The smart money: PCP deals vs used cars

It has a box canopy on the back, is finished in utility white and there are those fluorescent stripes on the tailgate that may not be strictly legal. Yes, this Hilux has been to work with its previous single owner, although God knows how many drivers it has had. Never mind, this is an utterly indestructible ’Lux. Also, people won’t mess with you if you get out of one of these in workwear.

Also try: 2013 Isuzu D-Max 2.5 TD Yukon, 129,000 miles, £10,000 | 2013 Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 Bi TDI Highline, 134,000 miles, £9995 | 2006 Land Rover 90 TD5, 117,000 miles, £10,000

Sporting icons

For a relatively small investment you can drive a 911 every day, as long as you can keep up with the payments. Cheaper and better-value alternatives, like a Jaguar XKR or an Aston DB9, are worth considering, but in truth there’s no substitute for a used 911 – especially as older ones are more compact and much cooler. 

Buy new: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS PDK (£23,100 deposit, £1080.50 per month for 36 months) 

For your deposit: 2004 Porsche 911 3.6 996 Carrera 4S, 78,000 miles, £22,500

The really affordable 911s are in private hands but, if it has a history like this one, you should be safe and sound. This is a Tiptronic example, too, and so is the equivalent of our PCP buy – just older, smaller and better. Looked good enough to go and see then buy.

For your deposit: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro 6.2 V8 45TH Special Edition, 42,500 miles, £22,500

Well, here’s the brutish all-American opposite to a sophisticated European, and it is truly wonderful. Looks amazing, sounds brutal and it has new tyres and brakes, plus an £899 service with a fresh MOT. This is a real rarity and another great way to spend the deposit.

Also try: 2010 Jaguar XKR 5.0 V8, 30,000 miles, £23,000 | 2004 Aston Martin DB9, 70,000 miles, £22,000 | 2007 Lotus Europa 2.0S, 39,000 miles, £23,000

Hybrid hatchbacks

Private hire is a career, and what better way to have a low-emission impact? Toyota is a guarantee of quality and getting the engineering right. The styling is a bit weird but, if you want your petrol to go farther and not pay so much road tax, it’s hard to argue with a Prius. Other manufacturers have entered the fray, so, despite congestion zone appearances, there are options.

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