The new car market is all set for the release of the new 68-plate registrations due on September 1.
Number plates change twice a year (the other key date is March 1) and these two months generate huge sales for car companies as motorists race to drive new motors with the latest registration.
If you’re looking for some 68-reg inspiration, we’ve chosen 20 “reasonably priced” cars (all £20,000 or under) to whet your appetite…
Seat’s impressive new entry in the hotly contested compact crossover sector looks a bit like a baby Ateca, but it’s based on the acclaimed Ibiza supermini. Practical and stylish, it’s especially fun to drive if you go for the 1.0 TSI (turbo petrol) 115PS in sporty FR grade. Priced from £16,905.
The MINI is a modern automotive icon. Funky, stylish and cheap to run – it’s built in Britain and has a real premium feel. As you’d expect, it’s fun to drive and the only real negatives are the cramped rear seats and modest boot capacity. Priced from £15,905.
The latest version of Suzuki’s popular supermini follows on from the previous car offering great value for money, space and cheap running costs, plus an entertaining drive. The smooth, economical 1.0 Boosterjet SZ5 SHVS version is the pick of the standard range, but it’s worth remembering that even the fantastic Swift Sport hot hatch (pictured) is under budget. The Swift range is priced from £11,999.
The seventh generation Fiesta supermini is better than ever. The UK’s biggest selling car for the past eight years is now more stylish and boasts the latest tech and connectivity. It’s also roomier, just as engaging to drive and great value for money. Worth noting that the excellent ST-Line and ST versions also come in under budget! The Fiesta range is priced from £13,715.
The latest version of the world’s most popular roadster is better than ever – it’s good-looking, fun to drive and great value. If you want a little extra comfort and refinement, go for the RF (Retractable Fastback) variant with an electrically-operated targa-style top roof. Priced from £18,995.
The new Honda Civic is a class act. Boasting distinctive, radical styling and plenty of tech, it’s rewarding to drive, spacious and safe. Go for the surprisingly punchy 127bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine which is very capable and refined for its size. Priced from £18,895.
Looking not unlike a baby Leon, Seat’s new Ibiza is something of a revelation. Stylish, safe, spacious, refined, well equipped and entertaining to drive, it’s great value and is arguably the best supermini on the market. Priced from £15,125
Sitting below the Tiguan, VW’s new entrant in the competitive compact crossover segment not only looks stylish and sporty, it handles really well and is blessed with a great range of engines. It can also be specified with four-wheel drive. Priced from £18,955.
Kia’s top-selling model is also one of the best-handling SUVs on the market. Slightly over our budget, it’s been treated to a subtle makeover for 2018 and is now packed with the latest infotainment and safety systems, and a new hybrid version is available. Oh, and don’t forget that it comes with an unbeatable seven-year warranty. Priced from £20,305.
Renault’s all-electric five-door supermini is a fun car to drive, especially around town. Named What Car? ‘Best Electric Car under £20,000’ for five consecutive years, the stylish Zoe is a great introduction to zero emissions motoring. Upgraded for 2018, it now features a more powerful (80kWh) electric motor and Android Auto compatibility. It has a 186-mile real world range and every purchase includes a free 7kW fast-charging wall-box with free home installation, plus a three-year/100,000-mile warranty. Priced from £18,420.
Almost seven million Ford Focus cars have been sold in Europe and more than 16 million around the world since the original game-changing Focus was introduced in 1998. The all-new fourth-generation car is available in five-door and estate body styles and is “the most accomplished and technically advanced Focus ever”. Priced from £17,930.
Skoda’s biggest selling model is spacious, well built and great value. A fantastic family car choice (also available as a cavernous estate), our pick of the range is the 1.4 TSI 150PS in SE trim. Priced from £19,095
Citroen C3 Aircross
The Citroen C3 Aircross is a breath of fresh air and will definitely appeal to those buyers that want to stand out from the crowd. It’s also spacious, well equipped, easy to drive and there’s a good choice of engines. A fun, value- for-money choice in the very competitive compact crossover sector. Priced from £14,700.
Fun to drive, great value for money, cheap to insure and cute, Hyundai’s i10 city car also comes with a generous five-year warranty. Priced from £9,095.
The car that started the crossover craze in 2006 is as popular as ever. Good looking, spacious, practical and with a commanding driving position, we’d recommend the zippy 1.2 DIG-T turbo petrol or frugal 1.5 dCi diesel. Priced from £19,300.
The classy sixth generation of Volkswagen’s popular supermini is longer and wider than the outgoing model and it looks much fresher. It’s also equipped with the latest driver assistance systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). With great build quality, it’s a fun, frugal and a surprisingly refined driving experience. Go for the eager 1.0-litre turbo engine in mid-level SE trim. Priced from £14,235.
Longer, wider and sportier than its predecessor, the new Kia Ceed is a real step up in terms of design, driveability and build quality. Smart looks, more space and a good range of engines, combined with improved driving dynamics, put it among the leaders in its class. The addition of Kia’s reputation for reliability and unbeatable seven-year warranty could swing it for many mid-size hatchback buyers. Priced from £18,295.
Fiat 124 Spider
Based on the Mazda MX-5 roadster, Fiat’s version has a character all of its own thanks to its stylish looks and punchy 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The range starts at £21,055 so it’s just over budget, but you might get the price down with a bit of bargaining.
Skoda’s little city car is great value, fun to drive and surprisingly spacious. Closely related to the Seat Mii and VW up!, we’d go for the slightly higher spec, powerful SE L 1.0 MPI 75PS GreenTech. Priced from £8,860.
This distinctive compact crossover is another classy car from Mazda. Well built, practical and genuinely fun to drive, the 1.5 SKYACTIV-D 105PS (diesel) Sport Nav is capable of 71mpg with CO2 emissions of just 105g/km. Also available with AWD, it’s priced from £18,995.