Your first car

ABB125

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What was your first car (for forum members who drive)? This might be an interesting topic. If possible, include the year the car was built, the year you got it/passed your test, and whether you were 17/18 or more "mature" when you got a car.

To start off:
My first car was (and still is) a ... wait for it ... 2006 Peugeot 107 :oops::oops::oops:. How embarrassing! Although it can be driven in a more "entertaining" style if desired... Acquired in 2019, having passed at 17.
 
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Bletchleyite

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2001 (Y) 1.2 Vauxhall Agila (same as Suzuki Wagon R+ but badged), bought new (well, dealer ex demo) in 2001. Box on wheels but cheap to insure (group 2) and ideal for a tall bloke - a typical small car is a bit of a squash!

Passed my test in 1997 and just drove my parents' car and the student union minibus before that. Was sort of like a mini-mini-bus! :)

Sure I have a photo of it somewhere but can't find it sadly.

Edit: not actually this one but this is from a random Autotrader ad, same colour etc:

 
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L401CJF

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Passed my test in 2013, bought a car in 2014 - a 1.0 Y plate Vauxhall Corsa C for £460 on ebay with a grand total of 8 former keepers! Great little car, gave a bit of hassle every year for its MOT and finally got rid of it last April after it failed an MOT for a hole in wheel arch. Gave it in part ex for a 2016 Corsa E and got £100 for it, and to my shock the dealer welded it up and sold it on! Managed to get 6 years out of it, not bad for £460.. I now drive the Mrs old Y plate 1.2 corsa and she drives the 65 plate - give me the old Y reg any day, rarely gives trouble and drives much nicer, not bad for a car that's 20 this year!
 

Journeyman

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I didn't learn to drive until I was 39, as prior to that I lived in London and worked for TfL. I now live in Scotland. First car was a 2010 Kia Picanto that I inherited from my mum when she died. Horrible thing, it was almost impossible to drive without stalling - the clutch was either completely on or completely off, and finding the biting point was really tricky. It was also far too small for my needs. Traded it in 2014 for a new Dacia Sandero Stepway. Although these are extremely cheap cars that petrolheads mercilessly slag off, I've been extremely happy with it. Nothing has ever gone wrong with it, it has a massive boot for a car that size, and it's extremely economical to run. Only issues that have ever cropped up in MOTs have been routine wear and tear things like brake pads and tyres. Very little tech on board and it has a rather bland interior, but it's comfortable and perfectly decent to drive.
 

Cowley

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I wrote my first car off in 1991 after passing my test and being on the road for 1 week, 2 hours and 5 minutes.
I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it though...
 

DustyBin

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I feel rather spoilt having read about some of your first cars! Mine was a Ford Capri, it was only a 1.6 but had a twin choke carb, 2.0 cam and tubular exhaust manifold so went pretty well. I bought it in 2001 and it was only a couple of years younger than me. It used to consume rear tyres (and petrol!) at an alarming rate, although that could have had something to do with me being an 18 year old male at the time....

It’s still on the road today, and in considerably better condition than when I owned it I must say!
 

WestRiding

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Passed test in 2003, my first car was a Y Registration Vauxhall Corsa. It was ok. Got me to work dry and warm.
 

Mojo

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I’m still driving my first car! (Passed my test in Sept 07).
 

jfollows

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Ford Capri 2000 M registration (1973-1974) acquired in 1985 and run at little cost (primarily oil) for 18 months. It had automatic transmission which dropped out to neutral on the first roundabout outside my little estate when it was cold; I checked the transmission fluid was topped up (it was) and decided that any repair attempt would cost more than the car was worth.

I had its windscreen stolen when it was parked outside my house, presumably because it was relatively easy to do and there were plenty of matching homes for it at the time.

It'd be a nice car to have today in good condition; I saw one parked in Wilmslow a couple of years ago and it looked nice.

EDIT - I was 24 when I got this first car, I had passed my test about 6 years earlier at 17/18 but as a student for most of the intervening time didn't have the money to buy a car earlier, and with 3 years in London also there was little need for one anyway. After a number of months in my first job in Portsmouth I bought the car off a colleague; at the time I was living in Portchester and commuting by bus to North End which was OK but having a car meant I could drive to B&Q (and Halfords for cheap engine oil!) and those sorts of places to go shopping at weekends.
 
