I think one of the guys on here has bought a diesel ford mondeo as a run around, I believe he bought it for £400 ...
That'll be me, bought from my next door neighbour.
Its in good condition, has MOT and tax, 1.8 diesel so you can get 40mpg ragging it around.. It has 146k on the clock, on a 99 V reg, has been used to do York -> Croydon and back a couple of times a week for the last 5 years. Was a company car with Nestle before that. I think that was a bargain really, but if you are looking for a car that cheap there is no point looking on Autotrader, when people want small amounts they won't pay to advertise. Check ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury noticeboards.
Best thing about the Mondy is I can run it on veg oil 50:50 with diesel. So 2 litres costs me 56p + 126.9 (asda, inc. 2p off with my asda credit card) = 91.25p per litre. So thats 40mpg on a gallon that costs £4.15. To drive that cheaply, you'd need to do 55.5mpg on diesel at 126.9 a litre, or find a petrol that does 51.6 mpg on petrol at 117.9p a litre.
And that is me braying the arse off it most of the time, 90% urban driving. I got 48mpg or so on a motorway run to Nottingham, driving at 90-100 (km/h of course officer).
I was planning on getting rid of it now the Alfa is back on the road but I can't justify it cost wise. So I'm looking out for a dual car insurance policy, so I can use the Alfa only when I really feel like it. TBH, the Mondeo is better on York's urban roads anyway as its all pot-holed and speed-bumped. Coilovers do not suit
Best of luck in your search Simon.