Our pick 2001 BMW M5, 100,000 miles, £8499
19 - Audi A8, the luxo-barge
Yes, a bit of this, some of that and plenty of luxury, please. If you are going to enjoy Christmas in any meaningful way, you really need a great big, comfortable settee on wheels, ideally with four-wheel drive. A firmly upholstered Audi A8 quattro would be truly wonderful, and on the right winter tyres, it will be more than capable in the ice and snow.
Our pick 2004 Audi A8 4.0 TDI, 90,000 miles, £5000
18 - Aston Martin DB9, the super coupé
It depends on your definition of a ‘christmas cracker’, but surely something that looked like an Aston Martin would be a good start. Spectre got us all excited about Astons and Jaguars and Land Rover Defenders, but no one can afford a DB4 or DB10. If you’re on a budget then it’s a DB7. If you want to use it beyond Boxing Day, a DB9 (for lots more money) is better.
Our pick 2005 Aston Martin DB9, 60,000 miles, £36,999
17 - Toyota Land Cruiser, the 4x4
If last year was anything to go by, we are going to need some help getting through the snow drifts to get to all those parties we’ve been invited to. In the real world, it should be a Toyota Land Cruiser. If you are serious about getting anywhere in adverse conditions, you should accept no substitute, even with 200k miles on the clock.
Our pick 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0D, 220,000 miles, £5500
16 - Seat Alhambra, the Christmas pudding
Big and a bit stodgy but oh so filling. Yes, there are times when we need to stuff not just the family inside, but friends, pets, luggage and pressies, too. Lots of pressies. The Seat Alhambra is well equipped and big enough to get all the visiting relatives to the train station on the day after Boxing Day.
Our pick 2004 Seat Alhambra TDI SX, 120,000 miles, £2600
15 - Toyota iQ, the city car
It’s all very well getting these exciting cars, but all we really need is something for buzzing down to the shops on a frantic last-minute mission to get brandy butter and turkey stuffing. For such tasks, there’s nothing better than the frankly quite brilliantly bonkers Toyota iQ, which will do a claimed 65.7mpg, leaving you spare cash to spend on food and presents.
Our pick 2010 Toyota iQ 1.0, 69,000 miles, £3000
14 - Rover 45, the Christmas turkey
There’s always one, isn’t there? We won’t name names, but just imagine you bought a [insert most old bangers here] and you found out that it had a blown head gasket. So be very, very careful out there. Ask your garage to do a colour change test to see if there are exhaust fumes in the cooling system. Or just look at the coolant for white paste and the oil for any moisture.
Our (cautious) pick 2003 Rover 45 1.6 Club, 126,000 miles, £495
13 - Mercedes-Benz CLK500, the piece of tinsel
Something a bit blingy, but great value? That would be a Mercedes-Benz CLK, then. These are incredibly cheap now and an early model should have had any problems sorted out by previous owners. Seek out a convertible if you feel optimistic that the new year will be bright and dry. Certainly, you should have enough money left over to spend on a set of chrome wheels.
Our pick 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK500, 114,000 miles, £3500
12 - Honda Jazz, Santa's little helperWe all need a little hatchback that we can rely on to run the errands, do the shopping and just keep on running over the Christmas period. The Honda Jazz will perform that role perfectly. It will also give you around 50mpg all day long and, of course, a Jazz is as reliable as Rudolf.
Our pick 2010 Honda Jazz 1.4 Si, 35,000 miles, £5495
11 - Daihatsu Copen, the tiny coupé
A cute little roadster could make a loved one very, very happy. There is certainly no shortage of bijou CCs around these days, but one of the most overlooked is the Daihatsu Copen. These are wonderfully buzzy little things, and they don’t just look great; they rarely break down, either.