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cactustwirly

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I thought outside the box for mine.
Volvo S40 from 2003, it's very comfortable for my daily commute to work.
 

SteveM70

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A 1972 VW Beetle, still the best * car I’ve ever owned. Bought it in 1989 ahead of my placement year from college. It was a 1302S, so the 1600cc version that developed a whopping 45 bhp.

* best for character, robustness and reliability once it was set up properly. Other things like the heating were primitive in the extreme.

I can still vividly remember how it felt to drive, the noise it made (the previous owner had a non-standard exhaust fitted), the little things that made it different.

I wish I’d kept it
 

StripeyNick

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I passed my test in January 2000 at the age of 20 and shortly after bought my first car which was a 3 yr old Fiat Cinquecento Sporting in bright yellow.

I'd always loved them since they were launched, especially the Sporting variant which kicked out a whopping 54bhp!!

I kept it for just over 3 years after which I traded it for another car I had a desire for from launch......a smart ForTwo (or City Coupe to give it the proper name from the time). They are very much a marmite car and I was very much in the love them camp and once the engine died in my first, I got another which served my well for over 100,000 miles including a few trips to Germany. Now I have the big brother, a smart ForFour. I wanted something a little more 'normal' whilst still being a bit different. It's a nice car but feeling it's age a bit these days.

In an amazing twist, I noticed my old Fiat driving around locally a couple of years back and it turns out it resides around the corner from where I live now!

It's now 24 years old and still looks in amazing condition.
 

Domh245

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First Car I owned (and still do, for now) was a 2007 Mini cooper S with quite a nice spec - British Racing Green with white roof & mirrors, cream leather interior and wood trim (faux-jag spec!), although as I'm barely driving it and the electrics on it have started to go haywire, I'm going to be selling it (spares & repairs/scrap). Bought it about 4 years after passing my test having driven parent's cars as needed before that
 

Cowley

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A 1972 VW Beetle, still the best * car I’ve ever owned. Bought it in 1989 ahead of my placement year from college. It was a 1302S, so the 1600cc version that developed a whopping 45 bhp.

* best for character, robustness and reliability once it was set up properly. Other things like the heating were primitive in the extreme.

I can still vividly remember how it felt to drive, the noise it made (the previous owner had a non-standard exhaust fitted), the little things that made it different.

I wish I’d kept it

The second vehicle I owned after writing my first car off within a week was a 1969 VW T2 Dormobile (the one with a accordion lifting roof).
I had it for 8 years and fully restored it during that time so that it was in mint condition by the time I sold it for £2000.
It would be worth about ten grand now and I still occasionally have the odd dream where I decide that instead of selling it I’ll just store it and use it to go to the beach occasionally in the summer.
And then I wake up and feel really disappointed...
 

eMeS

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I passed my test in Stockport in 1960 in a Ford Anglia, a year after completing my National Service in the RAF.
After starting work in 1962, heavily influenced by an older guy with whom I worked, I bought my first car - an 11 year old Jaguar MkVII 3442cc with over 100,000 miles on the clock. It was in a very poor state, and I spent weeks sorting out the brakes, brake servo (wrong sort fitted), carburettors - complete overhaul, and thoroughly washing the huge air filter. This raised the mpg from around 11 to a passable 22. (Jaguar MkVIIs had two large petrol tanks - one each side of the boot.)

In 1965 we set off in it to Greece for a 3 week holiday, crossed the Alps OK, but sadly the big-ends failed somewhere south of Belgrade, and I had to give it away to the Yugoslav Customs at Niš - if I tried selling it, I would have been charged the full import duties as on a new car! So we carried on by train, crossed Greece by coach, and returned by rail from Brindisi, then Milan and thence to Dieppe and Newhaven.

I still have the Jaguar mascot - and that's it.
 

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ABB125

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2001 (Y) 1.2 Vauxhall Agila (same as Suzuki Wagon R+ but badged), bought new (well, dealer ex demo) in 2001. Box on wheels but cheap to insure (group 2) and ideal for a tall bloke - a typical small car is a bit of a squash!

Passed my test in 1997 and just drove my parents' car and the student union minibus before that. Was sort of like a mini-mini-bus! :)

Sure I have a photo of it somewhere but can't find it sadly.

