The new car market is all set for the new 69-plate registration release due on 1 September.
Number plates change twice a year (the other key date is 1 March, and this year we looked at the most economical new petrol cars). These two months generate huge sales for car companies as motorists race to drive shiny new vehicles with the latest registration.
If you’re looking for some 69-reg inspiration, we’ve chosen 10 affordable cars (all £20,000 or under and listed below in no particular order) to whet your appetite.
1. Dacia Duster - from £10,995
The entry-level front-wheel drive Duster SUV is spacious, rugged and a surprisingly decent drive. You'll have to pay £15,700 for the 4x4 version, but it's still a bargain.
Winner of countless awards, it's even received the prestigious Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended status. It was rated by owners in four key areas (performance/enjoyment, overall acceptability, likelihood of purchasing again and recommendation to others).
An amazing 92% of readers would recommend a Duster to friends and family, while owners praised the car’s value for money, looks, technology and driving experience.
2. Skoda Scala - from £16,595
The all-new Skoda Scala squares up against the likes of the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra in the mid-sized hatchback sector. Offering a serious amount of space (including the biggest boot in this class), it slots in between the Fabia and Octavia.
Handsome, competitively priced and with a good range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, it drives smoothly enough, though it’s no Focus or Golf in the handling department.
That said, it’s one of the safest new cars on the market, gaining a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. Add Skoda's reputation for reliability and the Scala is definitely worth considering, especially for families.
3. Ford Fiesta Trend - from £15,995
There's a new entry-level version of the UK's best-selling car and it's called the Trend.
With 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and metallic paint as standard, it also boasts an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with DAB radio and both Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity.
Available in three and five-door body styles, the Trend is great value and continues to offer the Fiesta's famed driving dynamics and excellent packaging.
4. Fiat 500 Dolcevita - from £17,995
Fiat's popular retro-styled supermini still oozes character, has a surprising amount of space and is just as much fun to drive as ever.
The stylish new 500 Dolcevita special edition pays homage to Italy's "Dolce Vita" years when the original, iconic 500 was the car that got the people of Europe moving in the 1950s.
Two versions are available – a convertible with a white-and-blue striped top and red "500" badge, plus a hatchback with a fixed glass roof. Other spec highlights include a striking nautical wood dashboard, a wicker-inspired central panel, new ivory leather seats with red piping, plus an embroidered "500" logo.
5. Vauxhall Corsa Griffin - from £11,695
With an all-new Corsa model just months away, Vauxhall's limited edition Griffin model is excellent value for money.
Standard kit includes 16-inch gloss black alloy wheels complemented by a black roof, door mirrors and front grille logo bar, dark tinted rear windows, heated front seats, unique ‘Griffin’ badges and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with sat nav.
There's a choice of three or five doors and a 1.4-litre petrol engine (74bhp or 89bhp). It may not be in its first flush of youth, but the Corsa is a bargain supermini and still drives well. Oh, and it now comes with three years' servicing and two years' additional roadside assistance.
6. Suzuki Swift Attitude - from £14,099
Looking for a sporty looking supermini that’s cheap to run, fun to drive and backed up by Suzuki’s reputation for dependability? Look no further than the new special edition Suzuki Swift Attitude.
Based on the mid-range SZ-T trim, broadly speaking it offers the looks of the acclaimed Swift Sport, but with the affordability and low running costs of the more basic model.
Standard spec includes 16-inch polished alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, rear upper spoiler, plus front, side and rear carbon effect skirts.
7. Nissan Micra N-Sport - from £17,940
Squeaking in just under our £20,000 budget, the sporty version of Nissan's surprisingly good Micra supermini is something of a revelation.
At last this cool-looking car has some beans under its bonnet. Powered by a punchy new three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol turbo (choose from 99bhp or 115bhp versions), it competes with the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST Line, Suzuki Swift and Seat Ibiza FR.
Available with goodies including Alcantara trim on the seats and dash, plus rear privacy glass and a rear view camera with parking sensors, it's a dynamic drive and that little engine is a scream.
8. Volkswagen up! GTI - from £14,325
The hot version of VW's evergreen up! city car is a revelation and we doubt you can have more fun in a new car costing less than £15,000.
If you’re looking for a small car that’s great around town, but also practical, economical and superb fun on any road, then the up! GTI ticks all the right boxes.
9. Kia Picanto Titanium - from £12,350
The popular Picanto is a sassy, well-equipped, refined and nippy city car backed up by a superb seven-year warranty. It's fun to drive too, while fuel economy is up to 50.4mpg, CO2 emissions are 114g/km and it's cheap to insure.
It's won a few trophies too, including Best City Car at the 2018 What Car? Awards. We think this new special edition would be worth considering – it features Titanium silver paintwork and other goodies including rear privacy glass, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights and a 7.0-inch touchscreen display as standard.
10. MINI - from £16,195
It's the 60th anniversary of the original Mini, so what better way to celebrate than to buy a new MINI? Retro cool, funky, great value and engaging to drive, it's made in Britain and has a real premium feel.
Available as a three or five-door hatch, you can choose between two three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol turbo engines (101bhp or 134bhp) or a more powerful 189bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. It’s another cracking new car choice.