Top 10 used family cars for less than Β£10,000 (and the ones to avoid)

Have Β£10,000 to spend on a nearly-new family car? You might be surprised to find out what you can afford

Words By Alex Robbins

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Looking for a family car? Got Β£10,000 to spend? You’re in luck – that budget is plenty enough to buy yourself a nearly-new example of one of the best family cars out there, with all the mod cons you’ve always wanted.

What’s more, most modern family cars have plenty going for them – impressive safety, good looks, lots of technology on board, and for the most part a choice of efficient and punchy petrol and diesel engines. And at this price, you’re spoiled for choice; whether you want a family hatchback that’s smart and sophisticated, practical and functional, or simply great value for money, there’s something here for you.

But which used family car do we rate as the best you can buy for this budget? In such a competitive market, it’ll have to offer something truly special to stand out from the crowd, and blend everything that makes modern family cars great into one fine package. Read on to find out more about the best used family car for Β£10,000.

Best used family cars for less than Β£10,000

10. Mazda 3

If you’re looking for a family car that stands out, the Mazda 3’s long, low stance certainly fits the bill. And it isn’t just a pretty face; it’s pretty enjoyable to drive, too, turning into corners eagerly. It rides comfortably, too, as long as you avoid models with larger alloy wheels, and all of its engines options are very efficient. True, it isn;t as quiet inside as many rivals, and the petrol engines need to be revved hard to get the best of their performance, but otherwise the 3 is a delight to own.

We found: 2014 2.0 SE, 13,000 miles, Β£9988

Read the full Mazda 3 review

Find a used Mazda 3 in the What Car? Classifieds

9. Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra has something of a dreary image, but look again: quite handsome, isn’t it? There’s more: inside it’s very spacious, and it comes with a selection of impressively efficient engines – the 1.4-litre turbo petrol, in particular, feels great to drive. What’s more, because it’s so ubiquitous, it will be pretty cheap to buy, and you’ll find a huge variety of engines and trim levels to choose from. Granted, its reliability record isn’t the best here, but it's hardly abysmal, so the Astra should be relatively cheap to fix and to maintain.

We found: 2015 1.4T SRi, 23,000 miles, Β£9995

Read the used Vauxhall Astra review

Find a used Vauxhall Astra in the What Car? Classifieds

8. BMW 1 Series

Low, sleek, and blessed with an upmarket interior, the BMW 1 Series has been the hatchback of choice for aspiring family buyers for years now. They don’t mind the fact that it isn’t quite as spacious as its more functional rivals; instead, they appreciate the car's entertaining handling, punchy engines and fantastic infotainment system. And despite its sporty looks, the 1 Series is actually surprisingly comfortable – as long as you avoid models in the stiffly sprung M Sport specification.

We found: 2012 116i SE, 33,000 miles, service history, Β£9000

Read the full BMW 1 Series review

Find a used BMW 1 Series in the What Car? Classifieds

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