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Best 40k cars or under in 2024

Take a look at the best cars under 40k that you can buy in 2024 for a range of different wishlists

a white range rover sport driving on a mountain road

With a used car budget as healthy as £40,000, you’re in the enviable position of having the pick of almost any type of car you like.

This includes a wide range of premium car brands, encompassing saloons, estates, hatchbacks, SUVs and even some impressive electric cars.

But even if you don’t have £40k cash, there are always financing options out there.

Best used cars under 40k

Best large SUV under 40k - Volvo XC90

a white volvo xc90 driving on a country road

We’re kicking off this list with a large Swedish SUV that goes by the name of the Volvo XC90.

This is one of the safest cars money can buy, and Volvo XC90s are fitted with some of the best technology available when it comes to infotainment systems and safety.

Models on offer include petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, all of which are very economical and plenty powerful enough for everyday use.

Best sporty SUV under 40k - Range Rover Sport

a red Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV driving off-road down a very steep sandy hill

If the full-size Range Rover isn’t your thing because of its size, then you should turn your attention to the Range Rover Sport – a sportier large SUV for you and your family.

With a retail price of around £100k, it’s no wonder the interior is next level.

It’s full to the brim with luxurious leather, cushioned pillows for your headrest and an infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

You can get the Sport as either a petrol, diesel or a plug-in hybrid, meaning whether you live in a city or the countryside, you’ll be sorted.

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Best plug-in hybrid car - Toyota RAV4

A red Toyota RAV4 hybrid

Large SUVs are all the rage these days, and the more affordable and economical the better. This is why the RAV 4 is such a great option – it outranks most of its competitors and does so while looking superb.

The most popular model variant is the plug-in hybrid, but there are also the petrol and diesel engine choices should you prefer.

The Toyota's interior is splendid too, with lots of extras on offer, and a practical seat layout with a large boot – making it perfect for families.

Best electric car under 40k - Tesla Model 3

a black Tesla Model 3 driving on a road surrounded by snow

One of the cars leading the electric vehicle charge (if you'd pardon the pun) is the Tesla Model 3.

No, it isn’t the most expensive, and no, it isn’t the quickest, but it does offer stonking value.

For less than £40k, you’re getting an electric hatchback that’s got sports car performance, is a big hitter when it comes to range and charging speeds, has some of the best tech of any other car for its price and has plenty of storage space and cubbyholes.

While all that is great, one thing you will want to know if you have a family (or even if you don’t) is that the used Tesla Model 3 is one of the safest cars you can buy, with a full five-star rating following its most recent Euro NCAP crash test.

Best sports car under 40k - Audi TT

a white audi tt coupe driving on a country road in the uk

The notion that the Audi TT is a ‘hairdresser’s car’ is really a stigma of the past and one which confused many people. In fact, a used Audi TT is one of the best budget sports cars you can buy.

Coming in either convertible or coupé guise, the TT makes so much sense for someone wanting a daily sports car or something special for the weekend.

If you do wish to drive it on the daily, there are automatic gearbox options to save that left knee.

Best luxury SUV under 40k - Porsche Macan

a red porsche macan gts driving up a mountain road

Small SUVs are becoming popular as they’re basically hatchbacks on stilts. Porsche never made a hatchback, but if it did, it would look like the Macan.

This decision to make a smaller Cayenne paid off, as the Macan is now one of the most sought-after and best-selling Porsche models in the UK.

Inside, the Macan is as lovely as you’d expect, with lots of leather and all the latest tech including a great sound system and even an optional little analogue clock that sits on top of the dashboard.

Best luxury estate car under 40k - BMW 5 Series

a grey bmw 5 series touring parked on dirt

The BMW 5 Series screams ‘successful businessperson’, and this makes a lot of sense with it being an executive saloon/estate.

Thanks to depreciation, you can now pick up a used BMW for a fantastic price in either saloon or touring specification and with a smooth automatic transmission.

Its main rivals are the Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class, but we think this one has the edge because it’s got that BMW grandeur with a slight sporty edge, should you want it.

Best luxury hatchback under 40k - Mercedes A-Class

a red mercedes a-class driving on a road

If you’re after a luxurious and sleek hatchback, then you won’t be disappointed by the marvellous A-Class.

This small used Mercedes takes the meaning of style to the next level with its good looks, gorgeous interior and great driving characteristics.

If you just want a hatchback to do your daily tasks then the standard SE trim is all you need, but your £40k budget allows for something spicier in the shape of the A45 S AMG, which can propel itself from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds – those are sports car speeds.

What to look for when buying a used car under 40k

£40,000 is a generous budget for a used car and can secure you an impressive model if you know where to look. It's best to choose a reputable seller when purchasing a luxury car so you know you're dealing with a trusted source.

All of our used cars go through in-depth inspections before they're listed on-site, so you know your purchasing a quality model.

If you do want to purchase a car from a private seller (such as a person from an advertisement), make sure that you know the history of the car and all the paperwork is in place. An HPI check can help find any issues, like whether the car was an insurance write-off, before purchasing.

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