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First Car Syndrome


VW PoloWe all remember buying our first car, or maybe you don’t if you are reading this after freshly passing your test. Anyway, it is a great moment when you finally get the keys to what is almost limitless freedom. As the years have gone on and I have witnessed others buying their first cars and noticed a mindset that befalls most soon to be owners. I call it “First Car Syndrome.”

Being a motoring journalist I am often asked my opinion on whatever car a friend or family member is thinking about buying. I try to deliver honest and unbiased views that highlight the positives and negatives. However, diagnosed “First Car Syndrome” plagues some of these people and their itching desire to get behind the wheel clouds their judgment. Many will try and write-off the negatives as being unimportant or not relevant to them, especially if they have their heart set on a specific car. Valid arguments just seems to aggravate the condition. At the end of the day your first car simply needs to be reliable, relatively cheap to run, and not a pain in the arse to drive due to a flaw in its design. But FSC can often lead to people charging headlong into a purchases only for them to despise their pride and joy months later.

First Car Syndrome can develop onto a second stage after buying a car whereby the patient truly believes that their car is the greatest thing on four wheels. Of course they are welcome to feel proud of what they drive, but this symptom is characterised by bragging and the pure disbelief of facts. Your Ford Fiesta is not an Aston Martin! This stage is usually caused by lack of experience with other cars. Without other reference points they will convince themselves that it doesn’t get better than this.

FCS usually passes with time, but in some instances can mutate into “Chronic Second Car Obsession.” This step-up from their first car, which they already thought was amazing, is even better and so anything you have to say to the contrary fall on deaf ears. But that is another article…

First car buyers please, please, please, take a moment to step back and take onboard advice you are being given. Often it has been acquired through painful experience.