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Top 5 Cheapest Used Cars for Under £5,000

| In Car Reviews

It’s not very often you can boast about buying something at the cheapest price, especially when it comes to a car. At Cargiant, we’ve done pretty well to dispel that notion, in fact when it comes to used cars we’re smart shoppers just like you. Our buyers are constantly on the hunt for the best price across all makes and models. Finding the lowest price for a particular model or trim you want is always guaranteed a victory lap around our record-breaking premises.

So, you’re looking for something reliable, easy to run that still oozes subtle style in its simplicity? Well, with the help of our expert team, we’ve done some frugal digging so you spend less time deliberating over all the extra but crucial details and more time behind the wheels.

Here are our top picks of the cheapest used cars for sale under £5,000 that are not only a joy to drive but will keep insurance and servicing costs low.

Second-Hand Volkswagen Up

Revealed at the 2011 International Motor Show Germany, Volkswagen’s answer to the ultimate city car was an instant hit with the new driver and environmentally conscious city dweller. The VW UP!, as it’s more stylistically known, is both robust yet doesn’t carry the aesthetic burden of most cars with this level of practicality and for a 1.0-litre Petrol engine, it’s also a very pleasant car to drive. 

One of the VW Up’s main virtues is its supple drive. For such a small car, it does a brilliant job of staying controlled over speed bumps at low speeds. It also deals impeccably well with the sort of gaping holes and asphaltic obstacles you’re likely to encounter either on busy high streets or residential roads. For a car that appears packed with a lot of toughness making it more streetwise, the VW Up is rather effective on the motorway, its 15in wheels do impressively well to respond to sophisticated steering control. 

Compared to rivals such as the Hyundai i10, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo, the Up is competitively priced, earning it a place on our best cheap second-hand cars list. This is because along with the Hyundai they are guaranteed to hold their price better than similar models in the market. Did we mention it also won World Car of the Year in 2012? A well deserved-win as far as we are concerned.


Nearly New Ford Fiesta

There is a reason the Fiesta is one of Ford’s most well-established and world-renown models behind the Escort and the F-Series. Currently in its 7th generation, the Fiesta has also been the UK’s best selling car since going on sale in 2008 and once you’ve driven one, it’s very easy to see why. It is surely one of the best hatchbacks available today and with a range of very penny-wise petrol and diesel engine, as well as good residual values, it’s a car that also ticks that cost-effective box. 

Unlike the other vehicles on our list of cheapest used cars to buy, the Ford Fiesta probably looks the most uniform. There are no raised spirit level headlights or streamlined wing panels – rather, what you get is a master class in design efficiency. Overall the Fiesta can be described as “cute wedgy”: there is a fluent detailing that reminds us that design certainly was not an afterthought. Everyone agrees the Fiesta’s strengths lie under its bonnet, the Eco-boost engines prove to be very resourceful (the 1.0T 100 is an amazing 17mpg) and most of the range is now sub-100/ km CO2. 


Used Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is the quintessential model for the youthful generation and it’s quite remarkable nobody has decided to nickname it the ‘iGo’. With a compact three or five doors option and distinguishable design, the Toyota Aygo is the ideal stylish drive. The Aygo has a choice of six specification levels: Active, Active Plus, Mode, Move, Mode with Aircon, and Move With Style and you’d be pleased to know that the majority come with alloys. 

When it comes to the drive, some might accuse this Japanese motor of being more style over substance - it’s no fault of the Aygo that its strengths come into play within tightly congested city roads. Toyota has done a good job in engineering the practical drive of the Aygo, there is a brilliant infotainment system that again reinforces its commitment to a younger generation. If you want a practical day to day car that gets you through those tight spots then the Aygo will do the job. With the Aygo also likely to retain better value than its French counterparts, you certainly get a feeling that it’s a car that’s built to last.


Second-Hand Citroen C1

There aren’t a lot of differences between the C1 and the Aygo, primarily because both were developed as part of the B- Zero project by PSA Peugeot Citroen in a joint-venture with Toyota. If the C1 had to choose a sibling, the Peugeot 107 would be the identical twin whilst the Aygo would be the familiar cousin. Another 1.0-litre Petrol option with recent 1.2-litre additions, it’s the ultimate easy drive. The Citroen C1 has impressive acceleration, this added dose of pace coupled with its streamlined 860kg weight makes this car one of the most responsive and enjoyable vehicles to drive. 

As far as an engine in a small vehicle is concerned, this is probably the one to go for: the 1.0-litre model takes 14.3 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph, while the 1.2 litre completes the benchmark in 11 seconds flat. When you consider pricing, the C1 is also the cheapest used car of the aforementioned trio, therefore, making it a winning pick if you want something relatively cheap to buy but still gives you that driving edge.



Nearly New Fiat 500

It would probably be unforgivable if we compiled a list of affordable and economical cars and missed out on the trendsetting Fiat 500. This Italian classic is doing its bit to ignite that renaissance of retro styling along with a punchy and vibrant drive. This is yet another ideal city car and is an instant appeal for fashion-orientated buyers. It’s chic, easy to drive and its Twinair engines make it an enjoyable experience. 

The 500 followed the path set by MINI by reinventing an iconic classic for modern times. The last model on our top 5 best cheap second-hand cars also has the most diverse range of engines, starting at 1.2-litre Petrol it will notch up 0-62mph in 12.9 seconds and on the open road, you can reach a top speed of 99mph. Probably the most expensive of the vehicles on our list, the 500 still boasts great value retention, meaning it gets the Cargiant seal of approval.


There you have it, our top 5 list of cheapest used cars that still deliver in both reliability and all-around fun, all for under £5,000. At Cargiant you will find all of these models and many more on sale for highly competitive prices so browse around, and check out our Same Day Drive Away page to find out how you can find your perfect car and drive it home, no time wasted.