Repeatedly pressing down on your clutch in heavy traffic can leave anyone with an aching left foot. Then there are those times when having an automatic car would just make commuting life so much simpler behind the wheel, period.
The best automatic cars will not only provide you with a smoother, more relaxing ride but can prove more economical than their manual counterparts. Whatever your reasons for investing in an automatic, separating the slick from the clunky gearbox that isn’t well matched to the engine can be a challenge.
Below we’ve rounded up the top 10 cheap automatic cars that are available for less than you might think:
Know your gearbox type
Like many vehicles, an automatic gearbox or transmission can come in several different varieties, including:
- Standard auto gearbox: also known as a torque converter, this type of gearbox offers a smooth alternative to a manual gearshift. When accelerating quickly, drivers may experience a slight delay
- Automated manual gearbox (AMT): No clutch pedal, but a computer changing the gears. Paddle inputs behind the steering wheel can make this gearbox clunkier than a standard automatic
- Continuously variable transmission (CVT): Typically found in newer hybrid cars, CVT works by using a belt to change gears while keeping the engine running at the most efficient speed according to your throttle inputs. Downside: often noisier and feels far different to drive than other engines when accelerating
- Dual-clutch transmission (DCT): Two clutches that work together to pre-select your next gear. You can expect slick and smooth gear shifts, and optimum acceleration
For more information on how to finance automatic cars, check out our easy to use car finance calculator to see how much you can apply for today.
We found used automatic deals from £9,999
Volkswagen is well known for their solid build quality, and their automatic generation Golf is no different. Not only will you get a well-rounded family car, but you’ll also be blown away by its fast-shifting dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Comfortable, smooth and quiet, you get all the perks, including alloy wheels, parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.
Ford Fiesta DCT auto
We found used automatic deals from £8.995
The Fiesta has been topping the UK best selling lists for years, and their seven-speed DCT auto transmission is the perfect antidote to those who want to leave the clutch pedal behind.
Currently, you can only purchase an auto box with the 1.0 EcoBoost 123bhp turbo petrol three-cylinder. But with a wide range of trim choices available and the upcoming launch of Ford’s mild-hybrid tech rolling out across the Fiesta range, there’s a lot to get excited about from this hard-hitting classic.
Vauxhall Mokka X
We found used automatic deals from £8,999
Vauxhall is well known for making quality motors built to last. Boasting extremely attractive secondhand prices and decent all-around performance, the Mokka X is no exception.
For its price, it’s a champion family car that accommodates your growing brood with its spacious rear seats and ample boot space. Be sure to check out and compare all the Mokka X’s on offer, as older models often come with higher specs and a good range of equipment than the newer models on offer.
We found used automatic deals from £8,288
Ticking all the boxes from efficient hybrid power to excellent fuel economy, this cheap automatic has a lot to give. Its CVT gearbox keeps the engine at its most efficient speed for as long as possible, boosting the economy as you drive.
Watch out for soaring revs as you jump up to your desired speed. It can make for one heck of a noisy ride!
We found used automatic deals from £7,990
The perfect commuter’s car, the Renault Zoe is not only an affordable automatic, but it is also one of the finest examples of electric cars available within its price range. What’s more, there is only one forward gear, so there is no option of a manual gearbox!
While the Zoe triumphs with its soft suspension and almost silent engine, three to four-year-old models will struggle to take on longer journeys. Plus, not all models will come with batteries included.
We found used automatic deals from £7,990
With its distinctive style paired with its spacious and comfortable design, the Kia Soul is a dream to drive. It’s a highly capable automatic and boasts a 132-mile electric range should you opt for the EV model.
We found used automatic deals from £7,000
This modern, comfortable family hatchback is not only spacious but offers good fuel economy across all of its petrol and diesel automatic ranges. If you’re willing to splash a bit more cash for a newer model, you may find yourself a greater bargain thanks to the manufacturer’s five-year warranty.
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
We found used automatic deals from £8,395
Sourcing a vehicle that not only can keep up with the demands of your growing family but offers a solid automatic gearbox under the £10,000 bracket is hard to come by, and then you chance upon the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso. With its seven seats and comfortable drive, the C4 offers a lot of bang for your buck!
Vauxhall Corsa auto
We found used automatic deals from £9.498
Highly practical, cheap to run and comfortable, there are many reasons why the Vauxhall Corsa has remained popular over the years. Its automatic 99bhp version of the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine offers smooth changes and a pleasant driving experience.
MINI 5-Door Hatch
We found used automatic deals from £7,300
Iconic, stylish and fun to drive, the MINI 5-Door Hatch automatic offers all the perks we all love from the brand, as well as practical interiors and a sizeable boot! Sporting a dual-clutch auto gearbox, you get all the sporty appeal matched with excellent fuel economy and performance. Plus, it’s a sound investment as MINI’s always held their resale value well.
Ready to embrace the smooth, economical and comfortable appeal of the best cheap automatics around? Which model has made the top of your list?