Best used cars for under £2,000

  • The Parkers pick of the most affordable cars for £2,000
  • Ranging from small cars to SUVs
  • Find them all on Parkers Cars for Sale

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to buying a used car with a budget of up to £2,000.

Whether it’s a big family estate, your first car with low insurance costs, or even a hybrid that’s cheap to fuel and tax, we’ve shortlisted these secondhand cars that suit a range of scenarios.

We’ve ordered these cars from smallest to largest, and all can be found on the Parkers Cars for Sale section to ease the search process, too.

Best used cars for under £2,000:

As with all used purchases, do remember to get a car history check, as this may uncover any outstanding finance or previous repair work.

1. Suzuki Swift Hatchback (2005 – 2011) – a great first car

Suzuki Swift Mk1

If you need a small, first car, the Suzuki Swift is hard to beat. It’s fun and easy to drive, while proving reliable and relatively cheap to fuel and insure. The boot isn’t the largest, but the square boxy shape means rear passengers shouldn’t grumble too much on short journeys.

Prices vary, but you can find one below 100,000 miles and there’s plenty of choice – whether it’s a model that has three or five doors, racing stripes, a chequered roof, or alloy wheels for added style. Keep an eye out on some colours as they may be starting to fade, though.

There is a diesel engine, but the petrols are sweeter to drive and still achieve good mpg figures.

2. Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009) – Sporty looks

Used Hyundai Coupe under £2,000

If you want something with a bit more style, the Hyundai Coupe and its sporty two-door looks is worth considering.

Performance from the three petrol engines don’t quite live up to the looks, and it’s not the sharpest handling coupe, but this remains a stylish way to get around if practicality isn’t a concern. That said, you still have a usable boot and the rear seats are big enough for children.

Tax is a little high considering the modest performance figures, but our owner’s reviews suggest they seem to enjoy living with them.

Mileage varies, but these tend to be reliable too. This is a facelift model, too, which was introduced in 2007, but a pre-facelift one is available as well. The 1.6 is underpowered but cheap to run, the 2.0-litre is a good all rounder, while the wonderful-sounding V6 will be tempting, but watch out for the high road tax and fuel consumption. The two bigger engines can also be had with an automatic gearbox.

3. Honda Civic Hybrid Saloon (2006 – 2010)

Honda Civic Hybrid saloon 2006-2010

This sensible saloon may look like a traditional car on the outside, but what hides underneath is a clever hybrid system to help reduce fuel costs and road tax. You also get a well-built interior, that isn’t showing its age too badly, with a mix of digital and analogue readouts.

Most models are just out of budget, but a few are creeping into this price point. There are plenty that have covered less than 100,000 miles, and there have been no major issues reported regarding battery life.

Sitting stationary during the Covid-19 pandemic will have seen many car batteries deplete, including hybrid ones, but regular use will see them performing as they should again.

Road tax is low and fuel economy is high with those who reside in town being able to make full use of the battery’s power. Performance is sluggish and the engine can be noisy when you venture out onto country roads and motorways, but this does settle down on a cruise.

4. SEAT Altea (2004 – 2015) – Forget SUV, go MPV

SEAT Altea for £2,000

If you’re bored of seeing SUVs on the road, the SEAT Altea combines sharp styling with additional practicality over a standard family hatch. The interior isn’t particularly clever, but there’s plenty of headroom and storage space without having to live with the bulky boxy styling or running costs of an SUV.

You have a range of petrol and diesel engines which blend good performance and fuel economy in varying degrees. The gearbox is slick to use and the composed handling means it won’t feel as cumbersome as an SUV either. The ride can be a little firm on sportier FR models, but these are generally comfortable long distance cruisers for those long family road trips.

5. Ford Mondeo Estate (2007 – 2014) – for moving house or frequent campers

Ford Mondeo Estate 2007

As a one-size-fits-all family car, the Ford Mondeo is tough to beat, with a big boot, plenty of space for four adults and an entertaining drive. Plus, this generation is refined, has comfortable seats and is even quite stylish by this point. It’s perfect for what family life can throw at it. Zetec models and above ae well equipped, too.

Those on sale are generally above 100,000 miles at this age and price, and while the 1.8 TDCI engine isn’t the most gutsy engine, it has proven to be reliable if serviced properly.

You may be tempted by the petrol engines simplicity, to avoid big future repair bills, but they’re thirsty, and you typically want the diesel’s torque to manage a full car of cargo, or if you plan to tow.

6. Honda CR-V (2001-2006) – So, you still want an SUV?

Honda CR-V SUV 2001-2006

If you still want that SUV, the Honda CR-V provides the high seating position, robustness and practicality that buyers crave. We found a 2.0-litre petrol with an automatic gearbox and 95,000 miles in budget, but most will be higher at this point.

Fuel economy isn’t going to be great, especially around town, but will improve on longer journeys. The cabin is robust, offering plenty of space and owners tend to love how practical it can be.

This isn’t for serious off-roading, despite having part-time all wheel drive, but that benefits its on-road behaviour. The boot is also bigger than the equivalent Land Rover Freelander and Toyota RAV4 of the same period. The 2005 model introduced a few exterior and interior tweaks and introduced a gutsy diesel engine.

* Prices based on examples found on Parkers Cars for Sale and limited to availability. Similar examples may be on offer.

Parkers Top Buying Tips

Don’t forget you can use our valuation tool to get an idea of how much you should be paying for a car. You can also check our reviews section for more information about the cars you are interested in.

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>> If you want something even cheaper, check out our cars for less than £1,000 article

>> Have a bit more to spend? Here’s our best hatchbacks for less than £5,000