First car – true love or old banger?

More than half (58%) of UK drivers say their first car was their pride and joy, while for a quarter (28%) it was an old banger, and sixth (16%) say it was just a set of wheels.

According to a new survey by InsuretheGap, one in 10 (11%) felt their first car was part of the family.

The survey finds that drivers nostalgically look back to a time when they could tinker with the car’s engine on the drive (33%), wind-down windows by hand (30%) and only have to use four gears (21%). A quarter (25%) even miss having to manually lock the car with a key.

Drivers also miss their old car stereos, with nearly a fifth (19%) missing their car cassette player and more than a tenth (13%) missing manually tuning the radio.

Two-thirds (69%) of drivers think modern technology makes drivers lazy and when it comes to cars today, three fifths (62%) could happily live without lane assist technology, over half (52%) would not miss distance assist, and two fifths (44%) would be happy without automatic braking.

However, not all are willing to swap their modern cars with over half (54%) saying they do not miss the long (and freezing) wait for the windscreen to defrost, using a choke to keep the engine going (42%) and bunny hopping down the road as the car warmed up (22%). They will also be keeping power steering (79%) and parking sensors and aids (44%).

Ben Wooltorton, from said: “It seems that many people are as nostalgic as I am when it comes to the cars they’ve owned over the years. Whilst technology has clearly made driving easier, there’s nothing like opening up the bonnet and tinkering with your car engine, or being able to get that perfect balancing point with the choke so that the car doesn’t stall.”