I get a lot correspondence from youngsters starting out on their automotive journeys with not much in the way of savings and nothing resembling a no claims bonus.

Insurance is always the killer, so it was interesting the other day to come across someone who, at 22, had paid his insurance dues, but still had a first time buyer budget. He wanted excitement for £1000.

With a Citroen Saxo for company he was happy to upgrade to a VTR, but wondered whether I had any other ideas.

Well, £1000 never sounds like a lot when you want a car that does a bit more than get from A to B. It’s hard to know where to start, but thank heavens for the interweb as there’s quite  a lot out there.

The one and only time I ever had a press car for more than an hour was when a magazine had a Seat Ibiza GTI going spare. Compared to the stodgy Mk3 Golf it was a light, responsive bundle of fun.

Both the Seat and VW can now be bought for a grand, and I know which one I’d rather have.

Then there are BMW Compacts and 318is, both of which fall in budget and which add the fun of being are rear drive. The Nissan 200SX Turbo sounds fun, but there may not be many left on this planet.