William Luscombe is 42 and is the owner of an eight-year-old Fiat Punto. He needs another small car with low CO2 and decent mpg. He is keen to be green and his top priority is to have a reliable car as the Fiat has cost him a small fortune. The car is mainly used for local journeys and occasionally on the motorway.

A car for the head

Something small, economical and green please. William is certainly not alone in wanting to buy a car like this and there are certainly plenty to choose from right now. As reliability is also one of the key aims for William's next car, he can't ever go too far wrong by investing in something from a Japanese manufacturer. One hugely underrated manufacturer is Daihatsu which has an interesting range of small cars that should be perfect for William. The Daihatsu Sirion has lots of room inside for such a small car but also comes with a very good level of standard equipment, is solidly built and comes with a five-year manufacturer's warranty. The basic Sirion costs £8,320, although it is possible to get a discount off that figure by simply asking the dealer nicely. It qualifies for the £35 annual tax rate, but it is the reliability that should convince William. Inside that spacious cabin the standard equipment includes air conditioning, integral CD tuner and height-adjustable steering column. There are also electric windows and side airbags, and the rear seat splits 60:40.

A car for the heart

When it comes to so-called green manufacturers, it is Citroë*that has led the way over the past few years with vehicles that are cheap to own and run. William told me that the car is just for him and with that in mind, he may need nothing larger than a C1. Here is a suitably small car that is fun to look at and drive. It is designed for urban life with firm suspension, although it will be perfectly fine on the motorway. The 1.0 litre petrol should be more than adequate and it will return a decent 61.4mpg and it qualifies for £35 tax. A basic Vibe model can be bought from a Citroë*dealer for £6,086 less a cashback of £1,300. I predict that William will get a hearty welcome in a new-car showroom at the moment.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or email James Ruppert at carchoice@independent.co.uk, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested and your budget.

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