Best used cars to buy in 2021

Written by

Tara Covell

Thursday 25th February 2021

With new car registrations having fallen by 29% - back down to 1992 levels, the demand for used vehicles has drastically risen in the UK with drivers desperate to snap up cheap vehicles as an alternative to public transport amidst the current pandemic.

Here's our pick of the best used cars suitable for all budgets and have all won What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards 2021.

The Value One - Hyundai i10

If you’re on a budget, then the second-generation Hyundai i10 is worth every penny. Not only do you get a fab city car suitable for navigating the busy urban landscape, but it also has a respectable Euro NCAP safety rating for extra peace of mind.

For a £6000 budget, you can get a 2017 model with a well-equipped SE trim (comprising of air con, cruise control, Bluetooth and a DAB radio), economical 1.0-litre engine or a more powerful 1.2L for motorway driving.

In addition, you’ll still have a few years’ worth of manufacturer’s five-year warranty cover left giving you additional peace of mind.

The Small One – Skoda Fabia

Not only is it spacious, enjoyable to drive and easy to manoeuvre around built up areas, but the Fabia also has sense of solidity and a strong reliability record which Skoda are renowned for.

For a £8000 budget, you will be able to get a three-year-old, third-generation Fabia with a well-equipped SE trim (alloy wheels, air-con, rear parking sensors and a 6.5in colour touchscreen featuring Skoda’s Smartlink sat-nav) and a 94bhp 1.0 TSI petrol engine, which is perfect for city and motorway driving.

All in all, the Fabia is a great little car that gets you bang for your buck with zero compromise.

The Family One – Seat Ateca

The family-friendly Ateca has well-controlled handling (so the kids won’t feel car sick by bouncing and rocking over bumps), study build and lots of interior space making it a firm favourite amongst parents.

When it comes to mod cons, even the basic S trim gives you more than you’d usually bargain for, with 16in alloy wheels, air con and a multi-function steering wheel which is great if you’re not able to consider pricey models.

For a modest £10,000 budget, this car is one to take note of when looking for that perfect family car.

The Hybrid One – Hyundai Ioniq

The Hyundai Ioniq was the first car to have three forms of electrification to choose from - the hybrid model that combines a petrol engine with an electric motor, a plug-in hybrid with a bigger battery that can be charged externally or an electric vehicle (EV) making it suitable to fit any lifestyle.

Looking inside the cars interior, there’s plenty of space for passengers as well as a reasonably sized boot (which is a bonus for many). The standard trim is also very competitive as it comes equipped some form of autonomous safety kit. Even with the entry-level SE trim, you get automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and hill start assist. Plus, a standard back-up camera to help you out while parking.

In addition, you’ll still have three years’ warranty left if you choose to buy a two-year-old Ioniq.

The Electric One – Nissan Leaf

Although the popularity of electric cars is growing all the time, and more and more drivers wanting to do their bit for the environment, many of models available still aren’t that cheap.

For a budget of £22,000-£25,000, you’ll be able to pick up a year-old second-generation Leaf, with a standard 40kWh battery in the N-Connecta trim (this includes 17in alloys, a 360-degree camera system, heated seats and steering wheel, and front and rear parking sensors).

The Leaf has a near-silent driving experience, practicalities of a family hatch back and value for money all rolled into one making it a strong contender for your next car.

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