The UK’s Strangest First Cars
Posted: 26th July 2019
The UK’s strangest first cars
We recently shared the results of a survey where we had asked motorists around the UK about their first car.
One thing that struck us was just how varied the responses were. Amongst all the Fiestas, Corsas and Clios that we expected to see, there were a few choices of car that really stood out, as they didn’t necessarily fit the mould when you typically think of a first car.
Normally, you’d think of a first car as something easy to drive, cheap to insure, and on the smaller side. However, our survey uncovered that some British motorists had first cars that were anything but.
When you think of a first car, you likely won’t think of a Transit van. However, on our survey two drivers listed them as their first car. High sided and large, this is about as far from a traditional first car as you can probably get.
More commonly used as a vehicle for tradesmen and making deliveries, this isn’t the only larger and more commercially minded vehicle on our list. However, a Transit being on the list reflects the overall popularity of Ford in our survey amongst British drivers.
Our survey looked at the first cars of drivers throughout different decades. This meant that we came across some fascinating classic cars that would’ve been driven in their heyday, or towards the end of their more commercially available life cycle.
The Borgward Hansa was one of these cars, one of the first production cars built in Germany post World War 2. Only one driver listed this as their first car. While it may be one of the less well-known cars in the survey, it must’ve still been an interesting sight to see on the roads in its prime.
Some first cars are more luxurious than others. But most first cars tend to be deliberately cheap, due to the expectation they might get scraped, scratched and dinged. This helps to take some of the worry out of getting more comfortable driving. You aren’t behind the wheel of something that is incredibly expensive and usually packed with loads of modern features that are costly to repair.
One lucky driver had the Jaguar F-Pace as their first car. A new F-Pace starts at around £36,000, putting it way out of the price bracket you’d normally consider when it comes to shopping for a first car.
Ford Thames van
The Thames van is famous for its role in the heist in the film, the Italian Job. Much like the Ford Transit, its size and manoeuvrability don’t exactly scream perfect first car – especially as the Thames van is significantly older and lacks many of the modern features that make driving easier.
Driving your own car for the first time can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve just passed your test. A large van doesn’t seem like the best choice when you’re out on the roads by yourself for the first time.
Trying to keep the cost of your first car down is one of the main aims drivers have. Something in a cheaper insurance bracket is often the first port of call in an attempt to bring down the cost of car insurance that new drivers look to pay, due to their lack of experience on the roads.
There are 50 different insurance groups which categorise vehicles. Generally, a vehicle in a lower numbered group will cost less to insure than one in a higher numbered group.
According to our survey, the most popular choice of first car is the Ford Fiesta. This sits towards the lower insurance bracket. Our list of first cars contained a number of vehicles which go against the trend of cheap insurance. This includes a number of BMW 320s which, depending on the model can (according to Compare the Market) be in a group as high as 46!
Most people tend to look back on their first car fondly because it provided freedom and independence. In fact, throughout our survey, many people looked back on their cars positively, with vehicles like the Mini being loved by 97% of its owners.
Some cars, however, are remembered negatively. The Zastava Yugo was a car built between 1980 to 2008. It features on a number of lists of most hated cars because of its construction and build quality.
A quick Google search gives you several articles about the ‘world’s worst car’, with writers highlighting the poor ride quality, bad handling and spartan features of the Yugo. As first cars go, something uncomfortable and difficult to drive isn’t necessarily the best way to get comfortable when out on the roads.
Helping you to find your perfect first car
These vehicle choices all go against conventional logic when it comes to finding the ideal first car. Normally, you’d opt for something that is:
- Cheap to insure
- Easy to drive
This allows you to get better at driving and build confidence, without necessarily having to worry about the cost of your car at the same time.
While the entries on this list might not be the best or most traditional options, when it comes to choosing your first car, our research revealed which cars are preferred by new motorists around the country.
To find out more about how we can help you find the perfect car at an affordable price – whether that’s a first car or if you’re looking to move onto your next vehicle – get in touch with a member of our team.