Skip to main content
0 items

8 Second-Hand 10-Year-Old Cars You Can Look After Yourself With Help From Haynes

Older cars lined up

With the average age of passenger cars in the UK close to 10 years, according to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, and any hope of a car maker-based warranty a dim and distant memory, the cost of car maintenance and repair should be high on your list of priorities when you're thinking about buying a second-hand car.

Why are we all hanging onto our cars for longer? Part of the reason is because of a shortage of microchips that go into new cars. That's made waiting lists for new models much longer than usual – for example, you'll be in a queue a year long if you order from most of Volkswagen's range.

So people are either extending their finance or lease agreements, to hold on to their car beyond the usual three-year period. Or they're handing back the car at the end of the agreement and aren't signing up to a new car.

The cost of living crisis caused by surging global energy prices is also likely to force some new car owners to opt out of their finance agreements, in an effort to save money. With many still needing a car to get to work, they'll be wondering what are the best used cars they can get with a budget of a few thousand pounds.

Here's our pick of the best second-hand cars to buy when they're around 10 years old, together with known problems – and how a Haynes Manual or an AutoFix can help you keep each on the road for less.

What used car should I buy?

1 Ford Fiesta Mk5 (2012-2015)

Why buy a used Ford Fiesta?

    Ford Fiesta Mk5 Haynes Manual

    Slick styling and great handling mean this supermini should be near the top of your shopping list if you love driving. Petrol and diesel engines are available – our choice is the three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol Ecoboost in 100bhp guise. It's responsive enough to make the Fiesta great both in town and out on the motorway, and real-world economy is impressive, with more than 50mpg easily achievable on longer runs.

    Ford Fiesta recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • Loose seat belt anchorage bolt
    • Risk of fire on diesels
    • Rear seat belt buckle locking failure

    Buy a Haynes Manual or an AutoFix for the Fiesta

    Ford Fiesta problems

    Some of these Fiesta problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • Corroded turbocharger coolant pipes
    • Coolant leakage in the area of the timing cover
    • Oil leakage from the transmission; Manual transmission, iB5
    • Oil leakage from the transmission; Manual transmission, B6
    • Leakage from the coolant pump
    • The remote control keys do not operate

     

    2 Volkswagen Golf Mk7 (2013-2016)

    Why buy a used VW Golf?

    Volkswagen Golf Haynes Manual

    Ok, we're cheating a bit here because the Mk7 Golf isn't quite a decade old yet, but it's near enough. It also makes the list because it's a brilliant family car, with plenty of interior space, comfortable seats, a quality dashboard, a sumptuous ride and a broad range of engines to suit every budget.

    Volkswagen Golf Mk7 recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • Incorrectly welded brake pedal plate
    • Broken pulley caused by loose camshaft adjuster housing bolts
    • The front brake disc thickness is below the specified value
    • Passenger's airbag deployment failure
    • The airbags and seat belt pretensioners may not trigger in a crash
    • Sudden exterior light failure
    • Fuel leakage
    • The child safety lock may disengage unexpectedly
    • Loss of directional control

    Buy a Haynes Manual or an AutoFix for the Golf

    Volkswagen Golf Mk7 problems

    Some of these Golf problems only affect certain engines/years/body styles:

    • Water ingress into the passenger's footwell via the door speakers
    • The ESP warning light illuminates; 'Auto-hold defect' appears on the display; 'Parking brake defect' appears on the display
    • Oil leakage from the engine; High oil consumption; The oil/engine warning light illuminates
    • 'Dynamic cornering light fault' appears on the display
    • Inoperative fresh air blower; Inoperative air-conditioning cooling function; Inoperative air-conditioning heating function; Inoperative demisting function
    • Squeaking noise from the front suspension; Creaking noise from the front suspension
    • The air-conditioning is inoperative; Poor air conditioning system performance; Estate
    • Fuel level indicator malfunction; Coolant temperature gauge malfunction
    • The engine warning light illuminates; Poor engine performance; The electronic power control (EPC) warning light illuminates; The camshaft adjusters malfunction
    • No engine restart after stopping using the start/stop system
    • Vibration on braking; Squeaking noise from the front and/or rear brakes when braking; Steering wheel vibration when braking
    • Multiple warning lights illuminate, with or without electrical malfunctions
    • Delayed accelerator response; The vehicle performance is limited to 60 km/h (38 mph); Dual-clutch transmission
    • Parking assistance system malfunction
    • Squeaking noise when the clutch pedal is depressed
    • The engine runs on even when the ignition is turned off

     

    3 MINI Mk2 (2006-2013)

    Why buy a used MINI?

