.

Silver Ford Fiesta

1. Ford Fiesta

As the UK’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta is one model that won’t be in short supply on the used market. Launched in 1976, it’s now on its eighth generation, with the latest model unveiled in the UK in 2017. The sportier Fiesta ST followed soon after with a choice of three trims. Although the supermini segment is a crowded one, with rivals such as the VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Vauxhall Corsa tempting many buyers, the iconic Fiesta retains its mantle, incorporating a host of practical features while being a lot of fun to drive.

Blue Ford Focus

2. Ford Focus

If the Fiesta’s a bit too poky for your needs, Ford has another classic on offer. The Focus is considered by many to be one of the best used cars out there. It’s won fans with its impressive range of engines, spacious and comfortable interior, ample boot space and enjoyable driving experience. A five-star Euro NCAP rating and solid reliability are just more reasons the Focus is such a good second hand car for families. There have been nine generations since the Focus launched in 1998, and buyers can choose from a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid models.

Red Vauxhall Corsa

3. Vauxhall Corsa

It might not be the most exciting car out there, but there are reasons the Vauxhall Corsa has been an ever-present on the UK’s roads since the 1980s. Vauxhall’s best-selling car is an all-rounder that delivers decent performance and safety stats, along with a well put-together interior, for a competitive price. There’s a huge range of trims available, and the Corsa got a major overhaul with the 2014 fourth generation. The driving experience can’t match that offered by rivals such as the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, but if it’s a spacious and reliable small car you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a used Corsa on the market that ticks your boxes.

Orange Mini Hatch

4. Mini Hatch

It’s a British icon to rival fish and chips and the Beatles (despite being owned by German giant BMW since the turn of the century). In the 60 years since its launch, the Mini Hatch has grown up and grown in size, but remains a design classic, with the hatchback still the flagship model. If practicality is your main concern, some of the other cars on this list might serve you better, but a used Mini Hatch is a fashion statement that delivers a fun driving experience. The five-door models can also serve as a decent family car, and models from 2015 on are known for their excellent reliability.

Yellow Volkswagen Golf

5. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a family car with a real sense of style and fun. It can consider the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3 genuine rivals, as well as competing with more down-to-earth rides such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra in many areas. There have been eight generations since its launch in 1974, with the Golf getting a major makeover in 2013 that included a choice of punchy engines and various luxurious trim options. It won’t be the cheapest used car on the market, but it delivers a lot for the money, and its popularity means there are models out there to meet all kinds of requirements. Plus, a Golf is unlikely to run into any major issues, which keeps maintenance costs down.

White BMW 3-series

6. BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series is perhaps the most iconic of BMW’s models, having evolved from a two-door saloon into a four-door executive car. It’s a car for people who love driving, offering agile handling, best-in-class steering and a plush ride. It’s a design classic too, both with the distinctive styling outside and the luxuriously put-together interior. Most of the engine options deliver a winning combination of power and economy. The majority of the used 3 Series you find on the second-hand market will be diesels, but there are petrol and hybrid models out there too. All variations tend to outdo their executive rivals on the reliability front, which is a big plus.

Red VW Polo

7. Volkswagen Polo

Tempted by the VW Golf, but not sure you can justify the outlay? Take at look at its little sibling the Polo, which offers many of the things people love about the Golf in a vehicle that’s cheaper to buy and run. If you’re after a compact vehicle that can take on big trips, the Polo is a good second hand car, with the diesel engines in particular delivering highly impressive fuel economy. Offering excellent visibility and a composed ride, the Polo is great city car that’s also comfortable on the motorway.

Blue mercedes-benz c-clas

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Why spend your budget on a new car when you could dip into the used market and get a Merc? With the 2007 redesign, the C-Class began to step out of the shadow of its rival the BMW 3-Series, offering a gentle ride and a thoroughly comfortable experience. The dashboard has had some major upgrades as the car evolved, so it’s worth seeking out more recent models. Fuel costs should be affordable, particularly for diesels, but watch out for servicing costs, which can be expensive.

Blue Audi A3 Sportback

9. Audi A3

Want a practical and reliable family hatchback that will turn heads and be fun to drive? The Audi A3 could be the answer, with the 2013 redesign turning this into a truly desirable car. All versions offer a great driving experience, but there’s quite a bit of variation between the trims, so it’s worth doing your research. The S-Line models come with larger wheels and a firmer suspension, while the Dynamic suspension offers a nice balance of ride comfort and handling. In terms of reliability, the diesel engines are the pick of the bunch. All iterations are spacious inside, with a quality interior that’ll turn the school run into a premium experience. High demand on the used market is perhaps the biggest drawback, making it one of the more expensive second hand cars.

Red Skoda Yeti

10. Skoda Yeti

The chunky Skoda Yeti was one of the first small family SUVs. It was launched in 2009, and replaced by the Karoq in 2017. A 2013 facelift offered two options – the Yeti Outdoor for buyers looking for off-road capability, and the standard Yeti for those sticking to metalled roads. The boxy shape offers plenty of interior and storage space, while engine options range from a 1.6-litre diesel that delivers super-low running costs to a 148 bhp 1.4 turbo that offers good performance alongside economy. Practical and extremely dependable, the Yeti makes a thoroughly sensible second hand buy.

In a busy used market, it can be hard for buyers to know where to start – but browsing these ten models is a great first step in finding your dream second-hand car. Want to find out more? Visit our used cars hub for detailed reviews on these models, then check out our wide selection of used cars to find the one that meets your needs and budget.

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