Ford Fiesta: Like Peter Pan the Fiesta never grows old and their popularity in Northern Ireland means there’s plenty to choose from. Mk 6 models start from only £800 and mk7s from £3,000 upwards.
The Ford KA is often over looked thanks to the popularity of the Fiesta but it makes a great used buy. The first gen models are cheap and cheerful and the second gen, that were made from 2009-2016, can be picked from around £2800.
VW are famed for their reliability so the Polo makes a lot of sense, there’s plenty of trim levels and engines on offer. Find a mint, 10 year-old fourth generation with low mileage and you’ll be good for another 10 years, trouble free driving. There are diesel Polo’s but after the VW scandal just stick to the petrol engines.
The picanto isn’t exactly a looker, especially the face-lifted first gen pictured, right. But Kia’s unbeatable seven-year warranty means you can buy a second gen, 2013 for around £4,000 that’s still covered for four more years and 60,000 miles.
The Vauxhall Corse is top of the Vaux for young drivers but it’s also popular with boy racers so steer clear of modified versions. They may look the part but have probably been raked within an inch of their lives. The Corsa D, fourth gen, is a good place to start.
Mini One: MINI hasn’t drastically changed its design since BMW took over in 2000 which is good news as even the older ones still look good today. Loads of cool retro touchers inside too and you can’t beat that go-kart like handling. Stick to the easier to insure, 1.4-litre MINI One and enjoy.
CARS don’t come much cuter than the Citroen C1 but they’re also affordable and fun to drive. As it’s a city car there plenty of low mileage models to choose from and the first generation facelifted model pictured, is just a good looking as the current model.
The current fiat 500 hasn’t changed much in 10 years so it still looks great and because the majority are owned by women finding an un-abused model is easy. The most popular model is the 1.2-litre petrol POP so expect plenty of used models to pop up for sale.
Toyotas are the best built cars in the world so they make a no brain-er second-hand buy. Powered by a 1.0-litre 67bhp they were popular OAP cars, so there should be lots of low mileage versions, previously owned by a little old lady, that won’t cost you a lot of money.
Under the skin of the Fabia you’ll find a VW polo so thanks to VW reliability they make a fab second-hand buy. They come in 3 and 5 door versions, there’s even a practical estate, and are plentiful in supply plus they’re affordable and cheap to run.