If you want to change your car for a shiny newer one, having a budget of up to £500 a month will more than sort you out. It is especially true if you don't mind looking at the previously owned market. Why? Well, this is where purchasing a luxurious vehicle turns from dreamland into reality.
Of course, your monthly payments will be significantly impacted by the amount you're willing to fork out up front, with a larger deposit cutting a significant amount off your subsequent payments.
And most car finance deals usually have a 'balloon' settlement at the end of the agreement, which secures the motor as yours.
We have based our list on a 15 per cent deposit and a 36-month deal.
So, here are our top ten cars you could be driving away in for £450 to £500 a month.
If you’re looking at used cars, the BMW 3 Series 330e M Sport is just about the best performance BMW you can get, certainly in the 3 Series range, outside of the full-fat M3. A model less than three years old with 35,000 miles on the clock could be yours for just £475 a month.
If you want the refinement of German technology attached to a quintessentially British brand, the BMW-owned Mini Clubman Cooper with a 1.5-litre engine, at less than a year old and under 5,000 miles on the clock, could be all yours for just £480 a month.
If eco-friendliness is the name of the game, you could get one hell of a Citroen for our target budget. In fact, you’ll be looking at a brand-new all-electric one, with the C4 crossover coming with just delivery mileage on the clock at £499 a month.
The Focus is an utterly superb hatchback, packing refinement and excitement into one. A 1.0-litre engine doesn’t sound thrilling, but Ford’s line of EcoBoost engines pack an awful lot of punch despite their tiny size. The Focus ST-Line Style with 2,500 miles on the clock, at under a year old, will cost you under £470 a month.
If you want something that better resembles an SUV, a two-year-old Hyundai Tucson in mid-range N-Line trim with a 1.6-litre engine and under 13,000 miles on the odometer could be yours for less than £470 a month.
Of course, if you're going into ultra-luxurious marque territory, you'll have to be willing to make some compromises, but it's doable. For example, at just over six years old, the Maserati Levante crossover SUV with a diesel engine has under 40,000 miles on the clock and could be yours for little more than £450 a month.
If you want something brand new and economical, then how about a proper 4x4? The Jeep Renegade comes as a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol – and it’s a plug-in hybrid. With just a dozen or so delivery miles on the clock, it could be yours for a fraction under £475 a month.
Many people think its cars are average, but Vauxhall is ascending these days. The new Astra is excellent and, in top-of-the-range Ultimate trim, with its 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit, you could be driving away in one that’s not even a year old and travelled less than 8,000 miles for a whisker under £485 a month.
The VW Golf is the obvious choice, so instead, we're looking at a big executive saloon: the Arteon. Not only that, but it’s also the mid-range R-Line, sporting athletic looks, 19-inch alloys, a 2.0-litre engine and a DSG automatic gearbox. With less than 7,500 miles on the clock, it’s yours at under a year old for under £490 a month.
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We end on a convertible sports car: the Mazda MX-5. Consistently regarded as one of the most reliable and best-handling cars for many years, you could drive away in a barely used example in the flagship GT Sport Tech trim. Less than 2,000 miles on the clock and with a 2.0-litre engine, it’s yours for just £499 a month.
So, there are our top ten cars for £450 to £500 a month.
Of course, suppose you’re able to increase your monthly deposit. In that case, your money will go even further. But this just serves to prove that, whether it's Jeeps, top-of-the-range BMWs or even Maseratis, you can afford a lot more than you think, especially if you’re open to a bit of compromise when it comes to age, mileage, and trim.