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Best used cars: our 2024 Best Used Car Award winners

These are the winners of the 2024 Carbuyer Best Used Car Awards, including our Used Car of the Year

Welcome to the Carbuyer Best Used Car Awards! Every year, in tandem with our Best Car Awards for the top new cars on sale, we recognise the best used cars out there on the market with a series of awards that culminates in the prestigious Carbuyer Used Car of the Year prize.  

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The used car market is a complicated place but, as always, the Carbuyer team is on hand to offer simple advice to help you find the best car, buy it and get the most out of owning it. That’s the essence of our Best Used Car Awards, we’ve selected the top models across every major market sector from small cars and family hatchbacks to SUVs, EVs and hybrids. Among the 16 awards categories, there’ll be one or more that tie-in with your car buying requirements and in our expert opinion, the winning cars represent the very best places to spend your used car money.

carbuyer best car awards 2023 heroCarbuyer Best Car Awards 2023 - the winners

Our focus in judging the Best Used Car Awards for 2024 has been on recent models. With a good supply of used examples and with the heaviest depreciation from new having already taken place, it’s possible to pick up some real bargains.

The cars were evaluated on their performance in key areas by our team of expert road testers, with each of the winners representing the very best second-hand car on the market of its type today in terms of quality, ability and value for money. With used cars, reliability and build quality come into sharper focus, as do the current used market prices for each model. We’ve carefully considered these points along with the driving experience, practicality, technology and design, in choosing our used car champions for 2024.

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As UK motorists know only too well, buying used can be a very cost-effective method of car ownership. You don’t necessarily need to make major sacrifices in terms of age or mileage to save big money on recent models with the latest technology features.

Just as with new cars, there are plenty of finance options available on used cars to boost that affordability-factor. Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Hire Purchase (HP) deals are routinely offered by used car dealers, opening up a wider range of choice for almost any budget. 

Read our guides to the best way to finance a used car and questions to ask when buying a used car to give you an edge during any used car negotiation.

Best Used Car Awards 2024 - the winners

Read on to get details of all the category winners in the 2024 best Used Car Awards and find out why they won…

Best Used Small Car: Vauxhall Corsa

"It’s no secret that we have a lot of time for the Vauxhall Corsa at Carbuyer. Last year's overall Best Used Car winner offers buyers so much choice and value, and is still a top pick for 2024. Thanks to the fact it has sold in such substantial numbers, there’s always a plentiful supply of Vauxhall’s supermini on the market. Whether you want petrol, diesel or electric, every version delivers in terms of practicality, running costs and a good driving experience”

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Read our in-depth review of the Vauxhall Corsa.

Best Used Small Family Car: Dacia Duster

“Dacia was launched in the UK to offer its customers unbeatable value, and the fantastic Duster sticks resolutely to that core deliverable. Spacious, cheap to run and built to last, if you’re after a dependable small family car then the Duster is our top choice.”

Read our in-depth review of the Dacia Duster.

Best Used Family Car: Kia Sportage

“The latest Kia Sportage is one of the best family cars on sale, but there’s still plenty to recommend about the previous version – many of which will still have years left on their original warranty. Practical, good to drive and, depending on which spec you opt for, pleasingly well equipped, the Sportage is our favourite used family car.”

Read our in-depth review of the Kia Sportage.

Best Used Large Family Car: Kia Sorento

“A previous Carbuyer Car of the Year, the fantastic Kia Sorento makes even more sense as a used buy – especially as new prices have risen so substantially in recent times. Look at a two or three-year-old car and you’ll bag yourself a seven-seat family car with all the toys and a long warranty, but for less than you’d pay for a new hatchback.”

Read our in-depth review of the Kia Sorento.

Best Used Estate Car: Skoda Superb Estate

“The estate car might have had its thunder stolen by SUVs in recent years, but when done right these vehicles still make fantastic family cars. The Skoda Superb is all the evidence of this that you need: simple, effective, and massively spacious, the Superb marries executive car levels of quality and user-friendly tech, with used prices that are tough to resist.”

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Read our in-depth review of the Skoda Superb Estate.

Best Used Sports Car: Audi TT

“It might be coming to the end of its life, but there’s still plenty to love about the Audi TT. It raised the game when it launched in 2014 thanks to its minimalist but tech-friendly interior, stunning looks and sparkling dynamics. Add this to impressive motorway manners and you’ve arguably got the consummate all-rounder."

Read our in-depth review of the Audi TT.

Best Used Convertible Car: MINI Convertible

"The MINI Convertible has been a serial winner of Carbuyer Best Car Awards over the years, so it’s no surprise to see it take the Best Used Convertible crown for 2024. What will be surprising to anyone unfamiliar with the car, is how well it fulfils the compact, fun convertible brief. The MINI has style and desirability in abundance, while its four-seat practicality and value for money are not to be sniffed at either.”

Read our in-depth review of the MINI Convertible.

Best Used Hot Hatchback: Volkswagen Golf GTI 

“The whole concept of the hot hatch was that of a small, practical car that was also a hoot to drive. The Volkswagen Golf GTI offers precisely that blend of qualities, making it a brilliantly well-rounded second-hand steal. Better yet, the GTI has been delivering the winning formula through multiple generations, so anyone who can’t afford the latest model can go for an older version and not miss out.”

