What are the best bad finance car brands?

What are the best bad finance car brands?

25 July 2022 Concept Car

If you have enough money on the bank, buying a car is fun. If you have to make ends meet, however, it’s hard. Suddenly, what you want or need hardly matters anymore. All that matters is what you can afford.

That said, you can still find a decent car, even on a budget.

Bad finance isn’t necessarily the end of the world and there are plenty of cheap cars available for those prepared to invest some time.

So, where to start? What are some of the best car brands for those bad finance?

In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know.

New cars: The upmarket dilemma

Most brands represented in the UK are going upmarket. In many respects, that’s a good thing:

  • There are no longer any rustbuckets. Almost all cars these days have a high degree of mechanical stability and make use of high quality materials.
  • A high basic safety level is now a given. When car rating agency Euro NCAP recently punished Dacia for a lack of protective technology, the supposed defects were rather minor.

You could argue that most cars these days are pretty comparable. What makes one brand stand out from another is mostly design, performance (including both speed and fuel efficiency), space, and accessories.

As a result, lemons have become rare. So, too, have real deals. The times when Skoda and Lada would heavily underbid any rival for the cheapest car of the country are long over.

Further Reading:
Car Safety Ratings – have things got out of hand?
Used Cars: Is Rust Still a Thing?

New car brands: The choice is simple!

With that said, you pretty much have three brands to choose from. No more, but no less either.

First on the list is Dacia. Skoda has turned into the better, more sympathetic cousin of Volkswagen and pretty much lost its budget-brand-image completely. Lada, on the other hand, has become a niche player and looks to be on its way out.

Dacia has filled up the void left by these two classic companies seemingly with ease. Its models are both charming and cheap, incredibly affordable and remarkably competent at the same time.

Dacias may not look great on the inside, but they certainly tick all the necessary boxes. Right now, for anyone looking for a family-friendly car on a budget, there really is no alternative.

Further Reading:
The cheapest cars in the UK and the world
Used Dacia Duster: How to Pick the Right One!

Or wait, there is.

Or, to be more precise, there are.

Kia and Hyundai are still, on average, a tiny bit more affordable than most of the Western and Japanese brands. The difference is shrinking a bit, since both have decided to compromise less on quality and more on affordability.

Overall, however, these two Korean makes are still pretty great value for money.

Further Reading:
Is it really safe to drive a kia?
Is a used Kia a good idea?

Think models rather than brands

We know that you were looking for brand recommendations. And yet, here’s an important piece of wisdom:

When you’re looking to buy new – models, and trim sizes are more relevant than brands.

There are a few good reasons for this:

  • Quality differences between brands are becoming slimmer, as we mentioned before. This means that price levels are converging.
  • Cars are becoming bigger and more spacious. This means that, unless you’re taking the kids to Spain every week in your car, you can opt for a Corsa instead of an Astra. Or for a Polo instead of a Golf instead of a Passat etc. This can save you some serious money.
  • If you’re really pressed for money, you’ll want to avoid any unnecessary luxuries. Opting for the most stripped-down trim level is a great way to save money. The difference can be enormous in some cases!

Further Reading:
What’s the ideal Trim Level for me?

Looking for a used car?

That’s a sensible step. For all the talk about used cars appreciating in value and their sales prices rising above those of comparable new models, the best place to find a great deal is still the second hand market.

That said, going used does make things more complicated.

Why is this?

Because suddenly, you have all the choice of the new car market multiplied by a huge factor.

Here, you can select from as-good-as-new models and cars from the 80s, pick between beaten-down in a horrible state and perfectly refurbished ones which look pristine. You can also decide to buy from a private seller to bring the price down even more.

All of this means that it’s very hard to give any meaningful general statements.

That said, we do have some recommendations to share with you.

The best used car brands for those with bad finance: Purchase price

This is obviously the first thing anyone with a bad or below rating will look at. The cheaper a car, the lower the monthly instalments will be, the smaller the overall loan, the better your chances of getting accepted.

So, which brands tend to lead the way in this department?

Curiously, it’s not so much Dacias.

