Best used commuter cars for £2,000

  • Five of the best cars for commuting on a budget
  • Good fuel economy and comfort are the top priorities
  • Use Parkers Cars for Sale to find the right car

With fuel and running costs continuing to rise, you may be considering cutting back on driving - or even stopping altogether.

With many people having to commute long distances for work, buying a car on a budget that is comfortable and frugal is a major priority. That’s where Parkers can help.

Incredibly, for less than the deposit typically needed for low-cost PCP deals there are hundreds of appealing cars, so to narrow it down we've picked cars which can offer over 40mpg, have reasonable insurance, and are under 10 years old. Parts availability should be good, comfort levels acceptable and safety close to modern standards.

Here are five cars, costing less than £2,000, which should make that long trip to work pain-free and affordable. And because rules are made to be broken, one to hint at the future of low-cost commuting...

Skoda Octavia Estate 1.9 TDi (2005-2013)

Load-lugging practical estate for £2,000

2005 Skoda Octavia Estate

We cant escape the Skoda Octavia in our budget buying guides, with good reason - it's a tough, reliable car with a great balance of comfort, equipment and style. The estate is a handy size for parking and driving town centre traffic, yet swallows up to 1,655 litres of luggage.

More to the point, it's handsome and well made. Skoda really got into its stride with this generation of Octavia, and it's a very easy car to live with as a result. The diesel engine is robust and easy to maintain for most independent garages, and can return impressive economy too. Our owners' reviews rate it highly, with well over four stars on average.

Parkers star rating: Four and a half stars
Used price from: £795
Power: 105hp
0-60mph: 11.5s
Fuel economy: 47-55mpg
Insurance group: 14-23

View the latest Skoda Octavia Estate cars for sale

See also: Ford Focus estate, Mercedes C-Class estate, Jaguar X-Type estate 

Ford Ka Hatchback 1.2 Start Stop (09-16)

Affordable urban economy

2009 Ford Ka

Solidly built and attractive to sit in, the 2009 Ford Ka shared underpinnings with the Fiat 500 - but offers a very different feel and driving experience. A tough little car with light, easy controls and good all round visibility, the Ka also came with start/stop technology, saving fuel in the urban crawl.

Space for passengers is also much improved over the original Ka, with a surprising amount of legroom in the back if your driver is of average height. Owners rate the comfort highly, even for long drives.

Go for the entry level model and cut potential repair costs further, with manual locking and windows; body colour bumpers and metallic paint look smart regardless of trim level.

Parkers star rating: Four stars 
Used price from:
0-60mph: 13s
Fuel economy: 57mpg
Insurance group: 3

View the latest Ford Ka cars for sale

See also: Nissan Pixo, Citroen C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo. Renault Twingo

Fiat Sedici 1.9 MultiJet

An unusual four-wheel drive bargain

Fiat Sedici 4x4

It might seem unusual to recommend an older Fiat 4x4 that isn't Panda-shaped, but the Sedici (Italian for 16, or 4x4 - get it?) is another one of those cross-platform wonders where one manufacturer's skills have met another's styling with pleasing results.

Underneath the Sedici lies a Suzuki SX4, with the Japanese brand's four-wheel drive expertise, and the 1.9-litre MultiJet diesel - by far the easiest version to find - is the proven 8v JTD motor also found in models as diverse as the Saab 9-3 and Vauxhall Astra.

Avoid the 1.6 petrol front-wheel drive version, but our readers love their 4x4s.

This attractive little car is light and manageable for a 4x4, yet not as spartan as older choices like the Suzuki Ignis 4Grip. It also has decent economy, and will get you to work in the snow and sleet admirably. For this, we apologise...

Parkers star rating: Three and a half stars
Used price from: £575
Power: 122hp
0-60mph: 10.8s
Fuel economy: 39-53mpg
Insurance group: 14-23

View the latest Fiat Sedici cars for sale (and if there are none, the Suzuki SX4 is worth a look).

See also: Actually, this one is quite unique. You may want to consider a Subaru Impreza if economy isn't a concern.

Honda Civic IMA Saloon (2003-2005)

Urban Commuting win - a hybrid for £2,000

2003 Honda Civic IMA

And the one that - just - is a little too old to fit our targets but provides some food for thought.

An anonymous small saloon that manages to be as far removed from the high-tech image of hybrids, the Civic IMA is not common, but it's worth seeking out if you spend a lot of time in the urban crawl and want to save money. It has a comfortable ride, decent interior space and traditionally good Honda fit and finish; although it's a smaller car, it was a premium option at launch.

The Integrated Motor Assist concept is not capable of running as a pure electric vehicle, but uses the torque of the electric drive to improve the performance of a lean-burn 1.3 i-VTEC engine. It also provides regenerative braking and stop/start functions in traffic, cutting costs during the most frustrating phase of the commute.

Parkers star rating: Three stars
Used price from: £1,999
Power: 88hp
0-60mph: 12.1s
Fuel economy: 57mpg
Insurance group: 17

View the latest Honda Civic IMA cars for sale


Citroen C5 Tourer 2.0 HDi Exclusive (2009-2015)

Long distance luxury for PCP deposit money

2009 Citroen C5

When Citroen released the C5 in 2008, it improved build quality and interior design to a degree that made it a credible competitor to the BMW 3 Series. On entry-level models the hydropneumatic suspension made way for conventional springs and dampers, with the fine blend of comfort and handling you'd expect from a Citroën still intact. Feedback from owners is positive, too.

An early well-equipped C5 Tourer can be picked up for less than £2,000 in good condition, look for 2.0 HDi 140 Exclusive models to get incredibly comfortable electric seats, a good audio system and double-glazed refinement plus 40+ mpg for long journeys.

Parkers star rating: Four stars
Used price from: £1,399
Power: 140bhp
0-60mph: 10.9s
Fuel economy: 47mpg
Insurance group: 18-35

View the latest Citroen C5 cars for sale

See also: Ford Mondeo Estate, Alfa-Romeo 159, Peugeot 407

*Prices based on examples found on Parkers Cars for Sale and limited to availability. Similar examples may be on offer. Prices correct at time of publication. Pictures not representative of specific examples.

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