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buying advice

Want to get the neighbours talking? 5 impressive motors to check out under €15k

Get those curtains twitching. For less!

NOTHING SETS CURTAINS twitching and neighbours talking like the arrival of a fancy new car on the street.

With plenty of choice on the used market, these days you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get a car that will still pique the neighbour’s interest and maybe even make some of them green with envy.

Here’s a small selection of some cars to make the neighbours jealous for less than €15,000.

1. Alfa Romeo GT (2004-2010)

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There was a time when this two-door coupe from Alfa Romeo would have set you back well over €25,000, but these days you can pick up a clean example for only a few thousand euro.

Naturally, some will call that a brave move, given Alfa Romeo’s sometimes questionable reputation. Nevertheless, this is a car that still looks good today and if you find the right one, won’t cost a whole lot to run.

2. Audi TT (2006-2014)

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The second-gen Audi TT didn’t look quite as striking as the original model, but it does still appear modern today and remains instantly recognisable as a TT.

The vast majority of models on the used market in Ireland are the coupe version, but some convertible models can be picked up although these sometimes carry higher insurance premiums.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine produces decent performance but is harder to find in comparison to the less-sporty diesel engine.

3. Jaguar XF (2008-2015)

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Most people have a particular image of what a Jaguar is in their heads when they hear the name. Not everyone realises just how cheaply you can pick up a used Jaguar for in the used market.

The XF is Jaguar’s answer to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, offering good interior space and exterior styling that mixes conservatism with a hint of sportiness.

In fact, its styling hasn’t changed a great deal in comparison to the current model. Most models used a 3.0-litre diesel before switching to a newer 2.2-litre unit, but these more recent models are more expensive.

4. Lexus LS430 (2003-2007)

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Not only is the Lexus LS430 a huge car in size, but it is also massively refined inside. Its looks are every bit as good and posh as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and inside it is extremely well made.

Its styling has aged very well, in part due to the relative rarity of larger Lexus models; most people don’t think they’re as affordable as they are. The LS remains one of the few cars that you can almost guarantee reliability with, and when you consider how much car you get for the money, it can be hard to pass up.

That said, you will need to be prepared for eye-watering annual motor tax bills and frequent visits to the fuel station if you do a lot of miles each week. But we think it’s worth it.

5. Nissan Leaf (2011-2018)

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Hear us out on this one.

Yes, the Nissan Leaf doesn’t exactly have the type of styling that is going to have people lusting after it, but your neighbours may well get jealous when they realise how little it will cost you to run it.

You can feel smug each morning watching your neighbours de-ice their windscreens while yours warms up automatically thanks to the onboard timed heating that you can set via an app on your smartphone. Plus, you have the benefit of setting off each morning with a full ‘tank’ by charging it overnight.

More: Buying a first car for your son or daughter? 4 models you should really see first>

More: How to buy a premium estate with change from €20k – and 4 models you need to see>

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