Since they’re already so affordable new, the discount on the second hand lots is pretty negligible. And obviously, since Dacias are not the very best cars out there, there really is a quality difference between a new and a used one.

Or, to put it differently: People tend to be prepared to pay a little more to get a factory new Dacia.

It’s slightly different with Kias. These can be pretty great deals on occasion.

Enter Vauxhall

When it comes purely to the price, Vauxhall probably takes the biscuit.

For years, it’s been an open secret that Vauxhalls depreciate horribly. It is hard to say why this is, precisely. In principle, they’re excellent cars which, in their latest iterations, look pretty great, too. And yet, once they drive off the lot, their value plummets.

Bad news for owners, good news for you as a buyer with a bad finance rating.

Another well-known brand with a depreciation issue is Fiat. Its 500 remains one of the most popular city cars overall as a new model, but most Fiats lose value rapidly.

The reason may well be that Fiat is a brand which feeds off its beautiful designs and the general feeling its models exude. But when push comes to shove, most consumers prefer more high quality cars from its competitors.

Further Reading:
Can you trust a used Vauxhall Corsa?

The best used car brands for those with bad finance: Reliability

For anyone with bad credit, reliability becomes a major selling point. What good is a really cheap car if it keeps breaking down on you?

Obviously, high affordability and high reliability are somewhat exclusive. You can rarely have both.

However, even a somewhat lower reliability in 2022 is still pretty incredibly reliable. Which means that as long as you stick to the tried and tested brands, you can hardly put a foot wrong.

King Toyota?

For the past decade or so, Toyota has built a reputation for excellence when it comes to its cars. They may lack charm, their designs may appear somewhat unglamourous and we’ve heard few comment on how spectacular they’re to drive.

As it turns out, Toyota has built its ímage entirely on reliability and safety. And in these two departments, it has become such a powerful brand that it has long left the realms of the budget brands.

Which, to put is simply, means that they’re usually too expensive for anyone on a shoestring budget.

Also, over the past years Toyota has lost a little bit of ground to its competitors. These days, it lead may no longer be as big as it used to be.

That said, the Yaris is still an amazing choice.

The Toyota Yaris is decidedly one of the great choices for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable used car.

For one, most used Yarises still come with Toyota’s legendary reliability. This was one of the Japanese brand’s first UK models and they wanted to get everything right for the launch. Which means you can expect them to keep driving and driving and driving without any hickups or expensive repairs.

Secondly, the Yaris was an exceedingly popular model. There are many hundreds of thousands on the road. Simply due to the high supply, you should always be able to find one at a reasonable price.

Don’t forget Honda!

When it comes to reliable used cars, there are plenty good choices. Still, we’d like to place the focus on one which tends to get forgotten far too often.


Honda has been one of the world’s best selling brands for a while without aggressively demanding a spot in the limelight.

It builds cars that are reliable, safe, functional, easy to use, fun to drive and never exceedingly expensive. Right now, it is definitely one of the most attractive car brands for those looking for a used automobile.

Think condition rather than price and reliability.

As with new cars, meanwhile, we recommend you direct your focus on something else but price and reliability.

Although both these factors are obviously important, something else may be even more pertinent.


Even the most reliable car can be a money pit if the previous owner treated it badly. And even the cheapest brand won’t be worth a penny if you buy one of its models in a decrepit state.

Condition is hard to quantify, obviously, but it’s not entirely subjective. Take someone whose knowledge you appreciate with you to gauge the condition of the car in question. Or read our article on the best vehicle inspection checklists to perform this test yourself.

Further Reading:
Mileage, age, condition, model of used cars: What’s more important?
Car Depreciation: Mileage vs Age vs Condition

The best used brands and car finance for bad credit at CCC

At Concept Car Credit, we place great importance on giving you the best possible value for money. We have the most affordable brands for you and we can usually offer you finance even if you’ve had financial problems in the past.

Talk to us now for an offer and information on which models and brands we currently have available for those with a bad credit rating.

Get in touch – either by giving us a call at 0800 093 3385. Or by sending us a message through our contact form.

We look forward to helping you!

25 July 2022 Concept Car