How Well Do You Remember Your First Car?

How well do you remember your first car? Many drivers remember theirs so fondly that they can even recall its number plate – no matter how old they are.

Over 65s

In fact, nostalgic over 65s have better memories than people 20 years younger when it comes to remembering the number plate on their first motor. When 1,000 people were asked if they recalled their first registration plate, 55% said they could. But it seems women care less about it because only 38% said they remember theirs.

Younger Drivers

Of course, younger people tend to remember their first plate because it’s still recent, but it’s among older people that the interesting differences emerge. It turns out that people in the 45 to 54 year old age bracket are evenly split between those who do or don’t remember the plate on their first car. But, among older people, the figure climbs so that 53% of 55 to 64 year olds can still recall it – while people of 65 and over do even better, with 55% confidently recalling theirs.

Car Ownership

Research spokesman, Austin Collins, said: “What might seem a relatively trivial detail about a car seems to lodge firmly in the memory of most people, even decades later. We are not sure why memories of the first plate are stronger among people of 65 and over, compared with those in their late 40s, but it could have something to do with how car ownership has been so dramatically democratised over the past 40 years.”


Collins added: “If you’re in your 60s today, the chances are it was more difficult to be able to afford your first car 40 or more years ago. That probably made your first car feel extra special and therefore possibly more memorable. Down the years car ownership has become infinitely more affordable and widespread. So it’s possible that younger people have come to take owning a car for granted more than their predecessors. But there’s one thing it does prove, and that’s how nostalgia around the first cars we ever owned is strong among the older generations.”