    MINI Haynes Manual

    BMW struck gold when its reinterpretation of Air Alec Issigonis's city car was launched in 2001. The new MINI handled brilliantly and featured a quality interior that was packed with retro details such as toggle switches and a large central speedo, just like the original Mini. The refreshed model, from 2006, built on the Mk1's strengths, although the comparatively small interior was largely unchanged.

    MINI recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • Short circuit in the additional water pump printed circuit board (05/01/2007 - 30/09/2011)
    • Loss of directional control; the anti-roll bar detaches

    Buy a Haynes Manual or an AutoFix for the MINI

    MINI problems

    Some of these MINI problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • Gear lever engagement failure; The gear lever cannot be moved; Manual transmission
    • Creaking noises when the clutch pedal is depressed
    • Engine misfire; Rough running engine; Fault codes are present
    • The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates; Power loss; Rough running engine; The engine cuts out; The engine cannot be started
    • Squealing noise from the engine at low engine speeds
    • The transmission warning light illuminates; Automatic transmission, F21
    • Whistling noises from the engine compartment
    • Multiple warning lights illuminate, with or without electrical malfunctions
    • Knocking noise from the front of the vehicle
    • Headlight failure
    • Difficult gear change; Manual transmission
    • The engine warning light illuminates
    • Knocking noise from the rear suspension
    • Knocking noise from the front axle
    • Oil leakage from the automatic transmission; Automatic transmission

     

    4 Audi TT Mk2 (2006-2014)

    Why buy a used Audi TT?

    Audi TT AutoFix

    The original TT's 'blobby' styling has helped it to become a modern classic. The Mk2 Coupé and Roadster aren't as iconic with their more purposeful looks, but they both get Audi's typically high-quality interior and a range of engines that has stood the test of time in other VW Group models.

    That includes the hot TTS and TT RS petrol engines, plus the 2.0 TDI diesel, although we're fond of the smooth 1.8 T petrol.  

    Audi TT Mk2 recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • Loss of drive; random clutch disengagement; dual-clutch transmission
    • Faulty side pillar trim; risk of injury

    Buy an AutoFix for the TT

    Audi TT Mk2 problems

    Some of these TT problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • Reduced power steering efficiency
    • The engine does not start
    • Blower malfunction
    • Central locking malfunction; Radio malfunction; Clock malfunction
    • Humming noises from the front of the vehicle when cornering; manual transmission, 02Q, front-wheel drive
    • Blower malfunction
    • The coolant level warning light illuminates
    • Poor engine performance when accelerating with the fuel tank 1/4 full
    • Noise from the rear of the vehicle when cornering; 4WD
    • Faulty air conditioning
    • Cracking noise when steering
    • Rumbling noise from the rear of the vehicle

     

    5 BMW X3 Mk2 (2010-2017)

    Why buy a used BMW X3?

    BMW X3 AutoFix

    Just about every car maker has jumped on the SUV bandwagon (we're looking at you, Aston Martin and Lotus). BMW has been playing the SUV game for decades, although the Mk1 X3 didn't exactly go down a storm because of a firm ride and sub-par practicality. The second-generation X3 offers more interior space, and while its ride is still undeniably firm, it means this is one of the better-handling SUVs out there.

    BMW X3 Mk2 recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • EGR cooler leakage
    • Power steering failure
    • Insecure rear ISOFIX child seat
    • Passenger's airbag does not deploy properly

    Buy an AutoFix for the X3

    BMW X3 Mk2 problems

    Some of these X3 problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • No change in engine speed when the accelerator pedal is pressed
    • The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates; Power loss; Turbocharger malfunction; Fault codes are present
    • Scraping noise from the engine compartment; Grinding noise from the engine (warm engine)
    • Fault codes are present; 'Restraint system failed' appears on the display
    • 'Driving stabilisation - Drive at a moderate speed' appears on the display
    • Power loss; A Dynamic stability control (DSC) failure message appears on the display
    • The engine does not start; Starter overheating; Fault codes are present
    • The engine does not start; Difficult engine start (cold engine); Fluctuating idle speed after a cold start; Fault codes are present
    • The engine does not start; The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates; Power loss; Rough running engine; The engine oil is contaminated with fuel; Fault codes are present
    • Jerky movement from the transmission; Automatic transmission
    • Power loss; Engine misfire; Engine stall when driving; Engine judder; Fault codes are present
    • Brake servo failure; Loss of braking efficiency
    • Power loss; Rattling noise after starting when the engine is cold; High fuel consumption
    • White exhaust smoke; A coolant level warning message appears on the display
    • Difficult or no engine start; The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates; Power loss; The display shows a warning message
    • Power steering failure; The power steering warning light illuminates
    • Rattling noise from the engine; Strong exhaust gas odour
    • Engine surge; Engine misfire; Engine stall when driving; Engine judder
    • Intermittent loss of power steering; The power steering warning light illuminates; Fault codes are present; RHD
    • Difficult gear change from second to third gear; Difficult gear change from first to second gear; Automatic transmission

     

    6 Ford Mondeo Mk4 (2007-2014)

    Why buy a used Ford Mondeo?

