Gone are the days of being a student! Trying to make your student loan stretch as far as possible, living off a diet based largely around pasta and alcohol, and constantly finding yourself with next to no funds.
During this time of financial struggle, the cost of running and maintaining a car usually means driving is out of the question.
And if you were lucky enough to be able to keep your car running through university, it’s likely to be the old banger you’ve had since you were 17.
But you’re not a student anymore. All your hard work has finally paid off and you’re now a young professional in a good job, earning a decent wage.
So, now you have all this disposable income at your fingertips, why not ditch the banger and trade it in for something which is a more accurate reflection of your young professional status?
Because let’s be honest, your old and dented KA isn’t going to impress anybody and will only tarnish your professional image.
So, if you’re ready for a new set of wheels, take a look at our list of top 7 cars for the young professional.
The Honda Civic is a top choice if you want a car that’s comfortable and spacious - unlike your current wagon. While the interior isn’t as plush as other alternatives, it’s perfectly adequate and almost certainly more upmarket than the interior you’re used to.
The Civic is available with a variety of engine choices, and while the entry-level 1.0 litre petrol does the job, if you really want to step up your game as a young professional then the 1.5-litre is by far the better option, providing a smooth, powerful yet economical drive.
The BMW 1 Series is certainly a way to show people you’re moving up in the world. It’s fitted with a quality, high class interior which will be a breath of fresh air after your current non-descript interior.
Additionally, the 1 Series has plenty of power, making you feel as if you’re driving a Ferrari, compared to the dinky little engine of your first-time car.
But despite its power, the 1 Series has surprisingly low running costs, thanks to a range of fuel-efficient engines.
At the more premium end of the scale, the Audi A1 Sportsback is the priciest on this list, but there’s a lot to love about this sleek little hatchback.
Although a small car, it provides a surprising amount of space inside, and you’ll immediately notice the interior feels considerably more upmarket thanks to quality materials and a fancy, high-tech infotainment system.
The A1 delivers excellent performance, plus its nippy and agile handling will come in particularly handy for weaving in and out of traffic when you’re running late for work.
The Peugeot 208 is ideal if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, that doesn’t compromise on style. With its subtle curved exterior, it certainly looks attractive from the outside, and the interior is equally pleasing on the eye.
Plus, while many features are often only available with additional trims, the entry-level 208 is equipped with an abundance of features including heated door mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning, Bluetooth and remote central locking as standard.
Honestly, what more could you want?
Thought you could never get a proper saloon for your second car? Well, think again.
The Vauxhall Insignia provides the luxury aesthetics and size of the more premium-priced cars but at a fraction of the cost.
It’s an exceptionally comfortable choice, which pays off if you have a long commute to work, and its smooth engines and cruising ability are great when it comes to tearing up the motorway.
However, if you just need something to zip around town in, you may find the Insignia a little bulky, in which case stick to a city run-around such as the Audi A1 or the Peugeot 208.
A smart looking hatchback with a good reputation for being practical and reliable, the Fabia is a great choice if you want a good all-rounder, that’s cheap to run.
Despite being one of the least expensive in its class, the Fabia delivers great performance with solid handling, good grip and surprising refinement.
However, if you’re planning to take passengers in the back, just be warned that legroom is of the essence.
Last but by no means least, the Volkswagen Golf. Now into its 7th generation, Volkswagen has continued to build on the success of its predecessors, and it remains one of the best in its class.
Performance-wise, the Golf can do pretty much anything you ask, making it ideal for both motorway driving and navigating around tight city streets.
But because the Golf has successfully demonstrated its value across each generation year-on-year, you’ll find them at the higher end of the price range.
If you're interested in upgrading your car with something from our list - or a car of your own choice, we can help! We offer finance for a vast range of vehicles, and with plans starting at just £91 per month, we have packages to suit all budgets. Simply apply online today and one of our dedicated customer advisors will call you to discuss your requirements, or assist with any questions regarding your finance application.