The Ford Focus Mk1 rewrote the class rulebook when it was launched, and huge sales mean that used examples are now a potential bargain.
Decent early examples can now be snapped up for as little as £1000, and enjoy what was then one of the best handling, best damped cars of its time.
Faisal Mahmood, owner of FM Motors in Wembley, is your guide to getting a bargain.
"They're an affordable and reliable car and have built up a good reputation for being a good secondhand buy," he says. "They now go for similar money to Golf Mk4s."
Wheels and tyres
It’s tempting to overlook kerbed wheels and missing or incorrect hubcaps, but there are a lot of Focuses out there. Scuffed rims and badly scratched bodywork can also point to general neglect, including under the bonnet.
Ignition coils can go and should be replaced immediately. If you don’t you could blow the ECU, warns Anthony Rees of Ford specialist Mercury Motors, and that can be pricey to repair. A new ignition coil costs £120 including fitting.