I was recently asked if I’d be happy to answer a Q&A about my first car. I got my first car ten years ago, as a gift from my dad. I loved that car and drove it until I wore it out. To me, a car is freedom. It allows you to go anywhere you want, at your own times and pace. So here is my Q&A below…
1. What was your first car?
A bright yellow Vauxhall Agila. It’s basically the same as a Suzuki WagonR. Yes, it was a strange looking car – a rectangular box on wheels, but it was quirky, it was an awesome colour and it was my freedom!
2. How did you came to possess it?
My parents always promised me they’d buy me a car when I passed my test, as they did with my older siblings too. Unfortuantely I failed my first and second tests and my instructor said I really needed a car to practice in, before I took another test. As all I could afford were dodgy old bangers, my parents eventually decided to get me a car before I passed, so I could practice in it. They knew I’d be driving a lot in the evenings and were worried about me breaking down in something unreliable. My dad had recently decided he wanted a smaller car, so he generously gave me his 6 month old Agila. It was brilliant. How many 18 year old’s had a brand new car?
3. What made the car special?
For starters, not many other people had this car back then, so everyone knew it was mine and my friends loved it, even though they took the mick. That car saw me through passing my first test, my first crash, my first breakdown and my first “oh no I forgot where I parked it” moment. It was my saviour for 3 months whilst I was homeless, it was my shelter after a few disastrous camping trips and it was the car that saw me go from a teenager, to an adult, to a mum.
4. What is your fondest memory of that car?
A week or so after passing my driving test, a friend and I decided to go on an impromptu camping trip for a night or two, to celebrate. We borrowed a tent and other supplies, ready to head off to Newquay. My friend printed off directions and I told her to make sure there were no motorways on the list. She assured me there weren’t, so we set off. About an hour into the journey, whilst reading out the direction, my friend said, “Merge onto the M5”. THE M WHAT?! It was too late. There was no other option. So we sat in my car, half screaming, half laughing hysterically, all the way down the motorway!
We got to the campsite after it had shut and spent the night asleep in the car on a very steep hill!
That first taste of freedom, on a totally unplanned trip, turned out to be a 7 night holiday full of laughter. We left Newquay, when we had 40p left between us.
5. Why did you choose that particular car?
I didn’t choose it, but I certainly loved it. I drove it until the engine wore out and then I sold it to a mechanic.
6. Do you have any funny stories or memories of your first car?
One dark November night, I drove to Glastonbury Carnival (a former hobby of mine) to watch the procession and party with my friends. I didn’t know my way around Glastonbury, but I saw a line of cars, parked on a random country lane at the side of the road, and decided that was probably the best place to park mine too. I parked it, walked to the carnival, walked to the party and slept on a mates floor after a hard night’s partying. The following lunch time, when I felt sober enough to drive, I got a friend to drive me to my car. “Where did you park it?” they asked.
My reply of “On a country lane somewhere near Glastonbury”, didn’t go down too well. It took a good hour of driving around, before we found it, all alone, in possibly one of the most random looking places to park, ever.
7. Do you have any tips for those buying their first car?
Weigh up the pro’s and con’s of what is costs, versus how reliable it’s likely to be. It’s definitely worth investing a bit more in a car that won’t need repairs every MOT.
Research road tax bands, fuel consumption and insurance costs before you buy, or it could end up costing you a fortune to maintain.
If buying a second hand car – get a vehicle inspection test done first, to make sure it is in good condition and roadworthy. Also check to make sure it’s not been registered lost, stolen or scrapped, before you buy.
8. Do you have any tips for those selling their first car?
List all faults. Don’t try to rip people off by lying. It’s not worth it.
The more thorough the description, the more people will be interested.
Good, clear photographs.
Keep all service history and receipts from new parts and offer this to the new owner. This shows the car has been looked after.
There are a lot more tips and advice for buying your first car on The Car Buying Service website.