You will be surprised how much fun £3,000 can buy you in car terms, in this list these are cars I have previously owned and seriously recommend buying one from this list.
Renault Clio sport 182
This car here will go down in the history books, as one of the greatest hot hatches of all time. These cars have plenty of power, 182 horses in the stable to be exact. The handling on these are incredible and will make the most novice drivers, feel like a Lewis Hamilton.
The engines in these are pretty reliable and as they as naturally aspirated, you don’t have to worry about turbos failing. Parts are also cheap and easy to find.
These cars are also great for track days, they are incredible fun. If you fancy taking part in races, these cars are an easy and a cheap way to get into Motorsport.
If you looking for something quick, handles great and won’t break the bank to drive and maintain this is the car for you.
Toyota MR2 MK3
I can hear you already having doubts, “it’s a hair dressers car”. I had my reservations about these before I owned one.
The MR2 is incredible, the closest thing you can describe it to, is a miniature super car.
These have the engines in the rear, adding to the super car feel, it’s a completely different sensation being pushed, rather than pulled by an engine.
It has a very similar engine to the Clio above, producing plenty of power 138 bhp to be exact and being very light it’s incredible fun.
As its made my Toyota these are very reliable, repairs and maintenance are also very cheap. I think the greatest point about these, are the roofs are manual, so you don’t have to worry about the roof motors breaking, which can cost fortunes to repair.
The handling is also great, but in the wet it will keep you on your toes, due to being rear wheel drive.
There are very few cars that you can buy under £3,000, that are rear engined, convertible, rear wheel drive, fast and reliable.
The Jimny is not fast and its not big, but if you want a starter 4X4 for green laneing / off roading, this is the car to get.
It’s compact size and being four-wheel drive, makes these a great beginners 4X4s, these are hours of fun and can fit down almost every dirt track.
Having a modest 1.3 petrol engine, won’t make it thrilling on tarmac, but down dirt tracks it’s more than enough. The benefits of the small engine are cheap running costs and cheap insurance.
As it’s a naturally aspirated engine, it has no turbos to go wrong, The engines in these are solid and are very reliable.
Honda Civic Type R EP3
No list would be complete without a Honda, this would be the main rival to the Clio 182 above. These cars I would say handle better and are faster than the Clio.
There are only two things in this world that can survive a nuclear war, cockroaches and Vtec engines, so in other words, these cars are incredibly reliable. Being Vtec you can bounce the car off the rev limiter and they rev like a bike engine.
These cars are so much fun, they are fast, reliable and cheap to maintain, you will not regret buying one.
If this is good enough for the queen, then I’m sure its good enough for you. These cars cost a fortune when they are new, but when they are second hand they are bargains. These will venture into classic car territory, so reliability can be an issue, so be careful before buying, as you might end up with a lemon.
The closest thing you can describe these too, are kind of like a classic Bentley or Rolls Royce, but without the price tag. £3,000 will get you an immaculate example, mine cost me £400 and lasted 2 years before I had any issues.
Due to the age they will come under classic car insurance, which is often very cheap.
They are big, the engines are also, either a 3.2 V6, or a 4.2 V8, so running costs are expensive, but if you want a DFS sofa to cruise around town, this is the car for you.
They kind of handle like a boat, so I wouldn’t recommend going fast into corners, but these are incredibly comfy and luxury to drive.
Most people don’t know how much these cost, so people often think you paid a fortune for one, so in some weird way, it feels like your driving a Bentley.
Smart for two Cabriolet
These may not be particularly fast, you won’t be able to give your mates a lift either. What these car lack in speed, space and seats, they more than makeup for it in character.
These cars a so small, but that is one of its advantages, you can park into the smallest of spaces, or even just park nose in.
On a hot day in the city, simply press one button and your roof is down, giving the car a roadster feel. Being only available in automatic, it also adds to the comfort of driving in cities, saving your left leg for aching. The only negative thing about these cars, when you go over 70MPH, the road noise in the cabin is pretty bad, so i wouldn’t buy on if you drive down the motorway often.
Running costs are very low, making these great city cars, some are even congestion charge free. If you want a cabriolet, but live in a city where parking is an issue, this would make the perfect car for you.
These are a real bargains, they have performance, style and a great drive. I would buy one with a manual gearbox, as it add to the sporty feel. It comes with four seats, you may not be able to get professional basketball players in the back, but they are very handy to have. There are not many four seat coupes out there, so it does make the TT a lot more practical than others.
Performance wise, you will have a smile on your face all the time, there are many different engines to choose from, the best all rounder would be the 1.8 225 bhp. It has more than enough power and if driven sensibly you can get a fair MPG out of them.
Being four wheel drive, even a novice driver will be able to put their foot down, as they handle incredibly.
If your looking for a fast, coupe that is practical, then this is the car to get.