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A Grand Deal - The Best Used Cars Under £1000

By raccars Published

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There's a legend that says you get what you pay for, but in the UK's used car market even £1,000 can get you quite a lot. Here are the best options for those on the tightest budgets.

Skoda Felicia

It may not be fashionable or stylish, but the Felicia, from 1994-2001 was the first VW built Skoda. As such, it offers a robustness and build quality to belie its comedy badge, although safety equipment is a little on the thin side.

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is almost tediously successful. £1,000 will get you a 1995-2002 model with slick handling. It scores highly on security features and parts are cheap and plentiful, but these older versions suffer from a lack of rear leg room and boot space.

VW Polo

An alternative to the Fiesta is the 1994-2002 generation Polo. It's a little more robust but the drive is staid by comparison.

Vauxhall Corsa

Another stalwart of the small hatchback scene, the smart Corsa is slightly cheaper, with £1,000 getting you a 2000-2004 model. The engine range is good but cabin space and equipment levels are a little stingy. The Fiesta and Polo are more engaging to drive.

Ford Focus

It may be an unimaginative choice, but the Focus is famous for its sparkling performance. 1998-2004 models aren't the most spacious in their class, but the Focus is a great all-rounder.

Vauxhall Astra

The 1998-2004 Astra marked a low point in the Vauxhall design team's output, but is spacious and pleasant to drive. Like its stablemate, the Corsa, there's a good choice of engines. A full service history is essential.

VW Bora

The saloon version of the Golf is much less trendy, with an excellent knock-on effect upon residual values. A 1999-2005 Volkswagen Bora benefits from the brand's famous build quality and rewarding performance.

Ford Mondeo

If you can ignore its slightly naff image, the 2000-2007 Mondeo is spacious, comfortable and great value for money. It offers Ford's characteristic fine handling and is supremely practical for family buyers watching the pennies.

BMW 3 Series

The best way to get into a premium motor on a budget, the 1991-1998 3 Series is well built and reliable enough to remain a strong contender today. Beware entry level models with miserly equipment levels.

Mazda MX-5

A modern classic, the MX-5 has never been the fastest roadster but brings a smile to the face of anyone who gets behind the wheel. 1990-1995 models are a bargain if you buy carefully. Check for rust and beware buying imports with murky backgrounds.

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