We forget a lot of things as we age. Yet our first car won’t be one of those things.
It’s insane how much we remember about our first car. One survey shows that 30% of people can actually remember the license plate number of their first car. Better yet, another survey concluded that more people remember the color of their first car than the person they first kissed! I guess if love means never having to say you’re sorry, the people who apparently love their cars more have nothing to apologize about.
So why exactly do we love our first cars so much anyway? While there’s no survey that answers this question, here are a few theories.
1. It happens at a nostalgic time of our lives
You probably got your first vehicle between the ages of 16 and 23. Americans believe 18 to be the best age to receive your first car, and a growing number of parents have been able to buy their child’s first car compared to years past. But don’t worry, if you don’t want your kid to expect a car on their 18th birthday, I’ll keep this fact our little secret.
Either way, these years of our lives are often our most formative and memorable. If your first car enters your life during this time, it only makes sense you’d get that same tingle of nostalgia thinking about it.
2. You made your first big purchase (or got your first huge gift)
As a teenager or young adult, every penny counts. If you want a birthday present that costs $300 or more, you might be tempted to promise your parents that you’ll wash the dishes every day and never complain again. So with that frame of reference, purchasing (or receiving) a vehicle that costs thousands of dollars feels like making the impossible possible.
Whether through diligent saving or a family member’s generosity, getting a first car is life changing in no uncertain terms.
3. Your first car had character
You didn’t notice it before you had a vehicle, but cars have personality to them. The brake lights kind of make a face, or the ignition sound can sound like a “good morning!” or a “let’s roll!” The more you drive your first car, the more every nuance grows on you.
Even if you notice these features on other cars, your car was still the one you learned to completely love, even if it had a bunch of quirks.
4. It was your first step towards freedom
Before your first car, you probably relied on your parents or friends to get you from point A to point B. If you lived in an urban area, maybe you bought a bike or used public transportation. But once you got your own car, your life literally changed.
No longer were you at the mercy of others when you wanted to go somewhere. Your first car showed you what it’s like to get to places further and faster than ever before – all on your own schedule too.
5. You made countless memories with it
A first date. Carpooling to and from school. Taking trips into the city. Commuting to work. Grabbing a bite to eat just because you felt like it. These are just a few things you might remember doing with your first car.
No matter what memories you made, your first car was by your side the whole time. The truth of the matter is, your car wasn’t just a tool you use to get places. You didn’t just drive a car; you drove your car, and that makes all the difference.
In truth, while no car can replace your first, there’s no reason your current or future car can’t be just as special. If you’ve ever caught yourself longing for the good old days, consider finding a car that captures those warm fuzzy feelings all over again. Here’s to making more memories in a great car for years to come.