There used to be a time when £30,000 would get you a lot of car. Now it really gets you the sort of car everyone should be driving – a quality saloon car or a premium SUV. You have a lot of choice with a £30,000 budget but you can easily get carried away with expensive optional extras that push the car over that threshold.
Let's face it if you've got £30,000 to spend you might not want a hatchback. But if it's the only car in your household, a hatchback is a very practical choice. If you opt for a Volkswagen Golf GTI, you'll get practicality and performance. This car has got 380-litres of boot space but it's also capable of reaching 62mph in 6.5 seconds. And you'll have £4,000 to spend on optional extras.
The Honda Civic Type-R won't leave you with any change from £30,000 but that's OK when you've got 316bhp under your right foot. The well-poised chassis is dynamic on turn in and the steering is responsive so this is a practical car you'll love to drive.
Another option you could check out is the Ford Fiesta ST. At £18,900 it's way under budget but don't let that turn you away from the Ford. With 197bhp and 290Nm of torque, you'll have lots of fun behind the wheel and you'll be able to keep up with the Golf GTI and Civic Type-R drivers thanks to a top speed of 144mph and a 0 to 62mph time of just 6.3 seconds.
You don't get as much choice if you want to buy an SUV on a £30,000 budget but you do have the choice of one Land Rover and one Range Rover. The Discovery Sport is a few hundred over the budget but it's worth every penny. You'll get similar legroom to that found in a Range Rover thanks to a sliding second row of seats. And the third row can be adapted to increase space in the boot. This is the least expensive Land Rover but there's nothing cheap about it. Your other option is the Range Rover Evoque. If you want something with a little more style, this is the SUV to buy. It'll cost £1,505 more than you've got but it's worth busting the budget to get your hands on the most stylish SUV available today.