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Now is a difficult time to be a car owner.  Between rising insurance premiums, the cost of petrol, and the expense of your BMW service, the total cost of ownership of a car, any car, is not insignificant.  Buying a used car is a good way to keep the costs down, but depending on the type and age of the car this can pose its own set of challenges.  Here are five of the more reliable, good value second hand car options for budget-conscious drivers.

1) Hyundai Accent

This car gets top marks for reliability, and is usually available quite cheaply.  It’s not the most powerful car on the market, by any means, with just a 110-horsepower engine.  However, it’s reliable, fuel efficient, and comfortable to drive too.

2) Toyota Corrola

The Toyota Corolla has a good history for reliability – the models from 2001 to 2007 had exceptionally low breakdown claim rates, making this car a great choice for anyone that wants hassle-free motoring.  However, when breakdowns do happen, they tend to be problems with the axle and suspension, so you’ll want some breakdown cover that can cope with expensive claims.

3) Peugeot 308

The Peugeot 308, especially newer versions, is another vehicle known for its reliability. The 308 has sold well over the last five years, and this means that there’s no real shortage of them on the used market, so you should be able to pick up a bargain pretty easily.  The Peugeot 308 is an attractive, stylish car, especially on the outside.  The interior appears a bit dated, but the car handles well and offers low running costs.

4) Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 has been around for a long time, and has a reputation for reliability, pleasant handling, and a comfortable interior.  There are two generations of the Mazda 3 around at the moment, and both of them present good value for money.  The second generation is a little more attractive, but either has a lot to offer used car buyers.  The Mazda 3 is a small car, but this means that it’s also an economical car, that offers practicality and fun in one nice package.

5) BMW 3 Series

While BMW service fees can put off many buyers, the BMW 3 series has a lot to offer.  BMWs are notoriously well-built and reliable, and while the 3 series can be a little plain for some people’s liking, it’s still a BMW, and owning a luxury name will put a smile on your face.  The BMW 3 series is affordable, practical, and fuel efficient, and ideal as a daily driver.

Remember that just because you’re on a tight budget, it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a car that you don’t like.  If you’re scrimping and saving for a car, try to find one that you will enjoy driving, and that you think looks good in your driveway or garage.  It will make the cost seem much more bearable, and will make the driving experience far more pleasant too.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Main Dealer Discount, experts in BMW service. Click this link to find out more about BMW service.

Photo: theKCB