Best nearly new family cars for £250 per month

  • Great family cars for you to buy for around £10,000
  • Choose between popular petrol and diesel models
  • Parkers picks the best options for nearly-new hatchbacks

There are lots of benefits to buying nearly new. The first owner has taken a big hit in terms of depreciation, and has probably ironed out all of those new-car teething problems.

Here are your choices

Right now, many people are choosing to do it by either going down the Approved Used route at their main dealer, or heading over to one of the many used car supermarkets out there. Which ever way you choose to buy a nearly-new used car, the potential savings over brand new are enormous, and well worth investigating.

Right now, the biggest savings are in the family car market, and to prove the point, here are six great choices – all of which are less than half the price of their new equivalents. With lots of life left, plenty of warranty, and bags of equipment, they really are the bargains for the interesting times we live in.

Finance figures based on the monthly cost of a £10,000 loan for a buyer with a good credit rating, as calculated on the Parkers Finance Calculator. A £10,000 loan over 48 months at a best available APR of 9.2% for a monthly payment of £246.67. Figures correct at the time the article was published.

Nissan Qashqai (2014-date)

Buy a used Nissan Qashqai

Families love Qashqais because they are roomy, adaptable, and give you an elevated driving position. These should cause you no worries reliability-wise, and the kitted-out models will undoubtedly still be fully functional. Watch for worn, scuffed and scruffy interiors.

Parkers’ recommended £10,000 Nissan Qashqai:

A 2015 1.5dCi Tekna: Economical, good to drive and well kitted-out.

Here are some we found

Good: Economical, roomy
Bad: Interior quality is average
Verdict: A safe, if obvious, bet

Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2013-2018)

Buy a used Mercedes-Benz A-Class

You’re into an older car at this price point, but far from archaic. Build quality is good, but interior plastics are flaky in places, and they aren’t averse to the odd electrical malady. In fact, the A-Class has built a poor reputation, but the dealers are helpful when they do break. Now replaced by new model, but it’s similar looking, so shouldn’t harm resale values or desirabiity.

Parkers’ recommended £10,000 Mercedes-Benz A-Class:

A Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI in SE trim, and you’ll typically find a 2014 example with 60,000-plus miles on the clock.

Here are some we found

Good: Badge kudos, nice inside
: No great shakes to drive
: A heart, not head, buy

Ford Focus (2011-2018)     

Buy a used Ford Focus

It’s not for nothing we call these the best used cars in the real world. Cheap to run, great value to buy, and brilliant to drive, they’re reliable, although the first owner is likely to have suffered a few small niggles with door seals and possibly clutch slave cylinders. Now replaced, which will means you’ll get more for your money as the older car becomes less ‘current’.

Parkers’ recommended £10,000 Ford Focus:

We would be looking for a low-mileage 2015 1.0T Ecoboost, which is punchy and economical.

Here are some we found

Good: Value, sporty drive
Bad: Road noise, visibility
Verdict: A great all-rounder

Vauxhall Astra (2015-date)

Buy a used Vauxhall Astra

Of this group the Astra is the least desirable. But don’t knock it – just because it lacks ‘want’ factor, don’t dismiss one. Highly accomplished, you get loads of car for your money, with nice steering and handling, and a big boot. Few reliability issues so far, and overall quality seems good.

Parkers’ recommended £10,000 Vauxhall Astra:

A 2016 Vauxhall Astra 1.4 turbo in Design trim.

Here are some we found

Good: Build, dynamics
: Lack of image
: Great value choice

Volkswagen Golf (2013-date)

Buy a used Volkswagen Golf

The Golf is the king of this market sector, and now the bestselling medium hatchback in the UK. Very few weak links, although there have been reliability issues, which have tarnished its reputation.

Parkers’ recommended £10,000 Volkswagen Golf:

A 2.0 TDI SE, 62-plate with 60k on the clock.

Here are some we found

Good: A known quantity, image
Bad: Unreliability, expense
Verdict: Buyers love them, good specialist support

Volvo V40 (2012-date)

Buy a used Volvo V40

According to surveys as well as our owners’ reviews, Volvo V40 owners love their cars. They drive well and the diesels are economical, but it’s cramped for families. Main dealers are excellent, and the reliability is well above average, even if build quality in places isn’t. The V40 can feel a little dated.

Find out how we got on with an approved-used Volvo V40 over six months

Parkers recommended £10,000 Volvo V40:

A lively and frugal D3 R Design Nav, typically from 2014 with 70k on the clock.

Here are some we found

Good: Dependable, stylish
Bad: Feeling old and cramped
Verdict: Better than expected

Volvo V40 approved used long-term test