If you’re looking at the used car segment with a budget of £15,000, then you’re in a good place to grab the keys to something exciting. This feature will go in depth into some of the best options for a variety of different uses. Need a large family wagon that’ll get everybody and their luggage from A to B? We’ve got you covered. Fancy something a little smaller that is ideal to drive in the city? Not a problem.

In fact, there are loads of great options when it comes to used cars for under £15,000. But they all share that same value-focused approach that will make them easy to drive and easy to live with as well.

The best used cars available for £15,000

As we’ve touched upon, there’s loads of variety to be found within the £15,000 price bracket. In fact, we’ve got options from all different shapes and sizes of cars to choose from, ensuring that there’s something for all different types of drivers.

It’s worth mentioning that in this price bracket it’s a good idea to make sure you do plenty of investigation before you sign on the dotted line. We’d recommend getting a full history check completed as it’ll flag up any potential issues, such as outstanding finance or an unrecorded crash record.

1. Mini Convertible (2009-2015)

Fancy that wind-in-your-hair experience for your £15,000 budget? The Mini Convertible seems bang on the money. It’s a package which has proven immensely popular, which is why there are plenty of examples currently available for well within our budget.

The Mini’s appeal is universal. Quirky retro-infused styling blends effortlessly with great materials and good built quality to create a car which feels premium without too ‘try hard’. The Convertible model only builds on this further, with the electric retractable fabric roof giving instant access to miles of blue sky.

It’s worth remembering that the Convertible isn’t what you’d call a practical model. The rear seats will be a real squeeze for adults, while the boot is pretty compact. If you’re not after loads of room, then the Mini will be just grand – but larger families will likely find it too tight.

Best Features

  • Stylish good looks still turn heads today
  • Convertible is great fun to drive with tidy handling and strong engines
  • Great build quality means used examples still feel solid today

Things to consider

  • The Mini is a very compact model so make sure it can fit your lifestyle
  • Make sure the convertible roof is in good condition as they’re expensive to replace
  • Insurance might be pricier for younger drivers due to the Mini’s relatively powerful engines


2. Peugeot 208 (2012-2018)

If there’s one thing Peugeot knows how to do well, it’s to create small, exciting, and characterful hatchbacks. It’s got a long heritage for doing just that, with highlights including cars like the 205 and 206. The latest instalment in that lineage was the 208, which brought a more technology-heavy focus and a fresh new look.

You can get some low-mileage examples for our £15,000 budget, too, while the 208’s quirky styling means that it looks much fresher in the modern day than many of its rivals. It’s equipped with some efficient engine choices, too, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time at the petrol pumps. Plus, all versions got plenty of standard equipment so you can still get a lot of toys for the money.

Best Features

  • Quirky design stands out from the crowd
  • Efficient engines will make the 208 very cheap to run
  • Handling is good and can make twisty roads a lot of fun

Things to consider

  • The 208 didn’t have the best reputation for reliability, so make sure to check out receipts for repair work and servicing
  • Some interior plastics felt a bit cheap
  • The infotainment screen could be a bit confusing to use at times


3. Kia Stonic (2017-present)

The Stonic felt like something of a watershed moment for Kia. It marked a whole new design approach for the brand and built on the success of the recently updated Sportage, bringing the same look and feel but in a smaller and easier package to live with.

Core to the Stonic’s appeal is Kia’s rock-solid approach to build quality. Despite being easy to get for our £15,000 budget, the interior quality is excellent, and all models come with plenty of standard equipment. Plus, a seven-year transferrable warranty gives the Stonic plenty of cover and means that even the earliest models could have a small amount of warranty left intact.

A user-friendly approach makes the Stonic very easy to live with while light steering and compact dimensions make it a breeze to park.

Best Features

  • Seven-year warranty is one of the best in the business
  • Nippy engines have a great balance of performance and efficiency
  • Slightly raised seating position is confidence-inspiring


Things to consider

  • The Stonic can be a bit firm, particularly when on larger wheels
  • Material quality is more hard-wearing than premium
  • Boot is a little bit smaller than rival offerings


4. Ford Fiesta (2008-2017)

Alright, we’ll admit it – the Ford Fiesta is hardly a groundbreaking choice. However, you don’t become one of the UK’s most popular cars by being controversial and the little Fiesta has always proven a real hit with buyers through its easy-to-use cabin controls and nippy handling.

