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How to find a car that can handle city driving - plus 3 you can get for under €10k

If your A to B involves city streets, you’ll want a compact car that can take the pressure.

WITH TRAFFIC JAMS, RED lights and parking hassle, city driving is a uniquely stressful beast.

Of course, for most people, having a car is an essential reality of daily life. But which one to choose, if most of your driving is done around city centre routes?

If you’re already living in a built-up area having a larger car isn’t always ideal. Alternatively, you may be on the lookout for a cheap form of personal transport that won’t cost a fortune to run. The answer in both cases can often be a city car.

This week we look at three of the better choices in the segment that you can purchase for less than €10,000…

1. Skoda Citigo

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The Skoda Citigo is in in the Goldilocks zone of urban cars. It adheres the to the design criteria for city cars with its boxy design, but it alo maximises space inside and keeps exterior overhangs to a minimum. As a result, it’s great for squeezing easily into tighter spaces.

The Citigo’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine comes in two guises, a 60hp and a more powerful 75hp. There isn’t a huge deal of difference between the two, but if at all possible try to get the more powerful one. There’s also a choice of a three- or five-door version.

2. Fiat 500

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This lovable Italian supermini has been on the scene for a decade with an army of fans, and it’s easy to see why, given its many city-ready features. There has been a wide variety of Fiat 500 specification options and special edition models over time, and some are more popular than others.

If you’re willing to live with the small boot and limited rear seat room, the Fiat 500 is a fun, nippy drive – but steer clear of the diesel version. As tempting as the soft-top version may be, it’s worth checking if this feature will impact on your insurance premiums before purchasing.

Hyundai i10

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Hyundai has long been popular with the crossover and SUV set, but when it launched its new i10 in 2014, it set a new standard for the city car segment. It has many of the traits typically expected from far larger cars – even slamming the door comes with a reassuring thud.

As for its versatility around city streets, the i10 performs very well thanks to its compact dimensions and impressive amounts of refinement. The 1.0-litre engine is available with an automatic transmission, but this falls into a higher motor tax band, so factor that into your budget when shopping.

More: How to buy a convertible for a song – and 4 of the best used models>

More: How to buy a serious premium SUV on a €30k budget – and 5 models to see first>

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Dave Humphreys

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