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Read our in-depth review of the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Best Used Hot SUV: Cupra Ateca

“The Cupra Formentor won our Best Hot SUV category in our recent New Car Awards, but the brand’s been in the game longer than you might think. The Ateca offers many of the same engines, and a similarly engaging driving experience, but in an overall larger and more practical package.”

Read our in-depth review of the Cupra Ateca.

Best Used Pickup: Toyota Hilux

"Tough, reliable and versatile, the Toyota Hilux has the core requirements that buyers look for in a pickup truck, nailed down. With a warranty of up to 10 years offered on new models, it’s a top-class used purchase in every respect.”  

Read our in-depth review of the Toyota Hilux.

Best Used Small Electric Car: Citroen e-C4

“The star of our recent Driver Power survey shines in the Carbuyer Best Used Car Awards. With prices falling, now is the time to bag yourself a practical small EV with a decent range and strong efficiency. Citroen C4 and e-C4 owners are a satisfied bunch – not least because it's one of the most comfortable cars in its class.”

Read our in-depth review of the Citroen e-C4.

Best Used Family Electric Car: Kia e-Niro

"Kia has embraced the electric car revolution more tightly than most car brands – as the general standard of its EV offerings shows. The current Niro was our overall Car of the Year in 2023, but we still love the original and we’re confident that used car buyers will too. The e-Niro is superbly efficient, smooth and practical, making it a fantastic family-car choice.”

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Read our in-depth review of the Kia e-Niro.

Best Used Large Electric Car: Jaguar I-Pace

"The I-Pace was Jaguar’s first EV and while it’s been around for some time, it’s testament to the quality of the car’s design and engineering that it still feels fresh today. Moreover, lots of premium electric SUV makers would love to replicate the nimbleness and driver engagement that Jaguar managed to achieve at the first attempt. As a used buy, there’s not a lot that comes close.” 

Read our in-depth review of the Jaguar I-Pace.

Best Used Hybrid: Honda Jazz

“If you’re not ready for an EV, then the super-frugal Honda Jazz should be one of the cheapest cars to run, bar none. But that’s not all, as its super-clever interior and near-bulletproof reliability make it a beautifully simple car to live with as well.”

Read our in-depth review of the Honda Jazz.

Best Used Plug-in Hybrid: Mercedes E-Class

“Mercedes has led the way with its plug-in hybrid technology and this supremely luxurious saloon was the perfect vehicle to showcase it in. You know what you’re getting with an E-Class and the PHEV tech brings an extra layer of affordability with its usable electric-only range.”

Read our in-depth review of the Mercedes E-Class.

Best Used Car of the Year 2024: Kia Sportage

“Buying used often means a compromise when it comes to reliability or dependability. However, Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty means you can buy a car that is two or three years old and still have the fallback of the manufacturer guarantee. And yet even without this, the Sportage’s excellent practicality, strong kit count and agreeable driving dynamics make it a fantastic family car, and a no-brainer for Carbuyer’s overall Used Car of the Year for 2024.”

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Read our in-depth review of the Kia Sportage.

Previous Carbuyer Best Used Car Awards winners

The Carbuyer Used Car Awards always recognise the best used car in each market sector at the time of judging. It means that buyers can always trust our verdicts and that some cars can hold titles for a number of years. Take a look at our previous used award winners below.

Best Used Car Awards 2023

For 2023 our used car of the year was the Vauxhall Corsa, the arch rival of the Ford Fiesta that won in 2022. BMW’s excellent i3 took the small electric car crown and the Mazda MX-5 was our favourite used sports car. Take a look at the table below to see which other models took prizes.  

Best used car awards 2023

Winners

Best Used Small Car

Vauxhall Corsa

Best Used Small Family Car

Kia Ceed

Best Used Family Car

Vauxhall Insignia

Best Used Large Family Car

Skoda Kodiaq

Best Used Estate Car

Skoda Superb Estate

Best Used Sports Car

Mazda MX-5

Best Used Convertible

MINI Convertible

Best Used Hot Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Best Used Hot SUV

Porsche Macan

Best Used Pickup

Toyota Hilux

Best Used Small Electric Car

BMW i3

Best Used Family Electric Car

Kia e-Niro

Best Used Large Electric Car

Jaguar I-Pace

Best Used Hybrid

Toyota Prius

Best Used Plug-in Hybrid

Mercedes E-Class

Used Car Of The Year

Kia Sportage

Best Used Car Awards 2022

Carbuyer’s Best Used Car Awards expanded to cover 16 used car categories in 2022 and our overall winner was the mighty Ford Fiesta. Here’s the full list of 2022’s winners so you can compare how things have changed. It’s also worth remembering that used prices for some of the winners crowned in 2022 will now be even more affordable.

Best used car awards 2023

Winners

Best Used Small Car

Ford Fiesta

Best Used Small Family Car

Kia Ceed

Best Used Family Car

Vauxhall Insignia

Best Used Large Family Car

Skoda Kodiaq

Best Used Estate Car

Skoda Octavia Estate

Best Used Sports Car

Mazda MX-5

Best Used Convertible

MINI Convertible

Best Used Hot Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Best Used Hot SUV

Porsche Macan

Best Used Pickup

Toyota Hilux

Best Used Small Electric Car

BMW i3

Best Used Family Electric Car

Nissan Leaf

Best Used Large Electric Car

Tesla Model S

Best Used Hybrid

Toyota Prius

Best Used Plug-in Hybrid

Kia Niro PHE

Used Car Of The Year

Ford Fiesta

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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