What was your first car?

Ford Fiesta

A BEIGE Mini Metro. It was also a cut and shut.

Yep that was my first car.

It was actually a deathtrap but it was my first bit of independence in life and I loved it.

Everyone remembers their first car – that statement alone probably has you reminiscing about the vehicle and its oddities.

But was your choice of first car the same as everyone else at the time?

New research by Gumtree has identified the models that have been most popular over the years among drivers who have just passed their test, and named the cars that dominated each decade from the 1950s.

The online marketplace polled 2,000 UK drivers to track the evolution of the first car purchases through the generations.

The results revealed that from 1950 to the present day, the humble Ford Fiesta and Ford Escort are the most popular first cars in Britain.

Other popular first cars include the British made Morris Minor, the Ford Cortina, Vauxhall’s Astra and, most recently, the Nissan Micra.

The research also revealed details of how these first cars were purchased.

Of those quizzed, 54 per cent said they had bought a car of their own within a month of passing their test while almost a quarter (22 per cent) had the keys to their first motor before they’d removed their L plates.

According to the panel results, half of new drivers (51 per cent) use their savings to buy their first motor, while just one in ten rely on the bank of Mum and Dad, with the average figure paid being £4,081.

Mini Metro
Mini Metro

With this growing popularity of finance allowing buyers to get behind the wheel of a brand-new or second-hand car for relatively small monthly payments, we expect that a growing number of first-car drivers will be going down this road.

However, may admit that they’re unsure about what car to choose and how to identify potential issues that could lead to unreliability and costly repairs.

Some 46 per cent said they didn’t feel equipped with enough information to make an informed choice about their first car, and 16 per cent felt very unprepared when they eventually bought one.

Worryingly, just 3 per cent said they prioritised safety features when they choose a car, despite stats suggesting that new drivers are most likely to have a shunt. Instead, more were concerned with how the vehicle looked.

Vik Barodia, Head of Motors at Gumtree, said: ‘Unless you’re a trained mechanic, buying your first car can be a bit daunting at the best of times.

‘It’s often one of the biggest purchases people make and with so much to choose from (make, model, age, trim, condition and price to name just a few), it can be difficult to know what you want, who to buy from and where to find the right car.

To help inform new car buyers about their first purchases, Gumtree has launched ‘Inside Track’, which offers advice to guide new drivers through the process of buying a car for he first time, including a running costs calculator, information on the best way to buy and when.

What do you think?

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