I saw a one owner, 60,000 miles 1.4 Honda Civic auto (2002 I think) for sale on a card in a village shop for £750 the other day. Surely the holy grail for this kind of thing?
Pretty much, shame it's an auto or I'd be asking for details myself.
Get him a Toyota/Honda. Tell him to stay on top of oil changes and fluid levels then proceed to drive it into the ground. Corolla\avensis for under a grand is very doable. Though I'd try get a three door corolla to avoid the risk of ex taxis.