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Car upgrade - out with the old and in with the new!

Emilia Smith profile

Emilia Smith

October 17, 2019

Owning a car Young driver stories 6 min read

Hey everyone! My name is Millie, I’m 21 I started driving at 17 and as much as it pains me to say it  – driving took me 5 theories and 4 practical’s to get that pass (so for anyone who isn’t quite there yet, I’m proof that you should not give up!)

Nearly a year into my driving journey, and it has flown by! There have been so many highs, gaining independence, road trips with friends and all the perks of getting behind the wheel. There was one little issue though – I dreamed of having an Audi as my first car but the reality of my finances was an old little blue Ford KA (do I sound ungrateful?) Well whilst I wasn’t, I was over the moon that I had an old KA as my first car, it got me from A to B and gave me the chance to build up my confidence behind the wheel – so I can’t complain too much.

The downfall of the KA!

Now I just about know the minimum tread depth required on a tire and at a push can put screen wash in, so when I ever heard a noise coming from my car, I pleaded ignorance and just turned the radio up a notch – not a smart move I might add! Over the months poor little Keith, the Ka, started to change…. It started to lose what little power it had when driven so I ended up stalling it a lot more than normal, it also appeared to clunk when it was on the roads. I took it to a garage, and I got told it could be the clutch! Now I may not know a lot about cars, but I know that’s not a cheap fix – I could do without it going bang! But I continued to drive the little rust bucket around until the tragic day.

via GIPHY

I was driving down the road on the way back from the stables when the car started to smell. How can I describe it? The poor KA smelt like a BBQ gone completely wrong! Smoke began to come from the engine, and it lost all drive. I managed to hit the hazards and literally role into a layby. After an emotional breakdown to my boyfriend who was away racing, a phone call to my dad and the AA, the little car was recovered! The problem? It had a blown clutch, rusty on the bottom and also had faults in the engine. The words exactly were ‘the best place for your car is the scrap yard!’ BRILLIANT!  After a lot of talking and thinking, I decided to do just that, and aim to get a car that was a bit newer. Looking back the amount that was spent on the KA we should have scrapped it long ago. With the help of my family, the hunt for a new car began…

The hunt begins

We did not have the biggest budget but ah, we could make it work! We started looking at Citroen C1s and VW Ups. The deals I found were fab and a small car meant I was less likely to hit things (spatial awareness is not my strong suit) but with me horse riding and taking family members out they didn’t quite tick the practicality boxes. I could do with something just a tad bigger. We looked about and nothing half decent was in the budget so arranged to strike the deal on the Citroen – until late one night I was browsing the internet when I found a secondhand dream car. 16 plate Corsa, 18000 miles, Serviced, MOT. Just up the road and in the budget. Now it does have some white stripes up the bonnet as you can see, but hey, at least I won’t lose it in a carpark! I knew a few people who had Corsa’s and all of them seemed to get on well. I also checked the plate against insurance, and it was all good so off we popped to the garage.

via GIPHY

My new car!

We arrived at the garage and the man opened it up for us to look at while he quickly dealt with another customer. I loved it! The boot space was ace, and it had everything I wanted Bluetooth, handsfree and it was finished off completely black on the inside which made it even smarter! The mileage was right, the tax was the same. But HANG ON! WHAT!! My dreams had been shattered when the notice on the car was priced 1500 more when on the ad! That was it I thought no way this one a goer. We explained to the guy we loved the car, but the price was wrong, and we showed him a screenshot of it. His face dropped …. He said he would speak to his boss. He was gone ages and there is only so much complimentary coffee a girl can drink! However, luck was on our side. Due to the car being miss advertised they agreed to sell it for the price shown online! So, we proceeded with a test drive. I loved the car straight away. After 15 minutes I felt I had been driving it for years – it was a really smooth drive and had the right amount of power for me! We got back spent ages ticking boxes signing things and all we had to do was wait to pick it up!

Vauxhall car

As much as it did take a lot of sitting around and paperwork at the garage, I loved the experience! I loved looking at all the cars and picking out the one I wanted! We were lucky with the find and how good the garage was to honour the price online!

My advice to anyone buying a new car would always take someone who’s done it all before, as it can be a little daunting. Overall, I would highly rate the Corsa! It’s good on fuel and insurance for me, it’s also that little bit more practical for me than a smaller car. I think it’s completely on individual preference on your first car but if you do go older make sure you don’t put tons of money in it – because sometimes an older car can mean a lot of wasted money!

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Emilia Smith profile

By Emilia Smith

'My name's Emilia and I'm 20 years old. I have been learning to drive for about 2 years and failed my test 3 times, with my 4th test booked in soon. Once I have my freedom I would love to work in animal welfare. I spend most of my time looking after my Cocker Spaniel, Buzz.'  See more posts by Emilia

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