Finding a car on a budget can be tricky. It’s not because of lack of choice, either, as the market is awash with great cars for even better prices. In fact, dialling it down to the ‘perfect’ vehicle can be difficult.

But fortunately, we’ve trawled through the Motors classifieds to find some of the very best used cars, for a variety of budgets. Let’s take a look.

Ford Fiesta – budget £1,500

The ever-popular Ford Fiesta is a great option if you’re after hassle-free motoring. For our £1,500 budget, you’ll be able to net an early model which packs plenty of creature comforts.

Our price cap is also enough to secure a Fiesta from 2011, which comes with later and more efficient engines.

Search for used Ford Fiestas here.

Volkswagen Golf – budget £3,000

If low running costs appeal but you want a bit more space than you’ll find in the Fiesta, then it’s likely that the Golf is already in your list of choices – and for good reason too. Throughout its many generations, it’s come to represent great build quality and good levels of standard equipment.

A variety of low-mileage, 2012-plate cars are available for this budget, but likewise, if you’re fancying spending less then there are some excellent earlier models which don’t command quite the same premium.

Search for used Volkswagen Golfs here.

Renault Zoe – £5,000

Think that a low-cost electric car is out of reach? Think again. There are several used Zoe models available on the site at the moment, with all of them delivering the same excellent technology and features.

Zoe prices go as low as £5,000 in fact – though this is for an earlier model with a much smaller 90-mile range, so this is a better option for those doing shorter, inner-city trips.

Search for used Renault Zoes here. 

Audi A3 – £7,500

Much like the Volkswagen Golf with which it shares a platform, the Audi A3 is a go-to choice for those who want great build quality and plenty of practicality – albeit with a shade more premium appeal.

Throughout its generations the A3 has been a smart choice, so whichever year you opt for – at whichever price – it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed.

Search for used Audi A3s here. 

Skoda Fabia – £8,500

Skoda’s Fabia does just what you want for a budget car. It’s cheap to run, relatively cheap to buy and simple to service too. It also looks excellent – no matter which age you opt for – and has always come with plenty of standard equipment.

The latest Fabia – which our budget covers – is one of the best-looking yet and has a range of efficient yet punchy engines.

Search for used Skoda Fabias here. 

Mini Cooper – £9,000

Fancy a little more style and verve from your used car purchase? The Mini Cooper is one you’ll want to consider. With carefully executed retro looks, the modern Mini has evolved into a more grown-up affair than ever, but still has the excellent handling that attracted people to it in the first place.

Though used examples have held their values well, our budget is more than enough to find a decent example. Stay aware of the different packs on Minis, however; one without additional equipment packages is likely to feel a little bare inside.

Search for used Mini Coopers here. 

Mercedes A-Class – £9,500

The Mercedes A-Class rivals the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf for hatchback supremacy, and there’s an area it’s always won – premium feeling. It’s true, that three-pronged star on the front draws buyers in thick and fast, while high-end materials inside and refined engines only help to seal the deal.

Used examples are plentiful, so there’s no reason why you can’t get a slice of the premium car action on this budget.

Search for used Mercedes A-Class models here. 

Nissan Leaf – £10,000

It’s not just the Zoe which is an EV used car option, as there’s the excellent Nissan Leaf too. With more space and practicality than the Renault, the Leaf is a great option for those who want to make the jump to an electric vehicle but still want to use it as a family vehicle.

Though £10,000 isn’t enough to grab the very latest generation Leaf, it’ll seal the deal with a later version of the previous-generation car which, thankfully, is still excellent.

Search for used Nissan Leaf versions here.