For those hesitant about using public transport once they return to work after lockdown, buying a city car could be a tempting alternative, given their practicality, reliability and cheapness to buy and run. They have come a long way over the years, too, so any lingering visions you may have of crushed Coke cans can pretty much be dismissed.
The best, if your budget can stretch to it, is the Volkswagen Up. It can be fairly nippy, especially if you find one like we did with the 89bhp 1.0-litre turbo engine. This turns the Up into a decent performer, meaning you don’t have to fork out £11,000 or more for the GTI version if your commute includes some out-of-town stretches.
The Up is a relatively practical proposition, too, with plenty of room both front and rear. It can seat only four, but that’s okay, since you would be getting very intimate with those either side of you if you tried sitting in the middle of most city cars.
There’s also a deep boot (with even room for a spare wheel), so you could park up, pull out a Brompton bike and ride that last bit to the office.
Splashing out for the more powerful engine means you’ll be getting into a better-specified car, since it was only available in top-spec High Up (such as our lurid yellow 2017 example with 63,200 miles) or Beats Up. Both will have air-con, alloy wheels and electrically adjustable door mirrors as standard, but the High Up comes with heated seats for those cold winter mornings, while a Beats Up model has an upgraded sound system in the form of a 300W Beats stereo. That will allow you to proudly sing along to your favourite tunes. Try doing that on the train…