Edit: not actually this one but this is from a random Autotrader ad, same colour etc:

Sounds interesting! Definitely a bit more unusual.
Passed my test in 2013, bought a car in 2014 - a 1.0 Y plate Vauxhall Corsa C for £460 on ebay with a grand total of 8 former keepers! Great little car, gave a bit of hassle every year for its MOT and finally got rid of it last April after it failed an MOT for a hole in wheel arch. Gave it in part ex for a 2016 Corsa E and got £100 for it, and to my shock the dealer welded it up and sold it on! Managed to get 6 years out of it, not bad for £460.. I now drive the Mrs old Y plate 1.2 corsa and she drives the 65 plate - give me the old Y reg any day, rarely gives trouble and drives much nicer, not bad for a car that's 20 this year!
Would it be fair to say that newer car models are typically worse than older ones?
I didn't learn to drive until I was 39, as prior to that I lived in London and worked for TfL. I now live in Scotland. First car was a 2010 Kia Picanto that I inherited from my mum when she died. Horrible thing, it was almost impossible to drive without stalling - the clutch was either completely on or completely off, and finding the biting point was really tricky. It was also far too small for my needs. Traded it in 2014 for a new Dacia Sandero Stepway. Although these are extremely cheap cars that petrolheads mercilessly slag off, I've been extremely happy with it. Nothing has ever gone wrong with it, it has a massive boot for a car that size, and it's extremely economical to run. Only issues that have ever cropped up in MOTs have been routine wear and tear things like brake pads and tyres. Very little tech on board and it has a rather bland interior, but it's comfortable and perfectly decent to drive.
Nothing wrong with a cheap car in my opinion!
I wrote my first car off in 1991 after passing my test and being on the road for 1 week, 2 hours and 5 minutes.
I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it though...
Did it affect your insurance costs? :D
My first car was a "A" plate VW Polo, enough to get me out and about when I turned 17
These seem quite popular, a few people in my year at school had a Polo, quite a variety of ages too.
1971 Bedford Van was my first got in 1977
That would be pretty much unheard of nowadays* (high insurance costs). Was it common back then?

*Someone in my older brother's year at school had a car, but was also insured in the family van, which sometimes made it into the school car park!
Passed my test second time in 1981.

1st Car a Triumph Dolomite 1850 - "OLD" L Reg.
Sounds good!
I feel rather spoilt having read about some of your first cars! Mine was a Ford Capri, it was only a 1.6 but had a twin choke carb, 2.0 cam and tubular exhaust manifold so went pretty well. I bought it in 2001 and it was only a couple of years younger than me. It used to consume rear tyres (and petrol!) at an alarming rate, although that could have had something to do with me being an 18 year old male at the time....

It’s still on the road today, and in considerably better condition than when I owned it I must say!
I imagine that was quite expensive to insure?
Passed test in 2003, my first car was a Y Registration Vauxhall Corsa. It was ok. Got me to work dry and warm.
Again, quite a popular first car.
I got my full license in 1975 and bought a 1968 "G" registration pale blue Morris Minor two door the same week.
Sounds nice!
I’m still driving my first car! (Passed my test in Sept 07).
Must be quite a good car then!
Ford Capri 2000 M registration (1973-1974) acquired in 1985 and run at little cost (primarily oil) for 18 months. It had automatic transmission which dropped out to neutral on the first roundabout outside my little estate when it was cold; I checked the transmission fluid was topped up (it was) and decided that any repair attempt would cost more than the car was worth.

I had its windscreen stolen when it was parked outside my house, presumably because it was relatively easy to do and there were plenty of matching homes for it at the time.

It'd be a nice car to have today in good condition; I saw one parked in Wilmslow a couple of years ago and it looked nice.

EDIT - I was 24 when I got this first car, I had passed my test about 6 years earlier at 17/18 but as a student for most of the intervening time didn't have the money to buy a car earlier, and with 3 years in London also there was little need for one anyway. After a number of months in my first job in Portsmouth I bought the car off a colleague; at the time I was living in Portchester and commuting by bus to North End which was OK but having a car meant I could drive to B&Q and those sorts of places to go shopping at weekends.
On the subject of stealing parts, locally a few weeks back the "catalytic converter gang" were about stealing converters from cars. Luckily the one on mine is somewhere within the engine bay, so is too much effort to steal!
I thought outside the box for mine.
Volvo S40 from 2003, it's very comfortable for my daily commute to work.
Interesting.
A 1972 VW Beetle, still the best * car I’ve ever owned. Bought it in 1989 ahead of my placement year from college. It was a 1302S, so the 1600cc version that developed a whopping 45 bhp.

