I don't have many friends. This is partly because I'm less sociable than a woodlouse, but mostly because I constantly rattle on about motoring. However, a strong willed associate recently stayed conscious long enough to ask a question. 'Which is the best small car (she yawned) to run on a budget?'

The Ford Fiesta (2002-2008) is an excellent choice. Engines range from 1.25 to 2.0-litres and generate 67-147bhp. The best model for budget conscious motorists is the 1.4 TDCi which achieves a combined average of 62mpg and sits in an affordable tax band. This excellent little car also has class leading handling, a comfortable ride, and solid reputation for reliability.

The stylish new Fiesta arguably makes the 2002-2008 generation look dated - but the older model remains a versatile, capable, and affordable vehicle. Prices for 2005 diesels are around £4,750. Well done for staying awake through that lot!