Campus corkers: cars for students - Part 1

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  • Heading off to university?
  • What Car?'s best student buys
  • Best eight cars listed
Don't be a dunce – go straight to the top of the class with one of these bargain buys.

Finding the perfect car for a student can be a struggle. They'll want their car to look cool on campus, but they can't afford to waste their student loan on garage repairs, expensive fuel bills and sky-high insurance costs.

With term time fast approaching, you might panic because you haven't spent the summer break swotting up on the best course to achieve used-car success.

Relax, because we've done the research so you don't have to – we've even shown our working out to help you get the best results, too.


Fiat Grande Punto
Best Buy: 1.2 Active 3dr, '06/06, 36,000 miles, from £3995
Insurance group: 2
Average economy: 47.9mpg
Road tax: £110
Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars
The Grande Punto is a slice of Italian design flair with pocket-money running costs. It's bigger than some rivals, too, so there's plenty of space for library books and luggage. It's also very safe.

Fiat Panda
Best buy: 1.1 Active 5dr, '06/06, 38,000 miles, from £2900
Insurance group: 1
Average economy: 49.6mpg
Road tax: £110
Euro NCAP rating: 3 stars
The Panda is the 'value' option for students, yet it has great all-round performance. Low prices and running costs make it attractive, while fine road manners make it fun.

Mazda 2
Best Buy: 1.4 Antares 5dr, '06/06, 30,000 miles, from £5000
Insurance group: 4
Average economy: 42.8mpg
Road tax: £155
Euro NCAP rating: 4 stars
This is an unusual choice, and running costs will be higher than some, but the 2 should prove to be solid and reliable. It's also big inside, with decent room for passengers, their bags and lecture notes.

Renault Clio
Best buy: 1.4 Dynamique 3dr, '06/06, 40,000 miles, from £4800
Insurance group: 4
Average economy: 42.8mpg
Road tax: £150
Euro NCAP rating: 5 stars
This supersized supermini is refined and has bags of style. The larger engine will also make lighter work of motorway miles than most, but running costs will be higher as a result.

Campus corkers: cars for students - Part 2

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