If you’re a petrolhead, you’re not going to rest easy with a Vauxhall Meriva on your driveway (a practical, yet wholly uninspiring car). Finding a fun car that suits you is down to a lot of factors. For some it might be about power, for others it might be about prestige. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s not difficult to find a car that you get excited about for under £10k. Here are some tips.

See what’s out there

Use a car marketplace such as Unbeatablecar to see what’s out there for under £10k. You’ll find some shiny-but-boring new hatchbacks but, often, hiding amongst these is a gem. A cute Fiat 500, a playful Peugeot RCZ, or a convertible MINI, all of which come in just shy of that £10k budget.

If you’re looking for a little more grunt

You might need to search a little harder for a powerful car and you might be limited to those who have a number of years and miles under their belts. A hot hatch gives you a lot of enjoyment for not too much money. You won’t be able to buy new but a used Abarth 500, Corsa VXR or Clio RS will come in way under your budget with the bigger hot hatch models from those manufacturers being a little more costly but still under £10k. Take it from an Abarth owner, you can have a lot of fun in a hot hatch.

If hot hatch isn’t your style, a Subaru is also within your budget.

Sleek and sporty

There’s plenty of choice out there for those of you who want a sleek little sports car for under £10k. How does a Nissan 350Z sound? Or a Mercedes SLK? You can also find MX-5s, Porsche Boxsters and BMW Z4s all well within that budget.

An investment

I’m obsessed because racecar

Over the past few years, I’ve been keeping an eye on the price of Porsche 924s and 944s because I desperately want one. The good news for investors is that the price is steadily rising. The bad news for me is that I need to get my act together and buy one before the price rises too much.

When purchasing a used car, whether privately or from a dealer, make sure to do all the necessary checks. Look at the mileage, make sure to test drive it, kick the wheels if you need to. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is, so compare any bargains with the price of similar models around the web.

What’s the best car you’ve ever bought for under £10,000?