If you’re heading out onto the road for the first time, you’ll want something that’s reliable, affordable, and responsive. This is a highly competitive end of the market, and if you’re willing to go used, then your money will go even further. Here, we look at ten of the best used cars NI residents can track down.

10 – Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

We’ll kick off our list with one of the most popular small cars of all time: the humble Corsa. Despite its compact frame, it’s surprisingly spacious inside the compartment. The ‘Energy’ version comes with a few added bells and whistles, including cruise control and Bluetooth.

09 – Renault Clio

Renault Clio

Renault Clio – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The fifth generation of the car has just launched, which means that you’ll be able to track down mark-4s for a knockdown price. The interior is where Renault leads the pack; it’s comfortable and stylish enough to tempt families, and thus it’ll amply cater to first-time buyers.

08 – Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

No list of this sort would be complete without including Ford’s all-conquering flagship. This is the best-selling car in the country, and with good reason: it’s great fun to drive, looks great, and the latest version includes a clever system which allows parents to monitor and restrict the maximum speed of the car, and the volume of the in-car stereo.

07 – Fiat 500

Fiat 500

Fiat 500 – Pava, Milano ( from IT WIKI ) [CC BY-SA 3.0 it], via Wikimedia Commons

Here we’ll take a turn into something a bit trendier. The distinctive look of the Fiat makes an excellent match for drivers who’d like to stand apart from the crowd – and the interior comes with an impressive 5” screen. When surveyed, Fiat 500 drivers are always quick to sing the car’s praises, which is always a good sign.

06 – Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto – Alexander Migl [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This car boasts sporty looks and a low price tag, which makes it a winner with younger drivers. Get behind the wheel, and you’ll find it handles nicely, and the running costs are extremely reasonable, especially when you look at the car’s low emissions.

05 – SEAT Ibiza

SEAT Ibiza

SEAT Ibiza – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This SEAT is a little on the expensive side. But opt for the 1.2 version and you’ll find that low insurance costs to make up for it. Millions of Ibizas have been sold since the first model hit the market in the mid-80s, and the strength of the brand remains unwavering.

04 – VW Polo

VW Polo

VW Polo – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Polo is widely regarded as the car to beat when it comes to entry-level superminis. And it’s easy to see why: the build quality matches that which you’ll find on the manufacturer’s premium cars, and you’ll get incredible acceleration and fuel efficiency for the money.

03 – Audi A3

Audi A3

Audi A3 – Berthold Werner [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve got a budget to play with, then the A3 is a spectacular luxury car at an entry-level price: but you’ll need to go second hand. It’s great for city commuters, pairing small size with a stylish interior.

02 – Citroën C1

Citroen C1

Citroen C1 – M 93 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This car, under the hood, is very similar to the 108. It comes with the same three and five door options, and, if you’re so inclined, you can go for a retractable fabric roof.

01 – Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108 – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opt for the three-door version of the 108, and you might find that your emissions are so low that you can hop into the market tax-free. The insurance and fuel-economy aren’t anything to sniff at, either, and the distinctive chunky exterior makes it stand apart from the competition.