I wish I could marry my Mini

  • More than one in three (37 per cent) Brits say they fell in love with their first car
  • A sixth (13 per cent) of Brits gave their first car a name
  • Women are twice as likely to name their first car as men
  • Minis are the most popular first car
  • Direct Line launches its ‘First car, first love’ competition, giving applicants a chance to be reunited with their first car

New research1 from Direct Line Car Insurance reveals that over one in three (37 per cent) of those who’ve owned more than one car in their life, say they fell in love with their first car. Whether it was called Betsy, Barney, Bobby or Bertie, a sixth (13 per cent) of Brits gave their first car a name.

Women are more than twice as likely to give their first car a name, with less than one in ten (eight per cent) men admitting to giving their motor a nickname, compared to one in five (19 per cent) women. Betsy, Bessy, Bertie, Daisy, Ruby and Rosie are the most popular first car names.

But what is the most popular first car? The new research out today reveals the timeless, quintessentially British, Mini Cooper to be the most popular first car on our roads. The Ford Fiesta and the Ford Escort rank second and third.

Most popular first car
1 Mini
2 Ford Fiesta
3 Ford Escort
4 Ford Anglia
5 Austin Metro
6 Ford Cortina
7 Vauxhall Corsa
8 Nissan Micra
9 Traveller
10 Ford Ka

Direct Line Car Insurance, 2015

On average, motorists keep hold of their first car for two years and two months. It is common for drivers to become attached to their first car as one in four (25 per cent) say they are fonder of their first car than any other subsequent cars. Two in five (41 per cent) said that their first car made them feel “cool” and three quarters (74 per cent) agreed that the freedom their first car gave them changed their life.

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line says: “Our research shows that more than a third of the nation fell in love with their first car, which is why we are giving drivers the chance to win back their first car. We’ll track down the original vehicle, where possible, and even fix it up so it’s restored to its former glory”. 2

Brits are spending more than ever to get themselves on the road. On average, 18-34 year olds paid £2,274 for their first motor, more than any other age group, whereas over 55s only spent £699 on their first car.

First-time car buyers in Liverpool will pay more than anyone else for their first car, paying an average of £1,777. Londoners come second, spending an average £1,682. Tailgating behind, first-time buyers from Manchester who record an average spend of £1,600. 3 Interestingly, in London a higher amount of people wait to buy their first car at a later age. Almost one in ten (nine per cent) get their first car at the age of thirty. First-time buyers from Norwich spend the least on their first car, paying on average £753.

Just over a third (36 per cent) of drivers use their savings to pay for their first car. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) used their wages. Taking a loan out was an option for one in eight (13 per cent). A quarter (24 per cent) of 18-24 year olds say their parents bought it for them as opposed to only a tenth (11 per cent) of 55s and over.

Notes to editors

1 Research carried out by Opinium Research online amongst a nationally representative sample of 2006 UK adults aged 18+. Questions were asked to 1,298 people that have owned more than one car between 13 and 16 November 2015

2 Entrants apply online and answer a simple question as well as providing details including the make and model of their first car, what they loved about it, what their first car fixed for them and memorable things about their first car. There is also an opportunity to share a photo of themselves with their first car.

3 First time buyers in Belfast came first in spending the most for their first car. However, due to the base size being under 50, were not eligible to be included in this particular list.

A link to the website and the full terms and conditions can be found here:
www.directline.com/car-insurance/driving/first-car-first-love

For further information, please contact:


Notes to editors:

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

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