So, here we are. After many years of dreaming to drive out on the open road, I can finally do it. And, oddly, it isn’t as difficult as I thought: balancing the clutch, steering away from pedestrians, parked cars and other hazards, joining a duel carriageway, doing 60 mhp on a bendy country road in the wet – it’s all jolly good fun.
But, it has left me with a problem. Even though I haven’t passed my test yet, I need to start thinking about what car I should get.
Now, for the young teenage driver – males in particular – the choice of respectable wheels is fairly small. I cannot, for example, drive a Suzuki Wagon R Plus unless I want to lose all of my friends, possessions and credibility. No possible paint job or stupid spoiler could ever make that de-glorified ‘Popemoblie’ into a car you would want to pick people up in.
But, with insurance the way it is for us young’ens (ie. Astronomical), I haven’t got all that much say in the matter.
But, hey-ho, let’s get to the meat of the matter: the cars.
I will start with the Ford KA. Now, I know three people who have got one of these, all of whom are girls, and have seen many more on the roads, again, all with girls behind the wheel. So, it’s a shame to say that I cannot have one of those, even though it is quite a good-looking car.
Next up is the VW Polo. A new one would be fantastic because, in my opinion, they are one of the best looking small cars on the market today. However, being a student, a new one is way out of my price range. (Don’t fall for those American programmes that show 16-year-old girls and boys being able to go out and buy a Lamborghini as their first car – it just doesn’t happen.) This means I would have to buy an older one; a pre-2002 model, which, to be honest, weighs more than your house. This is particularly a problem when, realistically, insurance limits you to en engine size of less than 1.2 litres.
So, two cars have been struck from my list. But all is not lost, because there are yet many more to consider, the first of which is the Vauxhall Corsa. I very much like the new Corsa. Having driven it, I can report it has very nice seats, looks good, goes quite well, and, so long as you don’t spend too much time at highway speeds, is quiet too. But, as with the VW, it is far too expensive, which means, once again, you will have to search for one of the older models.
These, actually, are nice first cars: small, cheap(er) to run and insure, and spare parts are available by the bucket load. But, as with the KA, the Corsa edges on girly.
Oh dear. My list of first cars isn’t quite going to plan. I wanted something that was cheap to insure, goes like a Ferrari and has the agility of a flea. So far, I have found none of these things.
But I must continue on with my quest.
The next two cars are actually quite similar: the Citroen Saxo and the Peugeot 106. They’re French, look pretty much the same and can be cheap to buy. But, they’re both on the insurance company’s naughty boys list and will therefore cost a bomb to insure.
Nor can I have a Fiesta because, like the Frenchies, it would cost a bomb to insure.
‘But what about Japan?’ I hear you cry! Well, there are, at the moment, quite a lot of small, Japanese cars for sale. But precisely because of that, they will make you around 20p when you decide to sell it again. Although, we are forever hearing that teens are more likely to write off their first car, with people under 20 three times more likely to have an accident, so I may not need, or rather be able to, sell the car in a couple of years.
But now, as our time together comes to an end, so has my list; I have been priced off the roads. But, there are still two options open to me: Either, I can wait to win the lottery, or I could buy a ‘Popemobile’.
I think I should wait for the lotto, don’t you?