Do you need to upgrade your car? Or perhaps you’re looking to make your first purchase? While car ownership might seem like an expensive proposition, you can bag yourself a bargain for under £5000 if you know where to look.

When it comes to securing a new set of wheels for a price that won’t break the bank, searching the used market is a great source of value. Of course, you’ll have to ensure that the vehicle comes with all of the requisite paperwork and remains in a good condition. But taking the time to do so can pay huge dividends in the long run.

If you’re looking to purchase a new car but your budget isn’t the biggest, here’s a list of some of the finest models available for £5000 or under.

Top cars for £5000

1. Vauxhall Corsa

A top pick for young drivers, the Vauxhall Corsa is actually less popular than its rival the Ford Fiesta but offers better value overall. That’s because you can snap up a new model with better specifications and lower mileage for the same price as you would the Ford equivalent.

There are a variety of different Corsa options to choose from, but the Excite offers low insurance premiums and attractive design features, such as its 16-inch alloy wheels. There are both three- and five-door models available, and while the former are obviously cheaper, the latter offers greater headroom space and better manoeuvrability when opening the doors in tight parking spots.

2. Dacia Sandero

First entering the market at a budget-friendly £5,995, the Dacia Sandero was an affordable option from the get-go. However, netting a new model at that price will mean you forego many of the basic functions you might come to expect from a modern car, including air con, electric windows or even a radio.

Not to worry though, because dipping into the used market can yield significant benefits. If you go for an Ambience model, you should be able to get a Bluetooth- and USB port-equipped car with radio for under £5000. Source a Laureate and you can throw air conditioning into the mix, too. Best of all? The Dacia is already coming in at a bargain price, so its finance payments are likely to be fairly affordable, as well.

3. Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is put together from the same nuts and bolts as both the Peugeot 108 and the Citroen C1, meaning it offers similar handling, speed and interior space. However, there’s one crucial difference which sets the Aygo apart – it comes with a five-year warranty, rather than the three-year one that’s standard with the other two makes. That means that you can buy a vehicle that’s already three years old and will still have two years to run on its warranty.

It’s also one of the best cars for £5000 in terms of safety, having been crash tested in the not too distant past and producing respectable results. A model under that budget is unlikely to come with the bells and whistles of air con and Bluetooth, but such white elephants are there to be found if you’re lucky.

4. Honda CR-Z

For the environmentally conscious road user, the Honda CR-Z is a hybrid option that doesn’t compromise on sportiness for its fuel economy. You should be able to get above 50 miles to the gallon, while still enjoying a low-slung layout and impressive handling and acceleration.

It’s a three-door model and the boot space is just 225kg, so those with larger families or extensive luggage to cart around might want to look elsewhere. But its biggest draw is, of course, its hybrid credentials, and with a CO2 emission rating of just 117 grams per kilometre, you should be able to lock down affordable road tax, too.

5. Suzuki Grand Vitara

Looking for a cut-price SUV with off-road capabilities? Suzuki is a brand that’s always been synonymous with good value while not sacrificing durability and spaciousness in the process. Older models in the Grand Vitara’s Mk3 range can easily be located for under £5000, though it is likely that they’ll have racked up the miles due to their advanced years.

However, Suzuki’s reputation for robustness should mean that as long as you do your due diligence, read the paperwork carefully and check over the car’s condition, you can still come away with a bargain SUV that’ll serve you and your family well for years to come.

6. Volkswagen EOS

With summer now in full swing, it’s only fair to include a convertible on this list. The Volkswagen EOS is based upon the Golf model, only with the inclusion of soft-top capabilities. As with all drop-tops, it’s a good idea to not only check that the rollback function of the roof still works without a hitch, but that other aspects of the car are in good condition too. Convertibles are notoriously prone to picking up performance niggles.

Having said that, the EOS offers incredible value if you find one that has been taken care of properly. There are plenty of cars for sale for £5000 or under and if you’re really lucky, you’ll even bag leather seats into the bargain.

7. Nissan 350Z

At the turn of the century, the Nissan 350Z was Japan’s best-selling coupe and it’s still well worth an investment today. For those looking for an affordable sports car that can reach 60 miles in six seconds and looks as eye-catchingly impressive now as it did on its initial release, there are few better options out there.

Of course, Japanese engineering is highly prized, especially when it comes with a 3.5 litre engine and 300+ horsepower. But search the market with patience and you could land yourself a beautiful machine for a bargain price whose stunning appearance is matched by its slick performance.

Tracking down your budget buy

As you would expect when mining the used car market, it’s essential that you carry out a full inspection of the car and conduct a test drive before you sign on the dotted line. Also be mindful of the appropriate paperwork – any vehicle which doesn’t have a full service history, V5C documentation, MOT certificates and receipts for all maintenance jobs should send out red flags immediately.

While a cleaner track record normally indicates a healthier vehicle, you should also keep an eye on a couple of other factors. The average car will cover around 10,000 miles per year so avoid ones which have outstripped that tally relative to their age, while the number of owners can also indicate underlying problems. Generally speaking, the fewer previous owners, the better the bet.

Don’t forget to check out our own stock list of quality used cars, provided by our network of approved car dealers.

Getting vehicle finance

£5000 is a sizeable lump sum payment for anyone, so don’t worry if you can’t stump it all up right away. Car financing options are abundantly available these days and at My Car Credit, we can help you to find the deal that’s right for you.

To get an idea of the budget available to you, why not check out our simple car finance calculator? Alternatively, you can get in touch with us directly and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team, who will be happy to walk you through the options open to you.

To see what we can do for you, give us a call on 01246 458 810 or drop us an email at We’re waiting to hear from you.

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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*for illustration purposes only

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Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

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Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

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