Direct Line magazine

Why do we love our first cars so much?

Updated on: 10 December 2020

Why do we love our first cars so much?

Do you remember your first car? Of course you do. Whether you were lucky enough to get a brand spanking new set of wheels, or had to make do with a hand-me-down, few moments in life compare to that moment when you can jump in a car and drive off, music playing, and go wherever you like.

While you may have just driven round to your mates at the weekends, your horizons were suddenly wider when you got your first car.

So much so that in a recent survey by Direct Line, 74% of people said that their first car changed their life. How many other events can you say that about? Getting married, having kids, buying your first house… the list is pretty small.

It’s no wonder then that more than a third of people said that they fell in love with their first car, and one in four still yearn for it all these years later, saying they still prefer it over all their subsequent cars.

First cars are owned for two years and two months on average

A Rosie by any other name

The affection we have for our first cars means that some of us even gave them names, making them more than just a vehicle but characters with their own identity.

Nineteen per cent of women and 9% of men say they gave their car a nickname, and the most popular were:

  • Betsy
  • Bessie
  • Bertie
  • Daisy
  • Ruby
  • Rosie

And no matter the name, there was one clear winner when it came to the most popular choice for a first car, that British institution, the Mini. This much-loved icon was the first experience of the road for many, and given the enduring coolness of the car it’s no wonder so many people look back with fondness.

Where is it now?

Like all good things though, owning your first car does come to an end. First cars are owned for two years and two months on average, and then it’s on to a new model.

But wouldn’t you love to know where it is now? And if you had the chance to welcome it back to your garage you’d leap at it, wouldn’t you? That’s why Direct Line wants to make that a reality for someone.

Old Red Ford Fiesta driving by brick wall

Visit the First car, first love page and enter our competition.

All you have to do is answer a simple question then upload some details about your car, along with the reason why you loved it so much. Your car will then be placed in a gallery for the world to see, and if you win you will be reunited with your car.

Of course, bad things do happen to good cars from time to time, so if your first car has been written off or scrapped we’ll track down the same make and model and restore that instead.

You loved them, but you never really left them. First cars are special, so share the love and you might hear a familiar revving outside your house in 2016.

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