If your son or daughter is just about to scoot off to college, we can tell you which affordable second-hand car you’re best to send them in. For novice drivers, a Honda Jazz 1.4 is the most dependable car available on a £3000 buying budget.

This info comes courtesy of breakdown insurance company Warranty Direct, who say the Jazz is the most reliable small car for the money. Even the eight-year-old example that our £3k budget buys is pretty unlikely to break down in a year’s use: there’s only a 2 in 25 chance. A similar age Vauxhall Astra should prove faithful, too – it ranks second to the Jazz for reliability. Next is Toyota’s Yaris, then Nissan’s Micra and the Volkswagen Lupo. What’s more, if the Jazz does go wrong it won’t cost a mint to fix – the average repair bill will be £232.

By contrast, one in four Citroen C3 small cars is likely to break down in a year. And almost half of all Daewoo Matiz city cars will need attention.

Warranty Direct reached its conclusion by scanning the history of the more than 50,000 cars it covers.