    Ford Mondeo Haynes Manual

    If you want maximum metal for your money and a reasonably reliable workhorse that can take amounts of cargo in hatchback guise (and even more in Estate form), you can't go far wrong with a Ford Mondeo. Most examples you'll find for sale have a diesel engine under the bonnet, and that's because you need the extra torque when you've got a full load of passengers and luggage on board.

    Ford Mondeo Mk4 recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • (Takata airbags) The driver's airbag inflator may break when the airbag deploys
    • Localised overheating may cause the engine cylinder head to crack
    • Cracked engine cylinder head
    • Headlight and indicator malfunction
    • ABS failure
    • Fuel leakage; risk of fire

    Buy a Haynes Manual or an AutoFix for the Mondeo

    Ford Mondeo Mk4 problems

    Some of these Mondeo problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • Clutch failure; The clutch pedal does not return to its normal position; Manual transmission
    • The gearbox slips from second gear to neutral; The gearbox slips from first gear to neutral
    • The remote control keys do not operate
    • The malfunction indicator light (MIL) illuminates; Power loss
    • The remote control keys do not operate
    • Noise from the front wheels
    • Excessive smoke from the fuel burning additional heater
    • Engine surge at idle speed; Fluctuating idle speed
    • Noise from the front of the vehicle

     

    7 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso Mk1 (2006-2013)

    Why buy a used Citroen Grand C4 Picasso?

    Citroen Grand C4 Picasso AutoFix

    Mondeo not big enough for you? Need to carry seven passengers from time to time? Or maybe you need the van-like capacity of an MPV when all of the rear seats have been removed. The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso should serve you very well, then. It's best with a diesel engine, for the same reason as the Mondeo, and paired with a manual gearbox because the auto's changes aren't too clever. Check that all of the electrics work before buying, and make sure the interior hasn't been ravaged by a previous family.

    Citroen Grand C4 Picasso recalls

    Some of these recalls only affect certain engines/years. Check with a main dealer that all recall work has been carried out:

    • Difficult or no engine start; Fuel leakage; Engine stall at idle speed
    • Loss of directional control
    • Risk of fire
    • Loose/broken seat belt fixing bolts
    • Fuel leakage
    • Front seat belt locking failure

    Buy an AutoFix for the Grand C4 Picasso

    Citroen Grand C4 Picasso problems

    Some of these Grand C4 Picasso problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • Squeaking noise when engaging reverse or first gear; Manual transmission
    • The engine warning light flashes
    • Reduced power steering efficiency
    • Brake pedal noise and/or vibration
    • Engine stall; Difficult engine start (cold engine)
    • Power loss; The engine warning light illuminates; An ABS/ESP warning message appears on the display
    • Cruise control disengagement/engagement failure; Start/stop system malfunction; The start/stop system warning light illuminates; The brake lights are permanently on; With start/stop system
    • Incorrect fuel gauge reading
    • Cruise control disengagement/engagement failure; The ABS/ESP warning light illuminates; Faulty brake lights
    • Difficult or no gear change when engaging reverse gear; Difficult gear change to first and/or second gear; Manual transmission
    • White/blue exhaust smoke
    • Electronic parking brake malfunction; The display shows a warning message
    • Fluctuating idle speed; Abnormal noise after engine start; Manual transmission
    • The cooling fan runs continuously
    • Hesitation when moving off after decelerating; Semi-automatic transmission

     

    8 Hyundai i10 (2008-2013)

    Why buy a used Hyundai i10?

    Hyundai i10 Haynes Manual

    Hyundai's supermini came with a pretty impressive five-year/unlimited-miles warranty when new, but that's no good when it's a decade old. Fortunately, this ideal first car is pretty reliable but it always pays to keep a Haynes Manual handy for routine servicing.

    When buying, try to find a high-spec model with more equipment, and a manual gearbox instead of the auto.

    Hyundai i10 recalls

    There were no recalls for this model of the Hyundai i10

    Buy a Haynes Manual or AutoFix for the i10

    Hyundai i10 problems

    Some of these i10 problems only affect certain engines/years:

    • The oil warning light illuminates but the oil level is correct; Fault codes are present
    • Rattling noise from the steering column at high driving speeds
    • Booming noise from the right-hand drive shaft when driving; Automatic transmission
    • Noise from the steering column
    • Vibrations from the transmission when accelerating in first gear
    • Engine misfire
    • Oil leakage from the transmission; Manual transmission
    • Engine hesitation; Engine stall; High idle speed; Engine surge at idle speed; Fluctuating idle speed