We can’t all afford the luxury of buying a brand new car, so a used car is our only option. But, buying a used car is not the risk it used to be, with the market full of quality used cars, and with nearly new cars being easily as reliable and dependable as their brand new cousins. Here’s our guide to three used car favourites.
The Ford Focus – a five-door, family friendly hatchback – has long been a top-seller in the UK, with three generations of the car now available to potential buyers. The third generation Ford Focus has only been on sale for about a year, so will be the most expensive to buy used, but the previous incarnations of the car represent excellent value at the moment and have been tried and tested by thousands of buyers in the UK.
With literally thousands of Ford Focus models have sold in the UK in the last ten years, so the choice for a used Focus buyer is just huge, so take your time and view plenty of them before making your purchase. Private sales will be the least expensive so make sure you have the cash ready to go to make your purchase. However, if you need to buy the Focus with hire purchase, there are still plenty to be found with commercial retailers.
The Ford Focus has proven itself to be reliable throughout the model range with no major faults to report, and no issues with early rusting or unreliability. Spare parts are also well priced and available through a prolific network of Ford dealers.
The VW Golf is one of the best-selling hatchbacks in the UK and there are many good reasons for these strong sales, even though it is more expensive than much of its competition. Reliability is one of the Golf’s strongest selling points; new or used.
With very robust bodywork, strong, frugal and powerful engines and hard wearing interiors, the VW Golf has much to offer the family on a budget. Sure, some of the new parts with which to service your VW Golf can be a touch more expensive than other cars, but the Golf tends to go wrong less than other cars, so the costs will be roughly equal, if not better.
There’s a wide choice of used Golfs on the market, with prices starting from £1,000, but the more you can spend on your next used car, the better in the long run as servicing increases with the age of the car. But, a high-miles car with a good service history is also worth looking at, as maintenance is key with any used car.
A little smaller and a little cheaper than the Ford Focus or the VW Golf, is the Peugeot 206; the small and funky French hatchback. The 206 sold literally millions of models all over the world, so there will be a fantastic choice on the used car market in the UK – it was s firm favourite here, too.
The 206 is a three or five door hatchback or small estate, so there are plenty of bodystyles to choose from, and although they are a little smaller than the Golf or Focus, they are big enough for the average family.
Purchase costs and servicing are very cheap for this cheeky little car, but build quality isn’t quite on a par with the Ford or VW, so watch out for cars that have had a hard life or have not been regularly serviced.