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What is the best car for £2500 or less?

I'm picking out a car for a friend and would be interested to know what would be a good hatch/saloon for a learner driver at under £2500? Preferably a diesel one as he intends on using it for a long commute.

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A Ford Fiesta would be a good choice. The 1.4 TDCi ought to be cheap to run and £2500 will get a 2009 model. I'd want to see evidence of regular servicing. Diesel Fiestas sold from around March 2010 onwards were fitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) - resist one of these with low miles and it could prove problematic. Also consider a Vauxhall Corsa.
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