What used Audi A3 hatchback will I get for my budget?
The A3 has been a consistently big seller for Audi, so there are plenty to choose from on the used car market.
Prices start at around £6500 for an early car from 2013 with more than 100,000 miles on board or possible Cat D issues. Move up to £8000 and you can bag yourself either a three-door car or a five-door Sportback with less than 100,000 miles from 2013 or 2014, bought from an independent dealer with a good service history. Prices for the three and five-door variants seem fairly evenly matched on the used car market, although the added practicality of the extra doors just edges the Sportback ahead in the popularity stakes.
On the second-hand market, there’s little to choose between the petrol and diesel versions, although there are inevitably more diesel cars around.
Shell out £10,000 and upwards and you should find a 2014 example of the Sportback with an average mileage and full service history. Those with £12,000 to spend can expect a low-mileage 2014 car from an independent trader, whereas upping the wedge to between £14,000 and £16,000 should bring in a manufacturer-approved A3 from 2015 that’s carrying a fairly nominal mileage. If you’d like to go for the refreshed A3 with its updated exterior styling and newer engines, you’ll need to spend around £17,000.
If you’re interested in some of the specialty models, a 2015 e-tron plug-in hybrid with 30,000 miles is about £17,500. A well-kept 2014 S3 with a full service history and between 30,000 and 40,000 miles is around £19,000, while the full-fat RS3 from 2015 onwards will be about £32,000.
How much does it cost to run a Audi A3 hatchback?
When the A3 was launched in 2013, it came with a wide range of engine options. Petrol versions included a 123bhp 1.4 (55.4mpg and £30 tax) and a 178bhp 1.8 (48.7mpg and £140 tax), with the further option shortly after of a 148bhp 1.4-litre engine that could automatically cut off two of its four cylinders at a cruise to save fuel. Audi calls it CoD, or cylinder on demand. Diesel variants included the popular 1.6 TDI and the 2.0 TDI 150, both of which are surprisingly refined. The 1.6 TDI should be the cheapest version to run, with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km in some models and 74.3mpg average economy, which means free tax for cars registered before April 2017. The 2.0 TDI 150 isn't quite so efficient, with 67.3mpg and £20 road tax.
Various engines were introduced later on, including a 1.2-litre petrol option with 57.6mpg and £30 road tax. But it was the 2016 facelift that brought a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. This sweet and economical unit is great in town and never feels short of puff out of it, while returning official average economy of 62.8mpg and £20 tax. However, if you need a bit more performance, there’s always the 148bhp 1.5 TFSI CoD introduced in 2017. Thanks to the same fuel-saving tech as the earlier 1.4, it averages 56.5mpg.
The plug-in hybrid e-tron is the most economical model on paper, at 176.6mpg, but you’ll need to plug the car in all the time and use the engine sparingly to get close to that.
All A3s registered after April 2017 will cost you £140 per year in road tax, regardless of engine option. Just be careful of some of the high-performance A3s, such as the RS3, because if the original retail price was over £40,000, you’ll be subject to an additional £310 fee every year until it is six years old.
Servicing is due every two years or 19,000 miles, with Audi main dealers offering a comprehensive service plan for cars three years old and older. This provides an interim service for £164 and a main service for £319. From new, many A3s were covered by an Audi Service Plan that could be used to cover the cost of routine servicing for up to five years or 50,000 miles.
The A3 was also covered by a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty from new, with the option of an extended four or five-year update. Residual values for all versions are impressively high, too.