Not all estates have low ground clearance, just something to be aware of. I was more saying that AWD wouldn't really get me anywhere I can't get without it, since AWD isn't going to stop you scraping. Rural roads here are bad, way worse than anything in the UK.
Werwulf, theres loads of them here. Neighbour has one. Enjoy parking that in most UK parking spots haha. I momentarily considered a $500 example here, then saw the carbed V8 under the bonnet and realised that I could definitely not afford 12 mpg
Yeah RWD will get probably 10% worse mileage than a FWD, and your only options for RWD really are either really old or more expensive luxury/sporty cars. I drive a volvo 240 estate, but you are doing well to get 35 mpg out of it. 70p a litre petrol helps with that though. I never realised how cheap used cars are in the UK til I moved here. The only way you would get a car made this century for £2500 here is if it had been crashed or something seriously wrong with it..
Ford mondeo estate or something wouldn't be a bad option, I would just buy a dirt cheap one, run it into the ground without really investing any money into it then throw it away if something major happens. They aren't bad cars, I'd choose one over a VW product, they are a hell of lot cheaper and simpler to fix. My main gripe with newer VW is they over-engineer everything. Just too damn complicated, and when stuff inevitably goes wrong it isn't cheap or easy to fix.