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The best automatic cars to buy in 2024

Take a look at our top picks for the best automatic cars that you can buy used in the UK

a yellow Vw Golf mk8 driving on an empty country road

Sick of changing gear by yourself, or simply find it easier to let the car do all the work on your stop-start traffic commute? An automatic car might be a good choice for you.

Not only do they save your left leg from pressing the clutch all the time, but they also benefit people who simply want to get in and go and those who aren’t fussed about changing gear manually. Faff-free motoring, if you will.

Here are 10 of the best used automatic cars you can buy in 2024:

Mercedes C-Class

a dark blue mercedes c-class driving on an english road

The Mercedes C-Class has been around since the early 1990s and since then it has been improved upon every year.

Even back then you could pick up a brand-new 1994 C-Class with an automatic transmission. Granted, it wasn’t as good as the automatic models are today, but it was still luxurious.

The modern C-Class, however, is superb at everything it does. No matter which model you go for, you won’t be disappointed. Got kids and need the bootspace? Get the estate. Want a hybrid company car to drive up and down the country in? Get the saloon.

There are lots of options available, and because it's so comfortable and smooth, it’ll even appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Toyota Corolla

a grey toyota corolla hybrid being driven on a road

For a long time, the Toyota Corolla was the world’s best-selling car, and it isn’t hard to see why. Most new models available are hybrid-only and come with automatic gearboxes for that extra ease of use around towns and cities.

Inside, it’s got everything you’d expect to find including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a large boot – topping that of its Audi A3 and BMW 3 Series rivals.

Volkswagen Golf

a yellow volkswagen golf mk8 driving on an empty road

It doesn’t get more familiar than the Golf. When Volkswagen first introduced it back in the mid-1970s, it took the world by storm as a great alternative to the family car.

The automatic gearbox it comes with is a DSG ‘box that's reliable, sharp and hard-wearing. You wouldn’t be disappointed in any scenario, whether that’s on longer motorway drives or bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour.

It’s available with a petrol, diesel, hybrid or an all-electric powertrain – and there are plenty of used Volkswagen options for lower prices.

Tesla Model 3

a black Tesla Model 3 driving on a clear road in the snow

All electric cars are automatic because the batteries are set up with usually just one gear, so living with one is a breeze.

Tesla models are easy to drive, but the Model 3 is favoured in the UK because of how small it is for an electric car.

No matter which variant you choose, you won’t be short of zip because all models are powerful – especially the range-topping Performance model, which produces more than 500hp and provides up to 305 miles of range.

Learn more about electric cars:

Skoda Octavia

a blue Skoda Octavia parked at a docks next to a green fishing boat

The Octavia is the go-to family car for the masses. It’s available in both saloon and estate form, making it a practical car for active families.

Its automatic gearbox is very advanced, and the latest Octavia models are the first Skodas to use shift-by-wire technology for operating the DSG, which electronically transmits the driver's gear selection to the transmission.

This is a very advanced system, but that’s just the beginning of how impressive this car is.

BMW 3 Series

a white bmw 3 series touring being driven on a road

Like its Octavia rival, the 3 Series is one of the best saloons/estates money can buy. It’s practical, great for long drives, and comfortable.

But what separates it apart from the Skoda is its ability to drive like a sports car thanks to a combination of sharp gear changes from its automatic gearbox and its impressive handling.

There is a wide range of engines on offer too, from a 3.0-litre powerful petrol engine to a smaller plug-in hybrid, to a diesel.

Plus, there are plenty of used BMW options to be had if you want to save money compared to purchasing brand-new.

Nissan Leaf

A white Nissan Leaf

As we know, electric cars are mostly automatics – in fact, it’s very rare you’d find a manual one unless it’s an aftermarket conversion.

The Nissan Leaf stands out as one of the best EVs you can buy, returning up to 239 miles from a single charge.

Because it’s been around for so long, Nissan has really mastered the formula for making a small and cheap electric car that has all the tech you could ever want, while looking good in the process.

Range Rover Evoque

a salmon-coloured range rover evoque driving on a road

Popular among wealthy new drivers and families in the countryside, the Range Rover Evoque is a perfect option for anyone wanting an automatic car that towers over most other vehicles on the road.

It’s not a massive car in comparison to most SUVs, but this crossover is still a decent size with a big boot and plenty of passenger space.

Inside is where the real party happens – there’s plenty of the latest technology, incredibly luxurious seats and a great set of speakers to enjoy all your favourite tunes.

Honda Jazz

a white honda jazz parked next to the ocean

No matter how old you are, you’ve probably considered buying a Jazz. You see new drivers learning in this small Honda and elderly drivers cruising around in them – they attract a very diverse range of buyers.

The reason they’re so popular is that they’re incredibly reliable, fuel-efficient, well built and come with an optional automatic gearbox that won’t let you down.

None of the model variants are going to blow you away with their performance, but if you need a reliable used car, you won’t be disappointed.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4 PHEV

While it doesn’t rival the Evoque, the Toyota RAV4 is the only other SUV on this list but offers more space for less money.

It’s tricky to make an impact in the SUV market, but what the RAV4 did for the sector is very impressive. The most sought-after model variant is the plug-in hybrid, which comes with a reliable V-Matic automatic transmission that won’t disappoint.

No matter which year you opt for, you’ll be greeted with lots of great technology, plenty of comfort, and attractive bodywork.

Learn more about choosing the right car for you: