Whatever happened to estate cars? People don’t talk about them like they used to. There are, of course, so many options to consider: fancy people-carriers, and crossovers and SUVs, whatever they are. The thing is that estate cars are just so blinking useful. They can be really rather quick, too.

I’ve had a Volvo V70. It was boring but it did the job, so let’s start with this load-shifting icon. Between £750 and £1000 gets a cleanish 2000 2.4 Classic. This is all the estate you’ll ever really need, because the load bay is big, long and flat. The rear-facing seats are outclassed by modern seven-seaters but are fine for children.

Go for the newer, less slabby model. Don’t worry about miles too much if it’s a petrol example, and an SE has all the essential kit. However, if you have a need for speed, you’ll find T5s for £1500 to £2000 and you might stumble across an AWD, but some can be a lot of trouble.

If you want a quick estate, the Audi RS4 Avant is the first choice. It is a banker in the long term because it has stopped depreciating and is on the gradual rise. They start at £10k, but the nicer ones with proper history are £12,995 and up for the earlier 2001 models. If you want a facelifted 2007 example, that’s £15,995, but it doesn’t look as special.