Our pick 2006 Daihatsu Copen, 47,500 miles, £2950
10 - Ford Mondeo, the family car
Nothing fancy, just five doors, a lot of kit and a nice low price please, Santa. That would have to be the very-nice-to-drive-and-live-with Ford Mondeo. We would go for the estate, which has absolutely bags of room. Titanium specification will give you everything you really need. There’s even a heated screen, which is the best invention ever to deal with frosty winter mornings.
Our pick 2008 Ford Mondeo Titanium Estate, 125,000 miles, £3500
9 - TVR Cerbera, the noisy supercar
TVR is trending, so be ahead of the rejuvenation curve. Almost as old as Santa himself, the TVR Cerbera would be a truly wonderful addition to the frontline reindeer team. Pretty unwieldy on ice, although never less than fun, this great big noisy toy will make you the centre of attention well into 2016 and beyond.
Our pick 1999 TVR Cerbera, 45,000 miles, £16,999
8 - Jaguar XJ6, the big, luxurious saloon
Although Jaguar’s design has moved into the 21st century now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with an older XJ, which continues to look the luxury car part and now has a low, low price to match. Even the previous-generation, aluminium-bodied one is truly affordable. Spoil yourself.
Our pick 2006 Jaguar XJ6 2.7 TD, 110,000 miles, £6995
7 - Citroën Xsara Picasso, the mince pie
Some things are perfectly packaged, like a mince pie. So are some vehicles, like compact MPVs in general, and the Citroën Xsara Picasso has to be the best-value example out there. It doesn’t need to seat seven and, thanks to that egg shape, you can cram loads of stuff in it. Plenty to choose from on the second-hand market, too.
Our pick 2010 Citroën Xsara Picasso 1.6 HDi, 50,000 miles, £5000
6 - Skoda Octavia vRS, the ice queen
Four-wheel drive is the recurring theme this year and what better way to go out and enjoy yourself than a Skoda Octavia vRS, which is truly underrated and rather more classy than a Subaru. There isn’t a great deal of room in the back, but there is a big front spoiler to plough the snow out of the way.
Our pick 2004 Skoda Octavia vRS, 113k miles, £2295
5 - Toyota MR2, the fairy lights roadster
Something small and lightweight really ought to be a Caterham Seven, but they are a bit pricey and haven’t got proper doors or a proper roof. For that reason, we recommend the Toyota MR2, which is light, economical and almost as impractical as a Seven, but with a better hood. At least it is not another Mazda MX-5. These are only going up in value.
Our pick 2002 Toyota MR2, 76,000 miles, £2495
4 - Mitsubishi Shogun, the small 4x4
There are times when you need a pocket-sized off-roader, and we really do think that the Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin is really cute. It is also tough and reliable, even if many think it is not very refined. Off road, though, it is truly brilliant - like a mini Shogun, which it is, of course.
Our pick 2005 Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin, 66,000 miles, £2495
3 - Porsche 911 4S, the GT for long distances
Apparently, Santa has it written into his contract that he really must have access to a full-on performance-focused driving machine. He is one of us, you know, and despite his girth, he can chuck a motor about just like he does the reindeer and sleigh. So he needs a Porsche 911 with handy four-wheel-drive traction.
Our pick 2007 Porsche 911 4S, 48,000 miles, £35,995
2 - Honda Insight, the green option
Prove to Santa that you’ve been good by going hybrid with a Honda Insight. But it depends on whether you are going to do a lot of stop-start driving, or some big miles. For long distance, it has to be one of those nasty diesels. Best to get one from a private seller who is still a bit confused by it.
Our pick 2010 Honda Insight 1.3 SE, 63,000 miles, £5500
1 - Ferrari FF, the Italian sports car
A fire engine would be nice, of course, maybe even an ex-Parcel Force Sherpa. But hey, it’s Christmas, so let’s go absolutely mad and get a Ferrari. As it is Crimble, it can be an FF because we ran one and loved it. It’s the closest that Modena will ever get to making a 4x4 and just as practical, because there is room for at least two elves in the back.
Our pick 2012 Ferrari FF, 20,000 miles, £149,895