What's the best first car for a £1000 budget?

I have just passed my driving test today! I'm on the hunt to by my first car, I don't have that much knowledge when it comes to cars. Is £1k decent budget for a secondhand car? I work in film, so I will driving a lot - what mileage shall I look for?

Asked on 4 January 2019 by maria

Answered by Andrew Brady
Congratulations on passing your test. £1000 will get you a car but be aware that there's a lot of rubbish around for that money and you could easily end up with something unreliable if you're not careful. I'd advise taking someone who perhaps knows more about cars when viewing.

Our biggest tip for buying a £1000 car is to buy into the seller. If you find a car being sold by a genuine private seller who's easy to deal with and appears to have looked after the car (with old receipts to prove), you probably won't go wrong. Follow your gut instinct - if you're being pressurised or something doesn't add up, walk away.

Leading on from that, I'd avoid buying from a trader at this money. It's much better to meet the previous owner and get a feel for how the car's been maintained, and you'll save money by not paying for a dealer's profits. Be careful, though - many wannabe car dealers pretend to be private sellers so make sure they have the V5 registration document in their name and have done for a while.

I wouldn't be too specific about the make and model of car you're after (it's much better to see what's available locally and buy on condition), but the Honda Civic is often a reliable purchase for this money, as is the Toyota Corolla. Don't be too concerned about mileage or age, either - it's much better to buy a car that is in good condition and has a long MOT.
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