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Used car buying guide for under 10K

A budget of £10,000 gives a wide choice of both new and used cars. While a showroom car on trade plates is a tempting prospect, and will come with a warranty, it will begin to depreciate in value immediately. Choosing a second-hand model gives you a much wider range of choices for your money, and is likely to hold its value for longer.

Car DealerHigh end marques like Audi and BMW become affordable if you look for a model that’s a few years old. An Audi A5 or TT, or a BMW X1, can be yours for under £10,000, and is sure to turn heads. On a more practical level, reliable family cars like the Skoda Yeti and Honda Jazz are even more of a bargain second-hand.

For a fun drive, earlier editions of hot hatches like the Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST are priced affordably, while a 2010 Fiat 500 Abarth also falls below the magic price. If your heart’s desire is a sports car, snap up a Porsche Boxster, Mazda MX-5, or the more unusual Nissan 350Z.

For the car fan, or those who want to their vehicle to be an investment as well as a vehicle for everyday driving, £10,000 opens up a host of classic and future classic options. Early models of the innovative Smart Roadster Coupé have become highly desirable, with their value likely to rise. If you’ve always fancied a Jaguar, keep your eyes peeled and you should be able to snap up a low mileage XK for your money.

The desirable revamped Mini can be relied on to hold its value, making it possible to invest in an older model, hang on to it for a few years, then let it go without taking a loss.

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The boxy 1980s Toyota MR2 looks all set to make a comeback, now it’s far enough in the past for its style to have retro appeal, while the Saab 900, first produced in 1998, has become a collector’s item, as well as representing great driving at a keen price.

The motor trade makes it easy to find your perfect car, online or at a dealer’s, as well as through private sales. Read up on your chosen model before you inspect the vehicle, and be aware of any common faults.

You may have to shop around for an insurance policy that is kind to older cars, since their greater environmental impact and the difficulty of finding spare parts can drive premiums up. With that out of the way, you can enjoy a car that represents value for money and is maybe a little more eye catching than other vehicles on the road.


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