Your used car questions answered by expert Jason Dawe…
Q. I have finally scrapped my elderly Peugeot 205 XS and would like to replace it with a car that is just as reliable and cheap to run. I have a budget of £2,000 and would consider another Peugeot, as mine was reliable. What else is in that price range?
A. There is a vast range of cars available on your budget so look for one that is rust-free and has a new MoT and full service history. Make sure the vehicle is clear of finance and has not been involved in a major accident, by using a website such as hpicheck.com, or the AA or RAC, and if it’s being sold by a dealer, check carefully the small print of any warranty provided.
Going from your Peugeot 205 to the newer 206 or 207 models would feel like quite a step up. The 207 is available in limited supply for your budget, whereas you’ll be spoilt for choice with the 206. Five-door versions will cost around £300 more than a three-door, and used petrol-engine cars are generally around £400 cheaper than an equivalent diesel. The only thing to be wary of is electrical gremlins: check everything works correctly when test-driving cars.
The Skoda Octavia is a larger car than the 206 and therefore more spacious and practical. The old 1.9-litre TDI was a big-selling version, thanks to its 50mpg-plus economy, and the car is within budget. If you prefer a petrol model, seek out a 1.6-litre unit as the 1.4-litre version feels underpowered. Although fuel economy is likely to be lower than with the Peugeot, insurance and servicing costs are comparable.
Often overlooked, the Seat Ibiza has much in common with the pricier Volkswagen Polo (the two cars share the same platform), is good to drive and has a durable interior. Servicing costs are reasonable too and fuel economy is impressive. There is a plentiful supply of 2004-5 examples in your price range, and even an entry-level 1.4-litre comes with air-conditioning as standard.
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