Best cars for £2,000 or less

A tight budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Here are some great used cars available for £2,000 or less

If you’re looking for a brand new car it should offer you the very latest technological advancements, refined comfort and lively performance, plus improved running costs on the generation that came before it. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to something fresh out of the factory, don’t despair: a used vehicle can still provide plenty of fun while not breaking the bank, and we've found the best used cars you can get for £2,000.

We've tracked down eight fantastic options, covering everything from practical, seven-seat SUVs to more entertaining sporty coupes. It just goes to show that if you’re willing to look closely enough in the second-hand car market, there’s every chance you’ll unearth a bargain set of wheels that do everything you need them to.

In this price bracket a thorough inspection and test drive are a must, though, while a clean service history will go a long way to determining whether or not a used car is in good working order.

But with the right amount of caution, there’s no reason you can’t get hold of a genuine half-price hero. And for less than £2,000, a gamble just might be worth the risk.

Scroll down to read more about our half-price heroes - all of which can be bought for £2,000 or less - alternatively, have a look at these other price brackets... 

Audi A2 

  • Model: 1.4 SE 
  • Year/reg: 2003/03
  • Mileage: 82,000 
  • Price: £2,000

Bide your time, and you might be able to find a decent Audi A2 for less than £1,000. But if you stick to models above that mark you could end up with one which actually appreciates. There are always cars that are at the bottom of their depreciation curve, and we reckon the Audi A2 is one of them right now.

This forward-thinking supermini-cum-MPV is a class act – it’s made using aluminium, so it’s really light. This means it’s very economical, although we’d recommend a 1.4 petrol version over a diesel – there’s less to go wrong. That aluminium construction means bodywork repairs can be costly, though, so have a good look over a potential purchase for dents before you buy.

Check the latest prices for used Audi A2 models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Alfa Romeo Brera 

  • Model: 2.2 JTS SV
  • Year/reg: 2006/06
  • Mileage: 98,000 
  • Price: £1,995

Not every used car purchase should place head over heart. If you want a cheap car that looks like a million bucks, then why not an Alfa Romeo Brera? 

Okay, it’s not that great to drive, but not everyone wants to drive a sports car every day, and it makes a good case for itself as a junior GT car. The Brera’s greatest strength is that it’s stunning to look at and has a great interior that you can enjoy every time you drive it.

Diesel versions are pretty quick and should deliver decent fuel economy, but stick to a petrol model if you’re only going to use it for shorter trips. Check for regular servicing before you buy.

Check the latest prices for used Alfa Romeo Brera models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Peugeot 3008 

  • Model: 1.6 HDi Exclusive
  • Year/reg: 2011/60
  • Mileage: 78,000 
  • Price: £1,800

The current Peugeot 3008 is very much a compact SUV, but the previous model fell somewhere between an SUV and an MPV. 

Regardless of classification, it’s a spacious family car with a far more interesting interior than many rivals at a similar price. The huge boot means it’ll fit an entire family’s worth of camping gear, while the 1.6-litre diesel engine is pretty economical. 

The rear seats are massive as well, so there won’t be any complaints from kids in the back, and perhaps even more crucially it’s easy to fit child seats. You can find quite high-spec models for very little money now.

Check the latest prices for used Peugeot 3008 models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Honda CR-V 

  • Model: 2.0 i-VTEC SE Sport
  • Year/reg: 2004/04
  • Mileage: 117,000 
  • Price: £1,790

The fact the CR-V holds its value so well tells you a lot. It shouldn’t let you down, all the while offering a relaxing driving experience in a solid cabin that can seat the average family in comfort. It makes a great workhorse if you’ve got large dogs, too. The CR-V is popular with caravan owners because it’s good for towing, and stays quiet and refined on the motorway on the way down to the campsite. 

The high driving position means visibility is strong, and the ground clearance is great for car parks that are further off the beaten track.

Check the latest prices for used Honda CR-V models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Suzuki Jimny 

  • Model: 1.3 Mode
  • Year/reg: 2005/05
  • Mileage: 122,000 
  • Price: £1,790

The Jimny is one of very few small SUVs that are genuinely great off-road. Most more modern small 4x4s are chosen for the way they look rather than how good they are at tackling a muddy byway. The Jimny isn’t great on road as a result, but we reckon it’s a cool car and, for less than £2,000, it’s a bit of a bargain as well. 

Ones that have been well looked after are even starting to appreciate, which will be an advantage when selling on, but can make finding the right used model more challenging. The Jimny is bound to be reliable and cheap to run, although we’d avoid models with the convertible roof, because they’re likely to be leaky.

Check the latest prices for used Suzuki Jimny models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Mazda 3 

  • Model: 1.6 Takara
  • Year/reg: 2009/58
  • Mileage: 102,000 
  • Price: £1,695

If you need a family hatch and you have a budget of around £2,000, there’s loads of choice – any number of Volkswagen Golf Mk5s, Vauxhall Astra Mk5s or Ford Focus Mk2s are for sale at this sort of price. They’re all a bit obvious, though, so where do you go if you want something different? Enter the Mazda 3.

It’s great to drive, looks good and should be reliable, so it ticks all the right boxes. It’s practical enough to serve as a family car, and it looks like great value for money for an uncomplicated and enjoyable ownership experience. Go for a manual because it’s more fun and avoids costly the repair bills for auto models, but do keep an eye out for rust – it’s not uncommon for Mazdas of this age to suffer from rot.

Check the latest prices for used Mazda 3 models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Skoda Octavia

  • Model: 1.9 TDI PD Elegance Estate
  • Year/reg: 2007/57
  • Mileage: 120,000 
  • Price: £1,595

Skoda’s current Octavia won our 2020 Car of the Year award, and although the older versions don’t have quite the same appeal, they do share many of the same admirable qualities. The most important one is that you get a lot of space for your money, so the Octavia makes for a superb family car, especially in Estate guise – the boot is huge.

For a £2,000 budget, you’re looking at the smartly styled Octavia Mk2. You could track down a petrol model, but we’ve picked out the dependable and economical 1.9 TDI diesel. There are plenty about, and at around the middle of our budget it’s fantastic value. There’s no reason to be put off by high mileage if a car has a solid service record.

Check the latest prices for used Skoda Octavia models on our sister site BuyaCar...

Volvo XC90 

  • Model: 2.4 D5 SE Geartronic
  • Year/reg: 2004/04
  • Mileage: 140,000 
  • Price: £1,400

If you need a seven-seater, then the XC90 could be a fantastic choice. Volvo’s reputation for safety means it will give plenty of peace of mind, and the relaxing driving experience should keep you calm.

Even if you don’t need seven seats, the XC90’s spacious interior makes it look like a tempting buy. At this low price you’ll have to pay careful attention to make sure that the car’s been looked after, because repairs will be expensive. Keep an eye out for faulty ABS systems and gearboxes, along with the normal checks when buying second-hand.

Check the latest prices for used Volvo XC90 models on our sister site BuyaCar...

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