* best for character, robustness and reliability once it was set up properly. Other things like the heating were primitive in the extreme.

I can still vividly remember how it felt to drive, the noise it made (the previous owner had a non-standard exhaust fitted), the little things that made it different.

I wish I’d kept it
I think a lot of people wish they'd kept their first car!
I passed my test in January 2000 at the age of 20 and shortly after bought my first car which was a 3 yr old Fiat Cinquecento Sporting in bright yellow.

I'd always loved them since they were launched, especially the Sporting variant which kicked out a whopping 54bhp!!

I kept it for just over 3 years after which I traded it for another car I had a desire for from launch......a smart ForTwo (or City Coupe to give it the proper name from the time). They are very much a marmite car and I was very much in the love them camp and once the engine died in my first, I got another which served my well for over 100,000 miles including a few trips to Germany. Now I have the big brother, a smart ForFour. I wanted something a little more 'normal' whilst still being a bit different. It's a nice car but feeling it's age a bit these days.

In an amazing twist, I noticed my old Fiat driving around locally a couple of years back and it turns out it resides around the corner from where I live now!

It's now 24 years old and still looks in amazing condition.
My dad saw one of his old cars is Sheffield a few years ago, he must have sold it at least 10 years ago!
First Car I owned (and still do, for now) was a 2007 Mini cooper S with quite a nice spec - British Racing Green with white roof & mirrors, cream leather interior and wood trim (faux-jag spec!), although as I'm barely driving it and the electrics on it have started to go haywire, I'm going to be selling it (spares & repairs/scrap). Bought it about 4 years after passing my test having driven parent's cars as needed before that
I don't know why, but I just don't like modern Minis. An original one however... :D
 

Iskra

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I passed my test in 2007 at 17 and my first car was a 56 plate VW Fox in Blue that I'd had from my birthday earlier that year that I learnt to drive in. I think I kept it about 6 years, it was a 1.2 but because it was small and light it shifted quite well, drove like a go-kart and it was a lot roomier than other small cars. I liked it at the time.
 

jfollows

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Ah the good old V4.... They should have left it in the Transit van where it belonged!
As it happens it was a straight 4, it must have been one of the first such because apparently (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Essex_V4_engine) the V4 was discontinued in the Capri in March 1974 and mine must have been made after then.

EDIT - I've just remembered that it had an "automatic choke" which was supposed to operate until the engine warmed up, it never worked properly when I had the car. Later in life I bought a Japanese car with one and it worked perfectly of course. For my Capri a manual choke would have been better when I owned the car ..... technology moves on!

For those unfamiliar, the idea was that if you floored the accelerator before starting the engine, the choke kicked in to make the fuel mixture more petrol-rich, and the "automatic choke" aspect meant that the carburettor reverted to normal operation once the engine had warmed up. Mine didn't work, meaning that if I stopped for traffic in the early part of my journey when the engine was still cold it tended to stall.
 
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DustyBin

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I imagine that was quite expensive to insure?

In those days it was common for young people to be a named driver on their parents policy, so actually no!

As it happens it was a straight 4, it must have been one of the first such because apparently (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Essex_V4_engine) the V4 was discontinued in the Capri in March 1974 and mine must have been made after then.

So was your’s a MK2 then (did it have a hatchback)? I automatically presumed it was a late MK1 and therefore would have had a V4.
 

jfollows

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So was yours a MK2 then (did it have a hatchback)? I automatically presumed it was a late MK1 and therefore would have had a V4.
Hatchback with a canvas roof which could be pulled back when the weather was nice. Yes, it was a MK2.
 

jfollows

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On insurance, back in 1985 it wasn't significant - more related to the value of the car insured than to the potential third-party cost I think, although I wasn't 18 when I had my first car and nominally had a few years' driving experience, my insurance costs weren't high at all - I can't remember how little but nothing mad. Even my 2.8 Capri a couple of years later didn't cost me a lot to insure. Prior to my first car I'd been named on my grandmother's insurance for her Mini Clubman Estate and this cost nothing.
 

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