This post is a sponsored collaboration with Fife Autocentre. For me, becoming independent was something I really craved when I was growing up. Call me mad, but I couldn’t wait to get my first job. The thought of being able to make my own money and not have to be completely reliant on my parents really appealed to me. I wanted to work, be productive, and take that very first step onto the career ladder.
My first job was working in a coffee shop close to our house. Being at school throughout the week, I worked at weekends and during the summer holidays. Having my parents sometimes pick me up from work was a big help. After long days of being on my feet and working hard, walking home wasn’t something I enjoyed doing! Having my own car was something I couldn’t wait for. Becoming independent and being able to go wherever I wanted to was so exciting for me.
There were many times I didn’t enjoy my first job. Hot, busy summer days and disgruntled customers when the queue got too big weren’t my favourites. In contrast, the winter was much quieter, meaning a lot less work was available. A job that was less seasonal would be very beneficial, and finding something further afield would be much easier to do if I had my own transport.
Because my friend and I were excited to learn to drive , but we weren’t yet old enough, our parents took us to a Young Drive experience. We drove a small car around a racetrack with an experienced instructor, learning the basics, such as how to stop and start the car smoothly. I would really recommend it, as it was a fun day out and I felt it gave me a small head start when I started my driving lessons. You can just about see me in the middle car in the photo below!
Whilst working, I had been saving hard to buy my own car. Because my family could see that I was working hard both at school and at my job, they chipped in with birthday and early Christmas money, so that I could manage to buy my first car.
Seeing my very own car sat on the driveway was one of the most exciting days of my life and I can still remember it. To see that shiny vehicle and know that it was mine felt incredibly surreal. It was a super small budget car with no air con and a slow engine, but to have a car that was completely mine made me so happy.
That car took me through many important stages of my life. It took me to various workplaces, university, to visit family and friends, my boyfriend and it brought us, overflowing with our possessions, to our first home together. It visited numerous towns, cities and counties and I grew to adore it. Whilst it didn’t like overtaking in the fast lane on the motorway or going up big hills, it was ridiculously easy to drive and park and this made me hold onto it for several years.
Knowing how lucky I was to have my own car as soon as I turned 17, I always tried to take good care of it. My first car did a large number of miles and it worked like a trooper.
The lovely people at Fife Autocentre have started a campaign called A Little Auto Love N Care, encouraging us to carry out preventative maintenance to our cars. I think this is really important, particularly before big trips. Before we went on our French road trip, we were sure to check that our current car was ready for the long journeys ahead.
I think it can be quite easy to forget to give our car the once over, when it can be so quick and prevent any issues. I’ve always ensured my car has it’s MOT in plenty of time and that it gets serviced every year. However, I can be guilty of not checking tyres and only noticing they are looking rather flat when other people point it out to me. The same can be said of lights. I’ve had someone flag me down before now to tell me a bulb has gone. It really is a good idea to check these things before they cause a problem. Brakes are, of course, one of the most important things to take care of, and you can book brake replacement and repair in Stirling at Fife Autocentre.
I always believe that prevention is better than cure and so ensuring everything is working well and in good condition is so important, especially when so many of us rely on our cars to take us everywhere. Particularly if you have big journeys ahead, just making little checks is such a good idea. It’s something that I’m trying much harder to do!
Were you as excited to learn to drive as I was? Was becoming independent really important to you too?