Audi A3

10 best second cars

Last updated February 17, 2023

Most drivers cherish their first car and all the fun memories they had during their early driving career. However, a few years down the road, it isn’t unusual to start thinking about making the switch to your second car.

To find your perfect second car, you must consider your personal needs, budget and driving preferences.

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Choosing the right second car

As we grow older, our priorities change. When the time comes to sell your car, you might be looking to move on to a model with space to accommodate a growing family – or perhaps you simply want to treat yourself to something more prestigious.

If you’re curious about how much your current motor could add to your ‘second car’ funds, enter its registration number into our free car valuation tool now!

With lower insurance premiums and a potentially larger budget to play with, buying your second car can be an exciting prospect. However, with so many options available it can be difficult to decide which model is right for you. Insurance for most mid-priced cars is often inexpensive, especially when compared to pricier sports and luxury models.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and created a list of 10 great second cars that are available in 2024. No matter what your priorities are, you’re sure to find something that suits you down to the ground on our carefully curated list.

Our list is based on brand-new prices. However, if something catches your eye but is seemingly out of your price range, remember that you may be able to find a great nearly-new or used deal for that model. Dealerships also offer a host of finance options that can help to make upgrading your car more affordable.

Nissan Leaf

After launching in the UK in 2011, the Nissan Leaf represented an early success story for mass-market electric cars. Fast forward to today and the Leaf remains one of the most popular EVs on the UK market due to its space, practicality and build quality.

The Leaf comes with plenty of smart tech and equipment as standard, including an 8” touchscreen infotainment system with rear view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration - and 16” alloys. It also boasts clever safety features such as lane departure warning and an intelligent emergency braking system (with pedestrian recognition).

The £30,790 price tag means that it isn’t particularly well-suited to those on a tight budget. However, if you’re in the market for a modern, spacious, eco-friendly EV, the Leaf is certainly worth your consideration.

Nissan Leaf

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a long-standing favourite among drivers of all experience levels – and its refreshed design features a stylish exterior and innovative new infotainment technology.

If you are looking for a fun drive with strong fuel-economy, the Fiesta is well worth a second look. Available in ‘classic’, hybrid and electric models - and an extensive choice of nine trim levels, the Fiesta has something for just about every driver. With prices starting at £20,000 it is also a worthy option for any second car buyers on a more modest budget.

Ford Fiesta

Mercedes A-Class

If quality, style and luxury sit high on your priority list, don’t overlook the Mercedes A-Class. The smallest (and most affordable) member of the Mercedes family is loaded with desirable features such as dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and cruise control.

When it comes to safety and security features, the A-Class also fares well; even the base model comes equipped with automatic emergency braking, lane assistance, traffic sign recognition, driver alertness monitoring – and a special pop-up bonnet designed to cushion and protect pedestrians in the event of a collision.

Pricing for a brand-new Mercedes A-class starts at around £30,800, making it an enticing option for second car buyers looking to make their first foray into luxury motoring.

Mercedes a class

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is an enduringly popular model that has always kept up with the times – and the latest version is no exception. The entry-level ‘Life’ trim comes loaded with great features, such as single-zone climate control, 16” alloys, adaptive cruise control and parking assistance, whilst the slightly more upmarket ‘Style’ and ‘R-Line’ trims offer more aggressive styling and upgraded technology.

The latest Golf showcases VW’s usual sharp, yet understated design and is very safe to drive, having earned a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. With prices averaging £25,765 when new, the Golf is also a relatively economical choice for second car buyers.

Volkswagen golf

Mini Cooper

The Mini Cooper is one of the most iconic models on the market and an excellent choice for those looking for something stylish, compact and reliable.

Over the years, the Mini Cooper’s features have been added to and improved, with the latest models featuring a high-end infotainment system and fantastic handling, without neglecting the signature retro looks that drivers have loved for decades.

With the latest version available from just £25,165, the Mini Cooper is yet another surprisingly affordable addition to our list.

Mini cooper

Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe is an affordable electric hatchback that’s loaded with personality - and lots of great features. Its standard features include a spacious boot, 16” alloys, heated front seats – and a cool infotainment system.

What’s more, the Zoe is always pleasant to drive - and is especially well-suited to city driving. With an impressive range of 200 miles and a wall-mounted 7kW charger as standard, the Zoe has plenty to offer for second car (and first-time EV) buyers. With recent RRPs for new models starting at £29,995, the Zoe is also well within the reach of many second car buyers.

Renault Zoe

Skoda Fabia

Available from £18,690, the Skoda Fabia is a brilliant budget option for second car buyers. The Fabia is reliable and is cheap to run, making it a great option for those who are looking to keep their insurance premiums low.

The entry-level SE Comfort comes with 15” ‘Rotare’ silver alloy wheels, a Bluetooth-enabled infotainment system, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors and lane assist (including road edge protection).

The mid-range SE L adds keyless start/stop technology, dual-zone air-conditioning and a more sophisticated infotainment system, while the range-topping Monte Carlo boasts 17” Procyon black diamond-cut alloy wheels, artificial leather seats - and a sporty ‘3-spoke’ multifunction steering wheel. In short, the Fabia is a brilliant all-rounder for drivers of all ages.

Skoda Fabia

Audi A3

The Audi A3 is an excellent second car for drivers who want a high quality but practical vehicle. As a slightly more premium option, the price of the Audi A3 can climb depending on the features included, but models start at a very reasonable £26,045.

Standard features include rear parking sensors, a sat-nav system, Bluetooth, 16” alloys, Apple Play and Android Auto, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, cruise control, 60/40 split-folding rear seats – and a 380-litre boot capacity.

Audi A3

Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid

If you’re seeking an efficient, versatile hybrid, you should seriously consider a Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. Using the 3.3kW on-board charger, you can top it up overnight for a 30-mile city driving range – and the capable petrol or diesel engine will cover longer journeys with ease.

The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is also a smart choice for family-focused second car buyers. There’s ample room for two tall adults in the front – and three kids in the back. The 8” touchscreen infotainment system comes loaded with more features than the standard Ionic; satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring are available across the Plug-in Hybrid range.

With the new Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid, Hyundai have managed to build a practical family car that’s affordable to run without sacrificing kerb appeal. A sharp, futuristic look is maintained throughout, thanks to the distinctive sloped roofline, fan-shaped alloys and the large grille on the outside – along with the sleek driver’s display and blue highlights inside the cabin.

In short, this model has plenty to offer – and with a starting RRP of £28,395, it’s competitively-priced, too.

Hyundai Ioniq

Toyota Corolla

With a starting RRP of £30,230, the Corolla is one of the pricier cars on this list. However, it’s a price worth paying for the Corolla’s impressive standard features, which include a premium-quality interior, the Toyota Smart Connect + 10.5” touchscreen infotainment system – and a set of stylish 16” silver metallic alloy wheels.

The latest Corolla is a modern, dependable hybrid with smooth and comfortable handling. It also helps that despite being a little more high-end, the Corolla’s running costs are fairly low.

Toyota corolla