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If you’re an executive, you’ll be wanting one of those BMW 5 Series. It remains the peerless way to travel. A 2014 520d SE is a Euro 6, so is ULEZ friendly and a 141k-mile example sold by a trader costs £6995. The Mercedes A-Class is popular on the PCP front, and a 2014 A180 CDI ECO SE with 110k miles is just £6795.

Next up, Mini. In their second decade, Minis came into their own with an explosion of models and options. They are everywhere, and not always that mini. I’d go for the oddity that is a Paceman Cooper. A 2014 1.6D with 60k miles with loads of extras is £6300. That would be fun.

On the face of it less fun, a Toyota Prius is still worthy of consideration if you are a private-hire wage slave. If your priorities are spending less money on fuel and not breaking down, then here is possibly the perfect family hatch. Goodness me, there are a lot of old grey imports to dodge around. A 2014 T3 with 47k miles from a dealer at £9250 is better than the ex-hire ones.

For the family in need of space, a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer is perfect. A 2015 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Design with 171k miles is just £3500.

You can’t go wrong buying a used Volkswagen Golf, or even a Mazda MX-5. Icon is an overused term, but not here. A basic three-door 1.2 TSI Blue Tec Golf with 122k miles is £3995 with a full service history, and a 2014 MX-5 1.8 SE just below £8000.

Which ones do you reckon are worthy of the used car award? Get in touch at [email protected]

What we almost bought this week

Volvo S80 2.0T SE Auto: Before Volvos added ‘attractive’ to their list of attributes, they were simply solid, dependable and, of course, safe. The big ones make great used buys. We found a 2003-reg S80 2.0T SE auto with 88,000 miles and all the toys. Nothing about service history but the private seller claims it’s been well maintained and wants just £1000 for it.

Tales from Ruppert’s garage

Land Rover Series 3: Well, it had been a bit chilly. I turned the key, but I know it well enough to realise the engine would never actually fire. Luckily, there are other vehicles available and I wasn’t planning to shift much stuff. I did hoof out the battery, though, as it was such a long way from a three-pin plug. If I was a proper fleet car owner, I would have detailed records of when I bought the last battery. I certainly remember getting one during the 2009 cold snap but, whatever, this one is probably on its way out.

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