A note of caution - I was told I couldn't convert the lap strap on my 306 - it had to have had a factory fitted mounting point, which it hasn't , apparently. So we're having to buy a new car... Ones we're looking at (we want a big estate) are the VW Passat, Skoda Octavia, Citroen C5. At 2-3 years old these are in the 8K bracket, the C5 and Octavia obviously cheaper than the passat, but haven;t looked at older prices.
I think Ford Mondeos have three proper belts in the back, although that may only be Ghia models and higher. £1000 might just be possible, too, for one of the earlier ones. They're a classic rep-mobile but part of the reason for that is because they could take some serious mileages while still being spacious and comfortable. They were also much better than the Vauxhall Vectra.
A VW Passat would also be a good choice although you may struggle for that money as they tend to hold their value. As HG@34 says, the Skoda Octavia is a good alternative to the Passat (most of the mechanical bits are the identical; it's the quality of the trim and the toys that's different). You'll often see Octavias being used as minicabs which, again, wouldn't happen unless they were cheap to run and reliable. Just don't buy one that's actually been used as a minicab.
ooh no, not keen on the multipla. Ford Mondeo's are ok. Trouble is have a car snob as a husband. He doesn't seem to realise we can't afford a cool car - I need practicality not looks! I want a car to get me and the children safely from A - B. Bloody men
I have a 51 plate Mondeo Zetec - okay its not fancy but its all colour coded and looks fab when its been waxed.
Not too expensive in insurance/petrol and was only £1400 at auction. Has done a fair few miles but drives like a new car.
DH has a Volvo V40 diesel estate. Again pretty economical and has done loads of miles with no trouble. Hes a bit of a car snob too but Volvos have a really good reputation. Can cost a fair bit to repair though nothing has gone with ours yet.
Both have really good boot space and fit my 3 dcs with no bother but neither has 3 point middle seat belt.