Parenthood comes with plenty of demands, from the ability to operate on an hour’s sleep to an intimate knowledge of Calpol dosage limits. You also need a decent-sized vehicle in order to transport the kids and their various school bags, sports kit, musical instruments and everything else.

But if the kids have now flown the coop, you may not need such a large car anymore. So what are the top cars for empty nesters to consider?

Seat Ibiza

The Seat Ibiza has a full five-star rating from the experts at WhatCar? who described it as “the best small car on the market; it really has no major weaknesses”.

For a so-called small car, it actually has plenty of space, not just for passengers but in the boot as well. As WhatCar? says: “There’s more room for luggage than you'll find in nearly every small car rival. A couple of big suitcases or a small buggy will fit quite easily and we managed to squeeze in five carry-on suitcases without removing the parcel shelf or folding down the rear seats.”

Prices start at £13,195 for a new Ibiza.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s favourite car for more than a decade, and was once again the best selling car in the UK in 2017, with more than 94,500 registrations across the year.

The experts at WhatCar? Gave it a four-star rating, noting that “It’s always been a cut above its rivals to drive, and it continues to punch well above its weight for the amount of gadgets and safety technology it’s available with”.

If you’re looking for a new Fiesta, you’re likely to have to fork out upwards of £12,945.

Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia has won numerous awards in recent years, including the WhatCar? Overall car of the year in 2015 and the small car of the year in 2016. Indeed, WhatCar? have given the Fabia the full five stars.

The Fabia has won plaudits for being larger than many of its competitors, with a boxy shape and higher than average roof that mean passengers enjoy a decent amount of room. In addition, the Fabia has a boot bigger than even some cars in the size class above.

Prices for a new Fabia start at £9,710.

Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo was the seventh best-selling car in the UK in 2017 with almost 48,000 new registrations.

The Polo attracts a lot of praise for just how much fun it is to drive. As WhatCar? says: “What really stands out when driving the Polo is just how comfortable it is, because the suspension takes speed bumps and potholes in its stride, stopping them from crashing through to the interior – even at low speeds. At higher motorway speeds, the Polo remains stable and smooths away rough surfaces.”

The Polo is another motor to be awarded the full five-star rating. Prices for a new one begin at £11,805.

Mini Hatchback

The Mini is another of the nation’s favourite motors; in fact, it was the eighth best-selling car last year, with 47,669 registrations.

It won four stars from the team at WhatCar? who said that it is a pleasant car to be in and a rewarding one to drive. The classy styling and interior are particularly popular, while there are plenty of personalisation possibilities “all in a package that’s dinky enough to make sense for town-dwellers”. Plus you can pretend you’re in the Italian Job!

A new Mini starts at £13,905.