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Britain’s most popular first car revealed

Ford Fiesta

Ford cars top the league when it comes to favourite first cars from 1950 to the present day, according new research.

The humble Ford Fiesta and Ford Escort are the most popular first cars in Britain over the past 67 years, with the Morris Minor, Mini and Nissan Micra among the other popular choices.

1950s Morris Minor
1960s Ford Escort
1970s Ford Cortina
1980s* Mini Cooper
1990s* Vauxhall Astra
2000s / 2010s* Nissan Micra
*The Ford Fiesta was a popular first car choice overall between the 1980s and 2010s, however the Mini Cooper (1980s), Vauxhall Astra (1990s) and Nissan Micra (2000s – 2010s) were the most popular cars throughout those particular decades.

Buying a first car is a significant milestone for many Brits, which is why Gumtree polled 2,000 UK drivers to chart the evolution of first car purchases.

The study also revealed that despite 82% of first time car buyers purchasing second-hand vehicles, drivers spend more than 450% more on their first car than buyers 40 years ago.

Ford Escort

When it comes to purchasing that all important first car, Brits don’t hang around, with 54% of drivers admitting they had a car of their own within a month of passing their test and 22% had a car before they had even passed their test.

Financially, people are very much striking out on their own when it comes to purchasing a car, with more than half (51%) buying their first car out of their savings and only one in 10 relying on the bank of Mum and Dad to get their first set of wheels. The average first time buyer now pays an average of £4,081 for their car.

Vik Barodia, Head of Motors at Gumtree, said: “Unless you’re a trained mechanic, buying your first car can be a bit daunting at the best of times.

“It’s often one of the biggest purchases people make and with so much to choose from (make, model, age, trim, condition and price to name just a few), it can be difficult to know what you want, who to buy from and where to find the right car.

“Gumtree’s Inside Track offers lots of advice to guide you through the process of buying your first car, including a car costs calculator, support with deciding how to pay for the vehicle and advice on the best time of year to buy a car.

“What’s more, Gumtree is by far the largest site for private car sales in the UK, so there’s a huge opportunity to connect with more sellers and get the best value in the industry.”

Vik’s top 5 tips for first-time car buyers

  1. More than one in three (38%) Brits buy their car from a private seller, so make sure you talk directly with the seller, ask them lots of questions and make notes on everything, as you’ll feel much more informed about what you’re buying
  2. When viewing the car, bring someone with you for a second opinion if possible, especially if you’re not the biggest motoring buff
  3. Remember safety first! Ask to see the vehicle’s documents. The seller should have logbooks, previous service history and MOT certificates all ready for you to look at
  4. Perform some routine maintenance checks on the vehicle. Don’t be afraid to get in the driver’s seat and take the time to make sure all the car features work, such as electric windows, air conditioning and windscreen wipers
  5. Take the car for a test drive with the seller and if anything feels strange, then be sure to ask questions

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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