We took a look at what's in the classifieds for under £500...
The first-generation Toyota Yaris is far from a cool car (with the exception of T-Sport variants), but it is near-enough bulletproof mechanically as well as ferociously cheap to run.
So the MG ZS may now be just another crossover, but it was once a hot hatch. This beefed-up Rover 45 sports a fruity 2.5-litre engine it its most potent guise - though 1.8 cars are more common at this price
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The Ford Fiesta has long dominated the UK's top-selling car charts - and the result of that is there's an absolute boatload of them on the used market. A 500 budget will nab a well-used Mk V example
First-generation Nissan Micras might be the face of incredibly cheap motoring. Though its looks may be questionable these little Japanese machines are known to be reliable and very affordable to run.
Much like the Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa has been a favourite amongst the nation's drivers - be that those looking for a reliable runaround, or a first car to modify with budget items.
OK, so early-2000s French cars don't have the best reputation for reliability in the UK, but the Renault Clio has proven serviceable enough to be a very affordable runabout.
As far as 'normal' car icons go, the Ford Focus is about as good as they come. Released back in 1998 as a replacement for the Escort, it was hailed for its impressive driving experience
Rounding out the Far East trio is the dependable Honda Jazz. It's not a headturner, but incredibly dependable. It's not hard to find cars that have done more than 150,000 miles still look in exceptional shape.