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Research commissioned by online used-car marketplace Motorway.co.uk shows just how important a first car can be, with three-quarters of car owners admitting their first car still holds fond and special memories. In fact, over a third of respondents claim their first vehicle has its own personality, with nearly half naming their beloved first car.

When it comes to choosing a name, nearly a quarter of car owners choose this to match the make of car; 20% base it on the colour of the car and 19% name their cars after someone they know. The top 10 most popular names for first cars in 2022 include:


  1. Tinkerbell (17%)
  2. Peggy (15%)
  3. Hercules (13%)
  4. Bullet (11%)
  5. Roxanne (11%)
  6. Jolly Roger (11%)
  7. Betty (11%)
  8. Dave (9%)
  9. Ghost (9%)
  10. Selena (9%)
Tinkerbell is the most popular name for a first car in 2022

Memorable moments associated with a first car include taking a first road trip with friends (45%), driving to a first job interview (28%), as well as monumental moments like fitting a baby seat for the first time (21%).

40% of Brits cite owning a first car as a rite of passage, with 16% admitting that they have put off selling their first car purely because of the memories attached to it. When it is time to part with the first set of wheels, the top reasons first car owners sell up are:

  1. It was on its last legs (37%)
  2. For an upgrade (27%)
  3. Unable to afford repairs (13%)
  4. Having a family and needing a bigger car (12%)
  5. Relocating and no longer needing a car (4%)

Alex Buttle, co-founder of online used-car marketplace Motorway, said: “A first car often holds special memories, no matter what the owner’s stage in life. But as we go through life, our motoring needs and budgets change.”

(The research carried out in June 2022 by Censuswide with a sample of 2,000 British car owners aged 18+.)

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