I never really thought that I would ever get a car...because I never thought that I would pass my driving test. I had started out quite hopefully at 17 but after a year of lessons and two pretty terrible test failures things were not looking good. Even my normally placid father was reduced to a quivering wreck after taking me out for a practice drive...and we only made it to the end of my road! After that I pretty much gave up for a while.
However life with two small children and no car is really quite hard so last year I decided that I was definitely going to pass my test - no matter how long it look me. I found a really sympathetic driving instructor and I also made the decision to learn in an automatic. I took my first test and failed with 1 minor fault and then took the test again a couple of months later and passed.
I was so excited and of course wanted to get my own car as soon as possible. Now I have to admit I didn't really know where to start or how to go about choosing a car despite occasionally watching Top Gear. Luckily my husband is a massive car fan who spends a large proportion of his time watching car programmes, looking at car sites and reading car magazines so it was great to have an expert on hand.
At first we were going to get a typical "old banger" first car - but as I have two children to ferry around I didn't really feel that it would be safe enough and I was happy to pay more to get something more sturdy. So, we set our budget at around £2.5 - £5k which would get a decent quality car. I also wanted a 5 door car (much easier to get the children in and out of the back seats) and something that was fairly small and easy to fit into parking spaces.
After quite a bit of research my husband had narrowed it down to a Nissan Note, a Honda Jazz and a Chevrolet Aveo. I preferred the Nissan as it was in the best condition and within a week I had my first ever car. A 5 year old Nissan Note in "faded denim" (aka silver grey)
It was a massively proud moment for me when I went out for my first drive in it on my own and as a family car it really hasn't disappointed us. It is quite tardis like inside with a large boot and plenty of leg room in the back. There are pull down tables in the back so the children can have their drinks and snacks on longer journeys and it is really nippy to drive. It is small enough that I find it fairly easy to park in most spaces but large enough to feel safe and substantial.
As a first car for me the Nissan Note has been perfect and I hope to be driving it for many years to come. My advice to anyone buying their first car would be to make sure that it suits your needs. Have a think about your lifestyle and choose a car that fits well with it. If you are going to be making long journeys you will need to think about comfort and petrol consumption. If you are more likely to be making shorter city based trips then a small sized car could be more convenient. Of course if you have children you will also need something child friendly and to make sure that the buggy actually fits in the boot. You can also get some great advice on what to look out for when buying your first car from Clickontyres.co.uk.
I would also say that it is always better to spend as much as you can afford on buying a safe and reliable car. It's all very well getting a bargain but a good car could save your life, and you may also find that what you save when you buy it you end up paying out in repairs!