Buying a car is likely to be the second most expensive purchase you ever make. Owning a brand-new, state-of-the-art model has its appeal, but there are also plenty of used or nearly new cars that make for a more affordable, reliable choice.

Used car finance is a great way of getting behind the wheel of a new-to-you vehicle. From hire purchase to personal contract purchase, there are used car finance agreements for every kind of driver. The only challenge is choosing the right make and model for your needs.

Below, we list some of the best used cars to buy on finance.

Best 10 used cars to buy on finance

Volkswagen Golf

Reliable, versatile, comfortable, and not bad on the eyes – there’s a reason why the Volkswagen Golf consistently ranks as one of the best used cars to buy on finance. 

It’s one of the better small family hatchbacks you can buy, equally capable of racking up motorway miles as it is zipping around cities. A superb all-rounder, VW Golfs are enjoyable to drive whilst offering excellent comfort. Plus, you’ll find used VW Golfs at highly affordable rates, despite the desirability of the VW badge.

You should be able to find VW Golfs with a range of different engines, but the diesels are likely to be more common.

Ford Fiesta

Another reliable used car option, the Ford Fiesta is great to drive and cheap to run – so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the UK’s most popular used cars.

You’ll find plenty of used Fiestas on the market, giving you great engine choices and competitive pricing. In fact, you’ll only find used Fiestas now – with production ending in 2023.

Handling is excellent and you’ll benefit from lots of safety kit, too. Enduringly popular, the Fiesta may not have the snazziest interiors, but for availability, consistency and affordability, it’s difficult to beat.

Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii/Volkswagen Up!

Technically three different makes and models, these cars are nonetheless virtually identical. They’re also some of the best used cars to buy on finance – particularly if you’re looking for a cheap but nifty city drive.

You’ll find plenty of 1-litre three-cylinder petrol engines on the market – they’ll be cheaper than the electric alternative. Although they’re not the most powerful or spacy, these vehicles are excellent if you’re looking for highly wallet-friendly drives to get you around urban environments. Alternatively, they’re also a great option for first-time drivers.

Vauxhall Insignia

What this car lacks in excitement it more than makes up for in value, space and efficiency.

A great family car, the Insignia is an ideal motorway cruiser, offering generous passenger space and comfort.

Petrol used models will be harder to find, but you’ll be able to take your pick between first- and second-generation models. The second-gen will have better styling and more contemporary tech features, but may be a little more expensive.

BMW 3 Series

For a mid-sized saloon or estate car that’s great to drive and has excellent fuel economy, it’s hard to argue with the BMW 3 series. Enduringly popular as a used car, the 3 series offers fantastic handling.

You’ll benefit from a great level of kit and swish features, as well as the driving experience you’d expect of a BMW. Models from 2015 onwards have an improved diesel engine.

Just be aware that servicing and maintenance fees will be a little higher compared to other cars on this list.

Kia Sportage

SUVs continue to be big hitters on the used car market, and the Kia Sportage is one of the more economical options you can choose.

Practical and good to drive, even the base models of the Kia Sportage are well-equipped, with plenty of modern features as standard. Plus, if the car is less than seven years old, you’ll benefit from Kia’s 7-year warranty, so you’ll be covered for any mechanical faults.

Mini Convertible

If a used convertible is your next drive, the Mini is the manufacturer to go for.

Fun but compact, the Mini brand has obvious appeal, and it’s certainly stylish. But practicality isn’t compromised – there are still four seats to make use of – and the interior is funky.

Admittedly it’s not the most practical car, with limited boot space, but it’s fun and you’ll get an equivalent drive to the Mini Hatchback but with the benefit of the wind in your hair.

Nissan Qashqai

A solid and successful family SUV, there’s a reason the Nissan Qashqai remains popular on the used car marketplace.

Practical, spacious and economical, the Qashqai is also quiet, comfortable and well-equipped. There’s plenty of safety kit and a good quality interior.

It may not be the most fun car to drive, nor is it the most reliable car on our list, but the Qashqai still has enduring appeal on the used car marketplace.

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall may not be as desirable as some other brands on this list. But for a car that’s highly affordable and well-equipped, the Astra is difficult to argue with.

You’ll find used 2021-onwards Vauxhall Astras on the market, meaning you’ll benefit from upgraded engines and tech. Based on driver reviews, the diesels can be a bit noisy, so stick to a petrol engine – you should find plenty around.

Skoda Kodiaq

Practical, flexible, affordable – the Kodiaq is a particularly popular used car for families.

You should find a good range of both petrol and diesel engines – the 2-litre diesel offers a particularly smooth ride and is the most economical option.

Great visibility and handling make for enjoyable driving, and there’s plenty of space both in front and back. Plus, the Kodiaq is notoriously reliable.

Find used car finance with My Car Credit

Once you’ve decided on the best used car to buy for your needs, the only hurdle is financing your purchase. That’s where My Car Credit can help, comparing deals from a large network of lenders to find the right deal for every driver. To get started, use our car finance calculator.

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

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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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