Fab family cars from £5000 - Part 1

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  • Tranport's never been so affordable
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Family transport has never been so affordable. Check out our £5k family heroes

Sometimes a smaller car just won't do. You might need something that can handle the school run, the family dog, big shopping sprees and an occasional trip to the tip – but does a bigger car mean a bigger budget?

The good news is you don't need a fortune to fund faithful transport that's fit for your family. We've found 10 of the best buys on the used market, with prices starting at just £5000.

Private sellers and independent garages are the best place to find such bargains, but don't rule out franchised dealers' forecourts – they can sometimes surprise you with great offers and good warranty packages.

Honda Accord 2.0 i-VTEC SE 4dr
Distinctive styling and a reputation for reliability set the Accord apart from more commonplace rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra.

Its silky petrol engine and smooth handling make it a joy to drive, while its refinement and cabin space ensure that long-distance journeys will be a pleasure.

Official average economy: 38.2mpg
Insurance group: 11
12 months' road tax: £175
Best buy: '04/04, 40,000 miles, from £5995

Ford Mondeo 1.8 LX 5dr
The Mondeo is the quintessential family car. It's big, comfortable, easy to live with, good to drive and economical to run – what more could you ask for?

This hatchback version also provides practicality aplenty, but if you need even more room, there's the inevitable estate and its whopping 1700 litres capacity with the rear seats folded down. Its neat, square design means it's free from intrusions.

Official average economy: 37.2mpg
Insurance group: 8
12 months' road tax: £175
Best buy: '05/05, from £5250

Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 Exclusive 5dr
It's hard to argue against the plain-Jane Vectra when it's such good value. In fact, the workaday image helps keep prices down, yet this entry-level model still has alloy wheels, cruise control and electric front windows.

It may not get you away from the lights as quickly as some, but it's a fine cruiser and enjoyable to drive. It's also extremely spacious, has a comfortable ride and holds cabin noise down to a minimum.

Official average economy: 38.6mpg
Insurance group: 7
12 months' road tax: £175
Best buy: '07/07, 30,000 miles, from £5500

Nissan Primera 1.8i SVE 5dr
The Primera was a real head-turner (for good, for bad?) when it was launched thanks to its, then, futuristic styling. Today, its chief merit is that it offers a lot for those on a tight budget. It's fairly good to drive and should prove reliable.

This SVE model is well equipped with goodies such as sat-nav, heated leather seats and a rear-view camera to aid reversing. The 1.8-litre petrol engine will keep your insurance and fuel bills down.

Official average economy: 38.2mpg
Insurance group: 9
12 months' road tax: £175
Best buy: '04/04, 38,000 miles, from £5000

Toyota Avensis 1.8VVT Colour Collection 5dr
Capable and reliable, this Avensis shouldn't give you bi repair bills or sleepless nights. The 1.8-litre petrol engine is economical, yet doesn't feel too slow.

However, the Avensis's greatest virtue is its undemanding, even restful, on-road manners – they make the car so easy to live with. This model has air-con, nine airbags and a CD player.

Official average economy: 39.2mpg
Insurance group: 7
12 months' road tax: £175
Best buy: '05/05, 40,000 miles, from £6000

Fab family cars from £5000 - Part 2


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