There are times within a person’s life when they have to handle facts.
For some it’s the realisation that denim makes them look like an ageing rocker.
For others it will be that they’ve become old before their time as they head to bed clutching boiling water bottles.
These are wake-up calls – and it’s no different when it comes to motoring.
My eureka moment
Until you were lucky enough to buy a Porsche 911 on your own 17th birthday, the chances are the cars you drove in your youth won’t be suitable as you journey through life.
My eureka moment happened behind the wheel of my beloved Fiesta XR2, aged 25, when I saw a yoof, aged around 17, in a similar machine. I realised it was time for any trade-in.
Bearing that in mind, here is my take on what’s suitable and what’s inappropriate for different age ranges.
In your 20s…
It’s genuine that beggars can’t be choosers, but being on a budget shouldn’t mean you must sacrifice style.
Consider: A Ford Fiesta – any type to tell the truth.
There are reasons why they have topped bestseller lists numerous times: it looks good, is reliable, practical and doesn’t cost our planet.
The new shape Mini is likewise über-cool at this particular age and affordable.
Avoid: If you do have a lot of money avoid the temptation to drive around in an Audi.
Even if you’ve earned it yourself you’ll just seem like a trust fund kid.
Think TOWIE… see things i mean?
Stay away from Volvos and Skodas too – they’ll cause you to look too old.
With your 30s…
For many this will be age of the people-carrier and a time when they take leave of their motoring fashion senses.
Consider: Opt for the Ford S-Max should you need a family car.
It looks good and can transport seven of yourself around efficiently.
An Audi – ideally an R8 if resources are unlimited – or a little red sports vehicle are worth considering if you’ve got cash to spare then a BMW.
Avoid: The Fiat Multipla.
Yes it’s practical but need I have faith that more?
Don’t go for everything that ages you prematurely.
So, if finances allow, steer clear of Jaguars or Bentleys – avoiding the latter also lessens the chance of being mistaken for a Premier League footballer, even.
In your 40s
A difficult age as picking the wrong car means you operate the risk of being the mid-life crisis guy or gal.
Consider: A unique hot hatch.
You can escape the sneers as these cars date through your youth so there’s that whole retro vibe occurring.
You can still get away with a Mazda RX8 (pictured) or Subaru Impreza, while when you have more to pay then an Aston Martin is the ideal solution.
Lotus Exige S
Avoid: Anything too sporty because it looks like you’re trying too difficult to be young.
Also avoid the little red convertible as you’ll look like Noddy if you’re a man.
While I’m at it, the updated VW Beetle is rarely a great look but even less so at this particular age.
50s and older
You may have climbed high up the business ladder, your young ones have probably left home and vehicle insurance is cheaper, so now’s some time to indulge your motoring passion again.
Consider: An older Porsche 911 also falls in to the timeless classic bracket.
A Jaguar, Mercedes or larger BMW may also be perfect.
When you still love tinkering underneath the bonnet then a sports car from yesteryear is still appropriate – think MGB.
Volvo V70 exterior
Avoid: If you’ve had the same car for three decades – particularly if it’s a Volvo estate – then sell it immediately.
Also – and again – step away from the red convertible.
It was questionable a decade ago however looks frankly ridiculous. Hot hatches will also be no-go areas.
What do you think?
We would like to hear what age appropriate – or non-age appropriate – car you drive.
So, in true Cilla Black fashion, how old have you been and what car will you drive?