The best used cars for buyers on a budget

As people begin to return to work following the easing of lockdown restrictions research has found many are considering avoiding public transport and planning to use a car for their daily commute.

Government advice is to avoid public transport where possible and capacity on buses and trains remains several limited due to social distancing measures, and a number of surveys have found that between 35 and 60 per cent of commuters want to avoid such methods of transport.

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At the same time, many people are also experiencing financial stress at the moment due to the economic impact of the lockdown, meaning budget will be a top consideration for those searching for a new car.

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The cheapest new cars on sale

With costs foremost in their minds, many people looking for a car are expected to turn to the used car market so we've spoken to James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars to get his recommendations for wallet-friendly second-hand buys.

All his recommendations can be found for less than £4,000, are less than five years old and have fewer than 60,000 miles on the clock.

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Citroen C3 (2013-2016) Second generation

The French manufacturer’s quirky supermini is one of the best-value used cars of its type you can buy. It is a very capable family car, with an efficient engine, and it makes great use of space.

Dacia Sandero (2012 - 2016) Second generation

The Dacia boasts an economical engine, the smallest of which will result in low car tax payments, and should be on the top of the list when you are looking for value for money. This practical car offers excellent interior space, alongside a generously-sized boot which is among the biggest in its class

Fiat Panda (2011- present) Third generation

The Panda is an ideal city car, promising practicality on a budget. Fiat’s forté has long been producing great small cars, and this one is as good as any with fast steering and a generously-sized boot which expands easily thanks to a sliding rear bench.

Ford Ka (2008-2016) Second generation


For drivers who need to nip across town for work but also want a car which doesn’t feel out of place on a motorway, you cannot go far wrong with the Ka. This affordable car still prioritises comfort, with good back support to ensure longer drives are comfortable. The main highlight, though, is its suspension, which lends it to far more than short drives through the city, promising smooth motorway journeys too.

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Suzuki Swift (2010-2017) Third generation

Since it first went on sale in 2005, the Suzuki Swift has become a popular car in the UK, offering practicality, affordability and comfort. It can come with some very useful tech features, such as a key in reminder, automatic headlights, a tyre pressure monitoring system and a hands-free telephone connection via Bluetooth.

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