Plus, because it has always been so popular, there are loads of great options available and for our £15,000 budget you’ll be able to net an impressively low-mileage example. It’s worth adding that since the Fiesta was taken off sale, used prices have risen, so you might have to pay a little more than you expected.

The good news is that the Fiesta will be a great option for all different types of buyers. Low running costs will ensure that it won’t cost the earth to keep on the road, too.

Best Features

  • The Fiesta is available in a variety of colours and specification options
  • Engine choices are plentiful and they’re all efficient and cheap to run
  • Great handling makes the Fiesta more fun than you might expect

Things to consider

  • Fiestas are a popular learner car, so look out for kerbed alloys and parking damage
  • Headroom in the back is a little tight
  • Basic models do without key equipment such as air conditioning

5. Peugeot 3008 (2007-present)

Like the Peugeot 208, but find it hasn’t got quite enough space? Enter the family-focused 3008. It’s a far larger prospect than the 208 so isn’t as easy to park as a result, but the plus-points far outweigh the negatives with the 3008’s practical cabin and large boot, making this a fine choice for families.

The original 3008 was a tried-and-tested MPV, but the second generation, which we’re looking at here, evolved into a trendier SUV. The result is a car which rides a little higher up but still has loads of space and room to offer. Peugeot went pretty out there with the 3008’s styling, too, but the gamble appeared to pay off, as it remains a great-looking car even today.

Best Features

  • Clever design helps the 3008 to look fresh today
  • It’s a very practical car with loads of space inside and a big boot
  • Models built after 2019 included hybrid technology – but these are more expensive

Things to consider

  • The 3008’s popularity means values remain strong
  • Some interior plastics feel a bit harsh
  • Infotainment system can feel a bit behind the times

6. Dacia Sandero (2021-present)

The Sandero has routinely taken the title as the UK’s cheapest car, undercutting key rivals by thousands of pounds despite offering the same level of in-car equipment. Value has always been Dacia’s key ethos, after all, which is why the Sandero is a great option for this budget-friendly selection.

However, the Sandero doesn’t feel bargain-basement and is more than up to the job of daily driving. The bonus with the Sandero is that because of its low as-new price, it’s easy to snap up a very low-mileage example for within our £15,000. The Sandero represents an awesome buy if you want something no-frills that won’t let you down.

Best Features

  • Low cost makes the Sandero a great proposition value-wise
  • Soft suspension helps the Sandero to shake off potholes and bumps
  • Interior has been designed with space in mind, so there’s plenty of head- and legroom on offer

Things to consider

  • The Sandero is a bit noisier than its rivals, particularly at motorway speeds
  • There are quite a lot of scratchy plastics used inside
  • Entry-level versions do without a lot of must-have kit, including air conditioning and even central locking

7. Citroen Berlingo (2018-present)

Ticking off the out-and-out practicality boxes is the name of the game for the Citroen Berlingo. This van-based MPV shuns the current trend of crossovers and SUVs, instead delivering a huge amount of space in a boxy, eye-catching design.

There are two wheelbase sizes available – regular and XL – with the latter freeing up space for seven people in total. The standard Berlingo, meanwhile, has seating room for five with everyone inside the car treated to loads of head and legroom. Unlike many SUVs, you still get plenty of boot space even though passengers can stretch out and get comfy. The Berlingo is also superbly easy to drive, with light controls and peppy engines that make everyday driving a doddle.

Best Features

  • Spacious cabin has loads of room and is great for larger families
  • Engine choices are efficient and should prove cheap to run
  • Seven-seat options provides an even more spacious option

Things to consider

  • Not as sharp to drive as some hatchbacks and crossovers
  • Infotainment is a bit tricky to get up to speed with initially
  • Eight-speed automatic only found on more powerful versions

8. DS 3 Crossback (2019-2022)

DS has a somewhat quirky role here in the UK. It was originally a part of Citroen before becoming a brand in its own right some years ago – though it still uses many of Citroen’s cars as a basis for its own. The DS 3 Crossback was introduced to enter Citroen into the popular crossover segment, with this raised-up version of the regular DS3 hatchback bringing the oddball styling that DS has become known for.

