Cars aren’t cheap – in fact, they’re said to be the second biggest purchase after your home.

The used car market can throw up some absolute gems, but it often comes down to good fortune if an urgent issue doesn’t become apparent within the first six months.

Understandably, some people aren’t into the idea of driving second-hand cars and are happy to pay extra for the assurance that they’re the first owner. But like everyone else, they don’t want to pay through the nose, so which cars can they buy box-fresh with a four-figure ticket price?

Ford Ka+

Ford Ka+ red

Don’t go thinking this is a pumped-up Ka, it’s actually based on the outgoing Fiesta, which has been Britain’s best selling car since 2007.

So even if the name feels unfamiliar, you’re likely to be impressed by how well it drives and how roomy it is inside.

Ford Ka+ black

The spec list is reasonably well fleshed-out, which makes it superb value for money and unlike most of the cars on this list, it also comes with five doors as standard.

Only one variant of the Ka+ rings in under the £10,000 mark – the Studio 1.2 70bhp petrol (£9,245).

Ford Ka+ blue

With an agonising 16-second 0-62mph time, it won’t win any drag races, but it is an economical runner, returning more than 50mpg and emitting 114g/km of CO2, so you’ll pay just £30 a year in road tax as long as it’s registered before the new tax structure takes effect in April 2017.

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero

New cars don’t come any more affordable than the Sandero, which is officially the UK’s least expensive new car with a starting price just short of £6,000.

Dacia Sandero rear

However, this entry-level Access model is positively primitive to the extent that you have to pay extra for something as basic as an FM radio. Add in a three-star Euro NCAP rating, and it’s obvious where most of the savings have been made.

Vauxhall Viva

Vauxhall Viva

It’s the little-known baby Vauxhall – it’s even smaller than the Adam – and all but one version costs under £10,000. However, it only comes with a 73bhp one-litre petrol engine, returning 62.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 104g/km, meaning just £20 annual road tax if the car is registered before April 2017.

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

The VW Group’s trio of city cars, completed by the VW Up and Seat Mii, lead the way in the city car segment with a ridiculously fun drive and a class-leading level of refinement. The Citigo is the more cost-conscious of its cousins and even the range-topping SE-L rings in under £10,000.

Its 73bhp single-litre unit is preferable to the weedy 59bhp engine, and even with the much-appreciated injection of oomph in performance, it still manages to remain road tax-free and achieve just under 70mpg.

While we’re here, we might as well show you the…

Volkswagen Up

Volkswagen Up

It looks like this and the three-door mid-range Move Up tips just £25 over the £10,000 cut-off. But it’s worth the extra, coming with air conditioning and DAB digital radio, even if it does have the smaller engine.

Oh, by the way, here’s the…

Seat Mii

Seat Mii

Yep, spot the resemblance? They’re all the same car with design tweaks and a different badge. There isn’t much else to it.

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

There’s a new generation model due in March 2017, but for now, you can pick up the 1.2-litre 80bhp model in the Visia and Vibe trim for under £10,000.

Nissan Micra rear

The fourth-generation Micra struggled to compete with the more refined names in the supermini segment, hence why the forthcoming model is so different. But if you like the current Micra, you’ll get one for micro money.

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