Main image for post: Back to School - Five of the best cars for academics

While the new calendar year doesn't correspond to a new academic year, it is when things start to pick up pace for many students and teachers, with the countdown truly on towards those all-important final exams in the summer.

In fact the first half of the year is packed with all kinds of assessments, with some last-chance GCSE resits taking place in early January, practical assessments and mock exams throughout February and March, and formal exams at all levels in May-June.

This all adds up to some crucial back-and-forth drives for parents, students, teachers and other school staff - so what are the best cars for academics of all kinds?

1. Headteachers - Audi A6

The Audi A6 is available as a four-door saloon or the five-door estate 'Avant' version, and both are sleek but practical for headteachers, while the Audi A7 is a kind of hybrid option with its 'fastback' sloping hatchback boot.

Professional-looking to make the right impression on parents, but with plenty of space for ferrying boxes of paperwork around, both the Audi A6 and the Audi A7 are great choices for headteachers not only during the academic year, but as a versatile family car for the holidays too.

2. Parents - Seat Alhambra

For a good-sized family mover, the Seat Alhambra is one of the most widely available used MPVs with seven seats - plenty for several kids of any age, or even to pick up friends along the way if you take turns with other parents to do the school run.

Despite its size, it's impressively fuel efficient at up to 55 mpg, which should mean you never need to make an early morning detour to refuel and risk dropping the kids off late at school.

3. Students - Ford Fiesta

A used Ford Fiesta will set you back anywhere from about £5,000 to just over £10,000 for a newer model or lower mileage, and it's one of the all-time great options for students who want an affordable, comfortable and economical drive.

Plenty of colour choices, sleek styling throughout the 2010s and fuel economy close to 80 mpg on some models ticks all the boxes, while used Ford Fiesta finance deals could see you pay not much over £100 a month if you need to spread the cost.

4. Teachers - Volkswagen Golf

Arguably even more of an all-time great is the Volkswagen Golf, which ranks among the best-selling cars of all time and is renowned for its reliability - a must for busy teachers throughout the academic year.

A used VW golf finance deal will cost from about £150 per month upwards, while the cash price to buy a good quality used Volkswagen Golf outright starts from around £7,000 up to anywhere around £23,000. It's a versatile and reliable option with plenty of range, making it a good choice for teachers in any salary bracket.

5. Schools - Hyundai i800

If you're looking for a vehicle to belong to the school as a whole, the Hyundai i800 is a beast with eight seats, ideal for taking small groups of students to events such as interschool quizzes, maths Olympiads and five-a-side football games.

At fuel economy of up to 38 mpg it's fairly economical for its size, and with used Hyundai i800s available for around £15,000, it should be within budget for many schools and colleges too.