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Best cars to buy online for £8,000 or less

A slim budget needn't leave you short of quality or fun when behind the wheel. As our selection of seven great sub-£8,000 cars shows

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What are the best cars under £8,000?

While the new car market has seen sales decrease in recent years, the used car market has gone from strength to strength. A recent count showed that about eight million cars are currently being bought and sold on the used car market in the UK each year. They often offer a much more cost-effective solution for buyers - and it's always fun to bag a bargain. Especially when they come with the cinch seal of approval.

You’re certainly not short of choice - as the cinch all-digital showroom proves, with over 150 cars in stock ducking under the £8,000 mark at the time of writing. A quick skim of the selection shows just how much car you can get for the money, with our list of seven options below arguably highlighting it most clearly.

Car bargains – under £8,000

Ford Fiesta

No prizes if you guessed the Fiesta was going to appear on this list, because it's brilliant. For much of the past decade, Ford's hatchback has been Britain's best-selling car, and it's certainly not been by accident. With its handsome looks, excitable handling and strong range of engines, the Fiesta is a longstanding champ. This is true for the latest- and previous-generation models alike, which is why £8k doesn't leave you short of choice at all.

Citroen C1

The funky-looking Citroen C1 is one of the highest-rated city cars a sub-£8k budget can buy. Not only does it get essentials like DAB and Bluetooth connectivity, some examples even have luxuries like leather seats and climate control. With an economical 1.2-litre under the bonnet, the C1 is as cheap to fuel and tax as it is to buy.

Toyota Aygo

This sharp-looking five-door hatchback is perfect for nipping around city streets. You can easily access 2017 models with an £8k budget, with the acclaimed 1.0-VVT-I petrol version – which can sip fuel to 68 miles per gallon – being our pick of the crop. Some models in this budget will also have Toyota’s X-Play infotainment system, bringing DAB, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls.

Vauxhall Corsa

The Corsa is a likeable all-rounder that’s fun to drive. Several Corsas sit below the £8k mark, with cars powered by Vauxhall's 1.4-litre ecoFLEX engine being especially good, giving this fairly spacious hatchback enough poke and economy to make it an excellent all-rounder.

Kia Ceed

While it may be true that Kia has successfully pushed itself upmarket with well-made, reliable models like the Ceed, a used car buyer can still access great value second-hand examples with a sub-£8k budget. With that, you get a spacious five-seat, five-door family hatchback, which when powered by Kia's 1.4-litre petrol engine, mixes decent grunt with an official economy of around 46mpg combined.

Hyundai i10

Sister brand to Kia, Hyundai has also shifted its image higher up the automotive ladder in recent years. But with models like the i10 in its ranks, you can access a great Kia with an £8k budget. Despite its dinky size, this is a five-door hatchback, available with an economy-focused 1.0-litre engine that can return up to 61mpg combined. Find a car in SE trim, and you'll get mod cons like electric door mirrors and cruise control.

Fiat 500

One of the most fashionable small cars on the road is the Fiat 500. Even a sub- £7k budget, you can bag a 2016 1.2-litre petrol three-door 500 that looks the part and even comes with fuel-saving start-stop technology, helping it return up to 60mpg combined. Best of all is the 500's retro styling inside and out, which has served the model very well since the 21st-century one launched in 2007. Budget motoring needn't see you shrink on style.