Recommend a small, reliable car for under £1000?

My granddaughter's boyfriend managed to upend her Micra and she is now looking for a sensible replacement. She is keen on a Fiesta but her mother and I, who will be funding and thus have the last say, think that a Japanese make, ie Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc, would be a better choice, as they are extremely reliable. The Micra didn't give one day's problems in its 10 years or so. The car must be under £1000, otherwise no strings. Your advice would be extremely welcome.

Asked on 10 August 2013 by RS, via email

Answered by Honest John
The Yaris is the best in this class, but UK Yaris' are not Japanese. They are made in France. The problem is that the Yaris' reputation is so good that the cars are very expensive. She'll get better value in a Fiesta 1.25 (NOT a 1.3). Just check very carefully for rust in the rear wings, sills, doors and doorframes, particularly the 'A' pillars.
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