Life: First car’s a charm

Although the lack of parking on campus may suggest otherwise, not everyone at UVM is petrol-powered.If you’re shopping for your first car, or any car I suppose, let me divulge some first-car knowledge.You will probably come up with a list of qualities you want in your ride, which may include cool-looking, fast and massive cup holders.Then your mum will take said list and replace your good ideas with boring ones like safe, reliable and good in the snow.At the risk of writing exactly what you expect me to, it will be best for you to reach a compromise.As cool as it will feel bringing it home, you may regret buying an old sports car for driving to Jay Peak this winter.That’s probably why so many people get Subarus and why I crashed my RX-7 into a snow bank.  18 inch wheels don’t work too well on ice, but man that car was sweet.In terms of where to buy, your options are a dealer or some dude with a “For Sale” sign taped to his car’s window. Both have their advantages – a dealer will give you the peace of mind that comes with a warranty, while a private seller will be a lot cheaper, not to mention there’s a much higher chance he won’t be a prick.If you’re shopping in the sub-$5,000 range, you should definitely consider finding someone on Craigslist or the like.When you’re researching your potential buy, instead of seeing how many speakers it has, look into things like where common leaks are and then check for them.And most importantly, don’t be afraid to walk away if a deal doesn’t feel right. There are thousands of cars in the world and everyone wants to get rid of them because they’re destroying the Earth and gas will be $5 per gallon this summer.Or maybe you’ve already been driving for a while – do you remember your first car?You probably do . . . in fact, you probably drove it this week.  Most of us in school have only had a driver’s license for a few years, and not that many people care about cars enough to want to deal with the hassle of getting another one.I’ve had four (well, three and a half . . . another story), but that’s how you become the automotive columnist.Regardless of what you had – or have – a Jaguar E-Type or a Chrysler Le Baron, your first car occupies a special place in your heart.It taught you to drive (hopefully), granted you freedom and gave you something to waste lots of money on. So when you make it big and have a hybrid Lexus sitting in your garage, make sure you remember your first.