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Expectations v reality
Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

February 5, 2018

Owning a car Young driver stories 5 min read

I’ve been looking at buying my first car ever since I can remember. Most people at least wait until they’ve started their driving lessons but not me! I couldn’t wait to get my own wheels and almost every car I saw was a contender, so when it came to actually getting my first car I could’ve cried. Now I’m not saying there’s the perfect time to buy your first car. I know people who’ve waited years after they’ve passed their test before getting their own, and if I’m honest – I wish I had waited! So let’s take a look at how my extremely high expectations of my first car didn’t quite go to plan.

I bought a banger…

I restarted my driving lessons after I had finished university, and I wanted to get my own car to practice in alongside my lessons because I knew that private practice was going to be super helpful and if I could get 1 years No Claims Discount under my belt then why not!?

At this point, I really wasn’t fussed about a flash new car! I just wanted a little run around that I could call my own, and with that, I found what I thought was the perfect little ride – a 2005 Ford KA. Like most of my shopping habits, I found it online and found myself getting so eager and impatient that before I knew it, I was arranging to go and view it.

I took my Dad with me because in all honesty, I have absolutely no idea what I’m looking at. For me, if it’s a nice colour, has got 4 wheels and turns on then it’s perfect – right? Wrong. I knew there would be more technical things to look at so taking someone with more experience was a great idea. Now, according to my Dad, there was a slight problem with the exhaust (I think) but that was a quick fix and the car seemed to be an absolute steal. £360 for a car that only needed the smallest bit of work? SOLD! We drove it home the same day. Have I mentioned how impatient I can get?

The excitement I got was borderline ridiculous. Yes, I sat in the car without the ignition on pretending to drive whilst sorting out my insurance so I could really get driving (we’ve all been there… right?).

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Cheap isn’t always best…

All in all, I managed to drive my little blue Ford KA around the block twice before it completely broke. I was gutted! It turns out there were way bigger problems with the car and more seemed to get uncovered every time I thought about it. Mechanics quoted it would cost me around £600 to fix, and since the car didn’t even cost me that much – there was no way I was doing that! Plus, I was straight out of university so I really didn’t have the money. You know when something seems too good to be true?

In total, my little KA has cost me more money than it was worth. I had to cancel my insurance so I never got the No Claims Discount I wanted, and the private practice I did manage equates to zero because I was too worried about a door falling off, that I couldn’t concentrate on improving my driving skills!

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My first second car

Luckily, since my disaster of a first car, I have managed to become a bit more patient. Instead of having to explain to people that my first car was a bust, I get to explain that my first (second) car is a brand new Vauxhall Adam Slam, on order, that will be with me soon. It turned out to be much more affordable than I thought it would be. This excitement trumps the feeling I had before because I know the risk of it breaking is SO minimal. I think the part I’m most excited for is the novelty of my car not wearing off, unlike the shortest lived excitement of my last car – which was around 50 metres. My little KA gave me no sense of freedom, or extra practice when learning to drive. All it actually gave me, was a headache. Now – I’ve got a brand new car on the way with a year’s free insurance, 12 months tax covered AND I don’t have to worry about it going in for an MOT for 3 whole years!? I’m winning.

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It goes to show that your first car may not always be the best car. Do you have a first car fail like Chloe’s? She has taken the plunge and has got a brand new car on finance! Let’s hope this one lasts a bit longer than her first…

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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