Looking for a used family car? Don’t head to the forecourt before you’ve read our guide to the best used models around. 2 toddlers, the dog and a weeks worth of shopping just won’t fit into a Fiat Punto, so when the time comes to purchase something a little roomier, its easy to get into a finance frenzy. This needn’t be the case. We’ve picked out 10 family cars that we’ve found for under £5k.

10) Volkswagen Passat (05)


We’ve picked this 1.9TDI S model with an average of 48.7MPG at a very reasonable £4725. Our verdict: Big style and ability for a small price. What you can expect: The usual high Volkswagen standards on a spacious, long distance cruiser. The Passat is crammed full of large, practical cubbyholes and an automatic boot- perfect for if you have your arms full. It has a great suspension setup for a comfy, quiet ride, and a large rear row. A good all-round family car.

9) Honda Accord Saloon (08)


We’ve decided to put the 2.2i-CDTi Sport model of the Honda Accord at number 9. It has an average MPG of 51.4, and you can get a second hand one from around £4055.
Our verdict: solid and effortless to drive. The Accord has one of Hondas best cabins, a high build quality, comfy seats and good visibility and an upmarket interior. The Accord is a dream to drive with its smooth and powerful engines. With a decent size boot, it’s better for the smaller family- but more exclusive than your average family car.

8) Toyota Avensis (06)


This 1.8 T2 model with an average of 39.2 MPG comes in as one of the cheapest second hand buys at £2635. Our verdict: Ideal for low-mileage drivers, the Avensis is a reliable and practical choice. What you can expect: Huge boot with pockets, secret storage and a flexible parcel shelf, and easy to fold down seats. It boasts a 5 star rating from Euro NCAP and 90% adult occupant protection. It’s easy to drive, comfy for long distances, and very roomy thanks to its ample head and leg room. A solid, robust family car.

7) Volkswagen Golf (04)


The 1.6 litre FSI. At around £4560, and giving you 42MPG, this Volkswagen is a fantastic family hatchback. Our verdict: A safe, reliable, high quality option. What you can expect: The Golf’s wide flat bench seat will take 3 people without too much of a squeeze, so it’s perfect for a family of 5. It has superb sound proofing, perfect for long drives with the kids. As with any Volkswagen it will hold its value well. It’s a versatile family hatchback, that’s effortless to drive.

6) Honda Civic (06)


You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with this 2.2 litre Civic, available for around £4995, and offers 55 MPG. Our verdict: Its versatile space is unbeatable for a small family car. What you can  expect: The Civic boasts a huge boot with a false floor that you can fit a suitcase into. Its rear seats fold down completely flat, which makes it big enough to have a rather spacious nap. Rear seats fold up revealing a tall load area, perfect for luggage. To drive, it has lots of grip and it feels glued on the road. It’s very practical, with lots of cubbies but the interior isn’t neglected with its modern design. The Civic holds its value better than most cars in its class, which is why it makes our top 10.

5) SEAT Leon (07)


This 2.0 litre Seat Leon is well built and affordable with a very decent 58MPG, and a price tag of around £4811. Our verdict: A distinctive, sporty style over all, with a high quality feel. What you can expect: The Leon comes with anti-skid control and USB for stereo as standard. To drive, the steering is responsive, with good grip in corners, and is a great option for keen drivers. Opt for the 1.6 diesel engine, and its free from road tax as it emits less than 100g of CO2 per km. Perfect if you’re after a small family hatchback that’s stylish and fun to drive- plus it includes with VW technology.

4) Peugeot 308 (07)


We disagree with the 308’s reputation for being boring, which is why we have given the 1.6 VTi S model a spot in our top 10. It can do 43MPG and can be yours for just under £5000. It has a sporty look inside and out, which is great if you want a family car without losing too much street cred. The boot is big enough to fit a months food shopping and it has a bigger than average windscreen, for fantastic visibility. Well balanced on the road and remember they’re popular for a reason.

3) Ford Focus (06)


At number 3 is the 2.0 litre TDCi Zetec with it’s 50mpg at £5000. Our verdict: Fun to drive and refined for its class. What you can expect: An impressive amount of kit that comes as standard will tickle most men’s fancy, and a fun and easy drive can be looked forward to, with all models having balanced handling and sharp steering. Its big windows give the interior a light and airy feel. The Focus is a good all-rounder with a sporty look. Very popular car, and good value for money- which is why you see so many on the roads.

2) Vauxhall Vectra (07)


Our number 2 is this 1.8 Design model, with a not too shabby 39.2MPG and priced at around £2900. Our verdict: The Vectra is good to drive and there’s a roomy interior for business or family use. What you can expect: A big enough boot to go camping with the family for a week, whilst looking very business-like all at the same time. The ride is comfy, smooth, quiet and particularly good for motorway driving. The Vectra has lots handy tray shelves and storage boxes so you’re sure find a place for everything. One of the easiest and cheapest big cars to own.

1) Mazda 6 (07)


In at number 1 is the 1.8 TS version of the Mazda 6, with an average MPG of 51.4 and a price tag of around £2900. Our verdict: It’s cheap, does most things well and almost nothing badly, so it’s an excellent second-hand buy. What you can expect: As one of the best equipped and safest cars on the market, the Mazda 6 is the longest saloon car in its class, riddled with cup holders big enough to hold 2 litre bottles of water, and even has a middle seat usable for adults. It’s stylish and has fantastic fuel economy.

So there it is, the top 10 family cars for under 5k. So whether you’re looking for a bigger car awaiting your first bundle of joy, or just need a little bit more space for your family, you needn’t break the bank. There are 1000’s of used cars with fantastic performance and all the cubby holes you could dream of, without the massive price tag. If you’d like to find out a bit more about what car you could afford, have a rummage through what we have to offer.

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