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To be faced with car insurance, running costs, and the initial price of a vehicle, you may feel a little deflated after the joy of passing your driving test as a young driver. However, your first car needn’t be an expensive one. In fact, you can find some fantastic used car deals for less than £2k and choose from an excellent selection of vehicles which are well-suited to the needs of young drivers.
Before you take your hard earned money and splash out on a vehicle, do a little bit of preparation work, it’ll help you go a lot further in the long run. And you could also net a better deal too. Firstly:
When you’ve settled on a vehicle to buy and you’re ready to purchase, before you hand over your money you’ll want to check the car over. Look for:
With a budget of £2k, you should have no trouble finding a good second-hand car, particularly when it comes to smaller vehicle types like compact city cars, superminis, and hatchbacks. And that’s great news because these types of vehicles are often cheap to run and cheap to insure. They are also well-suited to young drivers, with an ease of use that helps build driver confidence. Please, read on to discover our top 10 best cars under £2k for young drivers.
The Ford Fiesta is a class-leading supermini and one of the most popular cars in the UK. And thanks to that popularity, you’ll have no trouble at all finding a second-hand Fiesta for under £2k that’s in good condition. You’re likely to come away with a good amount of change too, as you can typically pick up a model from around 2005 to 2007, with roughly 60k miles to the clock, for approximately £1.5k. Of course, you could always use that extra money to find a newer model or a variant with even lower mileage. And what do you get once you’ve handed your cash over? Well, a car that is cheap to run, iconic looking, and, most importantly, a lot of fun to drive, with agile handling and one of the best driving experiences in its class.
USED PRICES FROM £300
Like the Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa is another supremely popular supermini on British roads. With older models taking a more functional approach to styling, the car might not be as good looking as the Fiesta or as fun to drive, but it makes up for it by being a great all-rounder. And whilst it might not be as engaging, it is very easy to life with, thanks to a comfortable driving experience that will certainly help build confidence with its ease of use. There’s a reason it sits in second position, it’s a fantastic little car. For £2k, you should also have your pick from hundreds of used models near you, with variations from 2007 onwards and with decent mileage around the 65k mile mark.
USED PRICES FROM £380
Another car that’s easy to drive and very popular, the Nissan Micra rolls into third place, offering hundreds of used models for under £2k. At those prices, you will be able to take your pick from a variety of models from 2007 and onwards, with a decent amount of miles on the clock (typically around 50k miles). Like the Corsa, older variants of the Micra have more conservative styling, yet the popularity of the car still speaks volumes. For young drivers, it’s a great vehicle to start with, proving particularly nimble around town and cheap to run. The ease and simplicity of the Micra is also well-suited to first-time drivers too.
USED PRICES FROM £480
Unsurprisingly, the Volkswagen Polo is another popular vehicle on the used car market. With a £2k budget, you should have the pick of hundreds of models ideally located near you. And at that price you can typically expect around 60k-90k miles on the clock and a model from 2005 to 2008. In terms of quality, the VW Polo is right up there with the Ford Fiesta, providing a near-equal (fun) driving experience and exterior styling to match, making it a real hit with younger drivers. The Polo also boasts premium German build quality and good levels of reliability, in addition to low running costs and a practical cabin.
USED PRICES FROM £400
Like the Fiesta, the Ford Focus is one of Britain’s best loved cars and that translates to an excellent variety of pre-owned vehicles on the used car market. The 5-door family hatchback deserves its popularity too. Again like the Fiesta, the Focus is a class-leading car in its segment. It is one of the best to drive in its sector, if not the best, and it has excellent practicality and stylish looks, which will certainly appeal to younger drivers. The car is great value for money too. For under £2k, you will find models from 2009 and onwards within the price bracket, but usually with 100k+ miles under the belt. For lower mileage, you can find plenty of variations from around 2007 with roughly 50k-60k miles on the clock.
USED PRICES FROM £350
Offering a similar package to the Vauxhall Corsa, the Renault Clio is another safe choice for young drivers, offering simplicity and an easy driving experience, coupled with low running costs and decent reliability. The two cars have similar styling too, so if you like one it’s well worth checking out the other to see if you can get a better deal or a later model with less mileage. Usually, you can find hundreds of used Renault Clios that fall within the £2k price bracket, with models from 2008 to 2010 that typically have driven around 60k-80k miles. Models from 2006 and 2007, however, tend to offer a low 50k miles at prices around £1.5k. It gives young buyers a lot of choice and potentially some extra savings too.
USED PRICES FROM £400
If it’s not yet clear, all of the cars on this list, in addition to being available used for under £2k, are also some of the most popular vehicles in Britain. And the Volkswagen Golf fits that bill entirely. It’s a true rival to the Ford Focus and one of the few family hatchbacks that manages to keep pace with it. The sporty styling of the Golf and its good range of engines, from the frugal to the powerful, has always ensured the car a hit with a wide demographic. Like the Focus, it’s also fun to drive with precise handling, though arguably the Focus pips it to the post in this department. On the other hand, the Golf has that premium German build quality. It also has a good reputation for reliability and safety. Finding one for under £2k will be easy enough, but models from 2008 tend to have done 100k+ miles, whilst lower mileage around £70k can be enjoyed in models 2007 and earlier.
USED PRICES FROM £400
You might have to do a little more legwork to find a good used Hyundai i10 for less than £2k, but it’ll certainly be worth it, as these compact city cars often have low mileage thanks to owners mainly using them for driving through town or for commuting. At this price, you can find models from 2009 to 2013 with just 60k-70k miles under the belt. The car is great value for money, providing young drivers low running costs and a nippy little motor that’s easy to manoeuvre. And despite its seemingly small dimensions, inside the car has a practical and comfortable cabin, with room in the back for three friends on shorter journeys, or two for more comfortable longer trips.
USED PRICES FROM £750
With an economical range of engines, low running costs, an enjoyable driving experience, and stylish looks, the Citroen C1 is a favourite amongst many younger drivers. It’s also nearly identical to the Peugeot 108 and the Toyota Aygo, as these cars all share the same platform. So if you like the Citroen C1, check its siblings out too, you might be able to find a better model with less mileage if you do. And within the £2k budget, you should have no trouble finding a Citroen C1 from 2011 or earlier and that’s with good mileage around the 50k mile mark. If you throw the Aygo and the 108 into the mix, you get even more options to choose from.
USED PRICES FROM £800
For under £2k, you’ll find a good selection of used Seat Ibizas on the market. The best offers in this price bracket will usually be for 2007 to 2010 models and these tend to have done roughly 60k-80k miles – anything below that is a bonus. The car itself is a subcompact vehicle that’s cheap to run and comfortable to ride in. The good news for young drivers is the fact that it’s also fun to drive and older variants have aged well, with looks that are still stylish and desirable. It’s also a very practical car, with a spacious cabin and a large boot. It’s a great supermini that’s well worth a look.
USED PRICES FROM £300
Your first car might be priceless but it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Find your first car at Motors.co.ukSearch used hatchbacks