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Trying to choose that first car

PUBLISHED: 07:46 17 August 2018

Sunny was delighted to pass her test with Chilled Driving after only a week on the road. Picture Chilled Driving Tuition

Sunny was delighted to pass her test with Chilled Driving after only a week on the road. Picture Chilled Driving Tuition

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We have different ideas about the ideal first car, writes Jo Malone

She's an Audi girl... the A1 is the only car that will do for newly-qualified driver Sunny Malone. Picture: AudiShe's an Audi girl... the A1 is the only car that will do for newly-qualified driver Sunny Malone. Picture: Audi

I was absolutely delighted with number one daughter when she passed her driving test this month at the first attempt.

It felt as if she’d only had a couple of lessons – she did an intensive five-day course – and here she was, happily clutching her test pass certificate.

But then my pride turned to a whole mass of what-ifs when she casually drops ‘I’m going to buy an Audi A1’ into conversation.

I’m used to driving a very boring mum-mobile about, packed with boring mum stuff; tissues and changes of clothes, shoes, snacks, wipes, coats, pens, drinks, spare drinks, bags for life, children’s comics and books and gaffa tape, so I’m ready for pretty much any dull school-run emergency. To me, Audi equals cool, and speedy, very speedy.

I can just imagine her in her flashy car in our country lanes - meeting a muddy lorry coming the other way. Piture Getty ImagesI can just imagine her in her flashy car in our country lanes - meeting a muddy lorry coming the other way. Piture Getty Images

It’s always an Audi that nips up behind me looking edgy, and always an Audi that blasts past me on the A11 or A47 with a hair-flicking driver as I’m debating whether there’s enough oomph in my diesel to overtake that tractor or whether I should stay put.

I can’t have number one, with her few hours of driving, zooming about flicking her hair.

But apparently they’re super safe, and she’s very excited about her A1 idea. She learnt in an Audi and likes the shape, she likes the lights, she likes the style - and I know she’s imagining zipping about with the windows down and the music up, long hair fluttering in the breeze.

I say that pretty much everyone writes off their first car and why doesn’t she save her dream flashy car for a few years’ time, and have something normal, like a Fiesta – doesn’t everyone have a Fiesta as their first car?

I'm so used to my boring mumsy car that I'm convinced all other cars are super-souped-up sports cars. Picture Andrey Suslov/Getty ImagesI'm so used to my boring mumsy car that I'm convinced all other cars are super-souped-up sports cars. Picture Andrey Suslov/Getty Images

Sunny points out that I am just making that car crash data up, and just because I’ve written off a few, including my Mum’s very treasured Vauxhall, doesn’t mean she’s going to be destroying hers.

But I’m imagining a humble little car, one that’s easy to park and easy to slink past the lorries and Fastracs when they appear from nowhere round corners on our country lanes. I’m thinking maybe a Fiat Punto, or a little Citroën, or even a Mini Cooper – something easy to push out of the mud when she gets stuck pulling over for those lorries - not a socking great big swanky super cool and shiny Audi.

But she’s adamant that it’s not that big and flashy and that she can afford it and the insurance – she’s been saving and the insurance looks far less than the thousands and thousands of pounds I expected – and the tax. I’m realising that our 20-year-old is an adult who can make up her own mind and pretty much ignore mother when she wants to!

I try and get used to the idea, but then Sunny sends me a link of a car she likes – it’s a 1.6 sport…..

I'm delighted she has passed her test, but now she wants a car of her own. Picture; Getty ImagesI'm delighted she has passed her test, but now she wants a car of her own. Picture; Getty Images

This sounds even more rocket-like than I first imagined and I have visions of her flying, like Luigi after a power speed boost in Mario Kart, around a corner and meeting one of those Fastracs.

I change tack: “Why don’t you wait until after you’ve finished Uni to get a car?”

She shoots me a withering look and wanders off, no doubt to check the car ads again.

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