What used Volkswagen Golf hatchback will I get for my budget?
£6000 is enough to get you into one of the cheapest examples of a Mk7 Volkswagen Golf but, as you might expect, this won’t buy you very much other than a high-mileage car or one that’s been previously written off.
That being the case, it makes sense to pay more – £8000 gets you into a car with an entry-level petrol car with average mileage and a full service history. While you’ll pay a smidge more for a diesel version, there are so many around that prices aren’t that far removed.
If you want a faster GTI version, prices are quite a bit higher, with clean, average-mileage examples costing from around £15,000, while the hot R model will set you back at least £18,000.
How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Golf hatchback?
Ignoring the e-Golf and the GTE version, the most efficient version of the standard Golf is the 1.6 TDI 105, which is capable of as much as a claimed average 74mpg, according to official government figures. In the real world, you can expect it to average 55-60mpg, which is still pretty respectable. Later cars offer the 1.6 115 version of this engine, with a claimed average of 68.9mpg. The most efficient version of the 2.0-litre diesel can get up to 68mpg in lab tests or 50-55mpg in the real world.
Petrol-powered Golfs are also able to achieve impressive economy. According to official figures, the 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre turbos are capable of up to a claimed average of 58mpg and 57mpg respectively, equating to 45-50mpg in real-world driving, while even the 2.0-litre turbo in the GTI model is rated at a claimed 44mpg, which should mean 35-38mpg out on the road.
As a result of those consumption figures, CO2 emissions are correspondingly low, meaning the Golf is very cheap to tax, especially those registered before April 2017. Indeed, all but the performance versions fall into either the £20 or £30 tax band, while the most efficient models are actually free to tax.
Meanwhile, servicing is reasonably priced, too. It won’t be quite as cheap as, say, a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, but it isn't unreasonably pricey and compares well with most other rivals.
If you really want to save money on fuel and have access to an electric charging point, you could try one of the two electrified Golfs. The GTE is a plug-in hybrid that allows you to save money on fuel by driving up to 31 miles on electric power only; the e-Golf is a fully electric model with a range of 118 miles. Keep in mind, though, that both models are expensive to buy and hard to find, so you’ll have to weigh that up against the savings you’ll actually make.