When it comes to getting a great car, you don’t have to break the bank. The quality of modern cars means that if you go for a nearly-new or slightly older used car, you’re not going to be getting an old banger only kept together by gaffer tape, superglue and a lot of hope. Cars today are built to last, with reliability and longevity one of the key considerations for car buyers.

You can even find yourself a very decent car for £5,000 or less. Yes, you’ve read that right!

We’ve had a look at ten of the best cars you can buy for just under five grand. We’ve also stuck to cars no older than six years.

You might think that would make it impossible to find a decent car? Here are ten reasons why you’re mistaken!

1. 2014 Ford Fiesta £3,195

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Amongst Britain’s most popular cars for almost over a decade, the Ford Fiesta is almost the perfect small family car. Even brand new, this car is incredibly affordable, especially when you consider just how well-built it is. It suits almost everyone. New driver? The Fiesta has been built with driveability in mind, so you will find it a cinch to operate. Starting a family? It received top marks in all of the Euro NCAP safety tests. Even if you’re more experienced, and just want a car that’s fun to drive, economical, you should go for a Fiesta. And at just over £3,000, you really can’t go wrong with a Fiesta.

2. 2014 Citroen C1 £3,195

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You won’t be surprised to see a large number of superminis and small hatchbacks on the list. Despite its relatively cheap price, you’ll struggle to find a decent small family car to match the Citroen C1. Built with driving in small European cities, where parking spaces and turning circles are tight, the C1 is perfect for nipping in and out of traffic. It’s also one of the more attractive small cars. It has an almost cheeky look thanks to the big headlights and its large toothy grille.

3. 2014 Dacia Sandero £3,290

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Dacia seems to come from nowhere when they appeared on the scene almost a decade ago. The prices for their brand new cars just seemed too good to be true. But they were well-made, no frills cars with lots of optional extras you can add on. You might not benefit as much from the ultra-low price in a secondhand car, even at five years old the Dacia Sandero benefits from the thought and effort that went into its design and build.

4. 2014 Fiat Punto £3,290

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There used to be a rather cruel joke amongst car mechanics that Fiat stood for ‘Fix it again tomorrow’! Thankfully, the cars have improved in recent years, allowing you to take advantage of some Italian style in a car that’s a lot more affordable than an Alfa, or even a Ferrari. The Fiat Punto is their bestseller, and at just over three grand, you can imagine yourself on the streets of Rome or Turin as you head down to the supermarket.

5. 2014 Suzuki Alto £3,295

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If you want reliable, well built cars that are also affordable, you can’t go wrong with cars from the Far East. Built for navigating huge amounts of traffic in overpopulated megacities, you really feel the benefit in our less crowded (even if still congested) city streets. The Suzuki Alto is one of the more attractive options, mainly thanks to its incredible reliability, and excellent fuel economy.

6. 2015 Vauxhall Astra £3,466

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But you can also get a good deal if you buy British. The Vauxhall Astra is one of the last remaining popular mass market British models. Bigger than the Corsa or rival Fiesta, it makes for a perfect family car. You’ll often see them being used as taxis and make for a popular choice as a company vehicle. And with some available at this price with a 1.6 litre engine, you can still get a bit of power when you put your foot down.

7. 2015 Toyota Aygo £3,850

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What was once one of the strangest looking mass-market cars you could buy, the Toyota Aygo has lost some of that charm, but none of the reliable build quality and excellent driveability. The small 1.0 litre engine is highly economical, and means you will save at the petrol pump and on vehicle tax.

8. 2014 Nissan Micra £3,888

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Another car that has undergone a cosmetic makeover, the Nissan Micra was always a rather good car hidden beneath some rather ugly clothing. While you may argue it has a lost a bit of its charm, what it hasn’t lost is its excellent all round driving ability. Its not going to get your heart racing. It is going to get you from A to B in a timely, cost effective manner.

9. Kia Picanto £4,725

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Another small engine car from the far east, the Kia Picanto has everything you want in a hatchback wrapped up in a well-sized package. Its 1.0 litre engine means you won’t be spending a fortune filling it up, and also save on road tax – you don’t pay any at all! It also falls in the lowest insurance bracket.

10. Peugeot 308 £3,490

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We finish back in France, and another slightly larger small hatchback. The Peugeot 308 is one of the most popular cars on the continent. And its not just with consumers, with car reviewers in Europe and the UK having awarded it several awards. It scores top marks with the Euro NCAP safety tests, and has a charm that hasn’t yet been tainted by Brexit!

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Images used for illustration purposes only. Prices are correct at date of publication (06/08/19). Offers subject to availability. 

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