Your first car

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talltim

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17 Jan 2010
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2,426
I passed my test first time after 8 lessons in 1992, but I didn’t get a car until the next year when I needed it to get to college. I was pretty open minded about what I wanted except it shouldn’t be gold, so I got a champagne gold 1983 3 door Renault 11 GTL 1.4.
I did 1000 miles in the first week, without going more than about 15 miles from home.
First week of college, I went to pick up my friend and his mum reversed out of her drive, turned 90 degrees and broadsided me with her rear end. New door and rear panel required. Insurance said it was a write off due to cost, paid out but let me keep the car, which I only realised years later was strange. A friend who worked in a Renault dealership fixed it up in his spare time for the insurance money.
It was a pretty good car, took the hammering I gave it for 6 years, main cost was drive shaft gaiters. I took it to uni with me as my parents don’t drive, the student house I lived in was quite unusual as 4 out of the 6 of us had cars.
I loved that car, I never saw another with the combination of 3 doors and body side trim. I doubt there are any on the road now.
It’s claim to fame was that, for a while, it regularly carried the future wife of a 90210 star!
I replaced it with a 1989 BMW 525 Se which was a whole other ball game, but still an old car.
 

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pitdiver

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2012
Messages
862
Location
Warsop Vale. Mansfield, Notts
I passed my test first time after 8 lessons in 1992, but I didn’t get a car until the next year when I needed it to get to college. I was pretty open minded about what I wanted except it shouldn’t be gold, so I got a champagne gold 1983 3 door Renault 11 GTL 1.4.
I did 1000 miles in the first week, without going more than about 15 miles from home.
First week of college, I went to pick up my friend and his mum reversed out of her drive, turned 90 degrees and broadsided me with her rear end. New door and rear panel required. Insurance said it was a write off due to cost, paid out but let me keep the car, which I only realised years later was strange. A friend who worked in a Renault dealership fixed it up in his spare time for the insurance money.
It was a pretty good car, took the hammering I gave it for 6 years, main cost was drive shaft gaiters. I took it to uni with me as my parents don’t drive, the student house I lived in was quite unusual as 4 out of the 6 of us had cars.
I loved that car, I never saw another with the combination of 3 doors and body side trim. I doubt there are any on the road now.
It’s claim to fame was that, for a while, it regularly carried the future wife of a 90210 star!
I replaced it with a 1989 BMW 525 Se which was a whole other ball game, but still an old car.
Was that photo taken somewhere in MK?
 

Ediswan

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2012
Messages
1,119
Location
Stevenage
Insurance said it was a write off due to cost, paid out but let me keep the car, which I only realised years later was strange. A friend who worked in a Renault dealership fixed it up in his spare time for the insurance money.
That used to be normal enough for minor damage to a vehicle with low market value "Beyond Economic Repair" at normal commercial rates. I dont know whether it still happens.
 

Arglwydd Golau

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Joined
14 Apr 2011
Messages
1,334
First car (and first cat) 1987....quite late learning to drive,early 30's.... Citroen 2CV...what can I say?
 

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gimmea50anyday

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8 Jan 2013
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3,174
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Back Cab
1989 D registration Fiat Panda. It had the 999cc engine and came with a 4 speed gearbox but I swapped it out for a 5 speed out of a scrapper. Known as the munchmobile to my friends as at the time I worked for National Express so the boot was often full of catering supplies and stock. Clutch cable kept breaking as it always rubbed against the bodywork behind the pedal, a design fault that could never be corrected. When I traded it in for a Micra in 1999 the new owner had a penchant for bilking but the police kept knocking on my door!
 

RichJF

Member
Joined
2 Nov 2012
Messages
701
Location
East Grinstead
Something cheap to insure. You might find that getting something that isn't a typical first car might be cheaper to insure than a Fiesta or Corsa.
2003 - 2010 Fiat Panda. Dirt cheap to insure both as a new/experienced driver.
Group 4 & cheap to maintain/run. Some good condition/high spec models about for cheap if you look.
 

Bletchleyite

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20 Oct 2014
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70,874
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
2003 - 2010 Fiat Panda. Dirt cheap to insure both as a new/experienced driver.
Group 4 & cheap to maintain/run. Some good condition/high spec models about for cheap if you look.

Mine (as mentioned above), a Vauxhall Agila (Suzuki Wagon R+ clone) was group 2 - because that type of car is mainly driven by old people it is considered very low risk.

Classics can often be surprisingly cheap too because people tend to take great care of them.
 

DustyBin

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Joined
20 Sep 2020
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1,835
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First Class
Mine (as mentioned above), a Vauxhall Agila (Suzuki Wagon R+ clone) was group 2 - because that type of car is mainly driven by old people it is considered very low risk.

Classics can often be surprisingly cheap too because people tend to take great care of them.

Yes, I pay about £150 for my 1991 Granada Scorpio 24v despite it's 195bhp. I pay £450 for my 2019 Fiesta ST with it's 197bhp. Two totally different cars of course but their similar power outputs make it an interesting comparison.
 

HSTEd

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Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
13,866
The first car I did significant amounts of driving in (apart from the instructor's) was my parent's 2001 Rover 45 diesel.

It eventually failed the MOT due to rust and wasn't worth repairing, supposedly, although its on the drive and still starts in two or three seconds!

It had some problems with the turbo in some performance regimes, but it is still the most solid car of the three or four i've driven.
 

DustyBin

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20 Sep 2020
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1,835
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First Class
One suspects a few of those 30 year old horses have bolted!

I suspect a fair few had prior to me taking it off the road for it’s ongoing restoration (I should have said paid rather than pay as it’s on a “laid up” policy at present). It had done 180,000 miles although to be fair it was still a quick car. You pay for it in fuel though (good job we’re not on the EV thread!).
 

stuu

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Joined
2 Sep 2011
Messages
541
I had a D reg Peugeot 205 GL with a 1.1l engine, bought in 1997 from some dodgy geezers on Bounds Green Road who would have been a casting director's dream for an episode of The Bill or similar. Starter motor died the next morning! Solid car other than that, lasted a couple of years of indifferent maintenance and journeys to the SW to see family, until an elderly gent reversed down the side of it in the Maltings car park in St Albans and it went off to meet it's maker. Also had the most powerful interior fan of any car I have owned, it was like a hair dryer if turned up to full with the heating right up
 

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