When it comes to buying your first car it needn’t break the bank. In fact, if you’re willing to go for an older model with a few more miles on the clock, then you can find some excellent used deals. And when it comes to shopping around, you might be surprised just how many second-hand cars are available for under £1k.


Buying a low priced car doesn’t mean it’s going to be low quality. Many car owners out there take excellent care of their vehicles, so when it comes to selling, they not only get the best possible price, but they also pass on a car that still offers plenty of mileage. Nonetheless, you still want to check the vehicle over to make sure it’s in top condition. Be sure to check:

  • For any signs of damage
  • All of the electrics
  • For general wear and tear
  • The interior and upholstery
  • The car and service history
  • The tyres and whether they’re worn or uneven
  • For rust (particularly under the bonnet)
  • Oil, brake, and power steering fluids
  • The mileage and whether it matches the car’s age – the average driver cover’s roughly 10,000 miles a year, using this estimate you can see how well used the vehicle is and learn more about its history in the process

The above points will help you determine whether the used vehicle has been well-cared for and whether it’s in a good condition for purchase. Of course, with a sale price under £1k there will likely be higher mileage or general wear and tear, but knowing what to look for can help you negotiate an even better deal or, at the least, allow you to buy with confidence. It’s also important to remember higher mileage is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if a car has been well looked after over its lifetime. After all, a well-maintained vehicle with high mileage that has frequently been utilised for motorway commuting could actually be more reliable than a rarely used, low mileage car, which could have issues because it never gets to heat up properly. And that leads to a final point, be sure to ask questions about the car’s history to get an idea of how the vehicle has been driven.


If you’ve not long passed your driving test (congratulations by the way), it’s a good idea to choose a car that will help build driver confidence. Of course, if you’re looking for car under £1k, you’ll probably want a vehicle that’s cheap to run and insure, with good miles per gallon (MPG) too. In this department, small vehicles (like superminis, hatchbacks, and compact city cars) are your friend. And that’s what you’ll find below, all of which have lots of used deals within the price range. Read on to discover what we’ve picked for our top 10 best cars under £1k for first-time drivers.