Its interior puts many others to shame for its innovation and stylishness. If you fancy a car cabin which feels like nothing else on sale today, then you’re in luck with the DS 3 Crossback. Fortunately, the off-the-wall styling is backed up by some great tech, while the engines available as strong and efficient.

Best Features

  • Incredibly stylish both inside and out
  • Seats are highly comfortable and the ride is equally cosseting
  • All engines in the range are more than powerful enough while being great on fuel

Things to consider

  • DS values haven’t been the strongest, so expect some depreciation
  • While interesting to look at, the primary controls take some getting used to
  • Rear seats may prove a little bit tight for taller passengers


9. Honda Civic (2017-2022)

Honda’s Civic is something of a multi-tool of a car. It’s got a lot more space than you might expect from a hatchback, but it’s also good to drive and has a famed reputation for reliability, too. The Civic has also delivered a superb driving experience – both on local roads and along motorways – while the quiet interior means everyone onboard can relax.

This tenth-generation Civic got all of Honda’s latest innovations, too, with much improved material quality than its predecessor. It was also made larger in pretty much all areas, upping the cabin space in the process while enabling the Civic to have a large boot. All versions get loads of technology and equipment as standard, too, so keen button-pressers can remain happy regardless of the specification.

Best Features

  • The Civic is great to drive but still comfortable on the motorway
  • The six-speed manual gearbox is one of the best about thanks to its light but direct action
  • You could also get the Civic as a saloon, which added a decent slug of boot space

Things to consider

  • The infotainment in the Civic isn’t the quickest nor the most intuitive
  • Space in the rear will be a bit tighter for taller passengers
  • Some Civics suffer from squeaky brakes – so listen out for them and make sure they’re swapped out if you’re looking to purchase

10. Jaguar XF (2015-present)

We bet you didn’t think you could get a big, luxurious Jaguar saloon for a £15,000 budget, right? Well, it’s not quite the case as the XF falls well within that amount. It’s also enough to get a sharper, better-equipped second-generation model which is jam-packed with features and a lightweight aluminium chassis.

Of course, there’s a caveat with a car like this. At £15,000, it’s likely that you’ll be looking at a higher-mileage example, so bear in mind that you’ll need to factor in higher repair and servicing costs as well as chunkier bills for aspects such as tyres. With the XF, it’s even more important to get a background check and we’d be looking at existing MOT test results in order to flag up any potential issues.

Best Features

  • The XF is sharp to drive but still feels at home on the motorway.
  • The interior is built to a good standard and all cars have plenty of features.
  • The ride quality is smooth – but watch out for versions on large alloy wheels as this can make it a bit bristly over potholes.

Things to consider

  • The XF has a slightly patchy reputation for reliability, so make sure you do your homework on any model
  • R Design models might look sportier, but a firm ride makes them less comfortable
  • Some materials inside feel a little low-rent

What should you consider when buying a car for £15,000?

Making the decision on which car to buy for £15,000 is best achieved with plenty of homework. There’s such variety out there that finding out what you ideally need can prove a little tricky, so thinking about how you use your car each and every day can help to narrow down your search.

As we’ve touched upon, making sure that any car has a full service history is a great place to start while using the variety of online tools to your advantage can help too. For instance, you’re able to search for previous MOT results for any car, flagging up any issues which may have not been highlighted by the vendor. You can also do a background search – which only costs a few pounds – and this will throw up any issues such as outstanding finance or if the car has been registered as crash damaged.

Can £15,000 buy a good car?

With £15,000, the motoring world is your oyster. There are plenty of great options to choose from, varying from space-focused models like the Citroen Berlingo to luxurious saloons like the Jaguar XF. They’ve all got plenty of equipment as standard, too, making sure that you’re getting the best-possible value for your money.