"Alvaro martínez" is a freelance writer who writes articles in his spare time and works making automotive reviews and many many more things
When I learned to drive my first car it was not exactly a Subaru Impreza or a Paramount Marauder, it was clear that although I was in possession of a card proving that I could drive a motor vehicle I had to impose myself certain limits since I had little experience at the wheel, Although my father recommended me a 1.6 3cyl Ford Focus that was almost new due to its cheap fuel costs and how "cool" it looked, it was clear that I would still go to an Old battered Honda Civic 1.6, to be exact an EG, the reason for this was very simple.
They´re cheap to fix, Ideal for beginners.
-PC: Alexandra Cauvolacos in Flickr
Although many commutists claim that a new car is the epitome of reliability and ideal for learners I disagree with it, back when I got my license I needed a car that in case of wrapping it against a tree or crashing on a ditch I wouldn´t regret it due to its low cost, On its very short life the Civic I had never costed me more than 25€ to fix a slight scratch or repair a bumper crack, I basically could repair my beater with whatever I could find on a drawer.
Why I didn´t mind the bumps and scratches? Well, I had to develop perception and limits, Knowing how well the car could maneuver, where it would fit... I know a "Brand new" used car would hurt to scratch or lightly crack a bumper on a simple beginner´s mishap, Everytime I drove and learned more using the mirrors while parking or getting out of a Garage A simple scratch didn't hurt, I would just sigh a little and reverse it out of the collision and adjust, check the damage and go on my way, Beaters despite being old they can teach beginners a thing or two about fixing stuff up, Pulling fuses, Repairing bumpers, Adding spray paint over a scratch... Not only they are cars made to beat up, but they´re also your mechanic playground.
Parts are easy to find in Junkyards/Fun cars as well.
Conmutists also will tell me that spare parts can be difficult to find since they aren´t brand new cars. This is true to an extent since the older it is the harder to find parts for it, as for newer cars... You can only hope to find spare parts straight from the manufacturer unless someone already crashed theirs.
Most popular beaters come from 1980 to 1990, And many junkyards around the world still have cars from those eras just lying around with a lot of parts to take, Many new drivers cannot afford servicing and DIY stuff is usually the way to go, How about a 25€ Tailight change without Labour costs included? You may also learn a thing or two about fixing stuff up.
When it comes to giving your first car a part of yourself Many people just go straight for the horsepower, some people just add a big banging stereo on the back or just put interior lighting to make it look more modern, It is usually easy to find parts for beaters since the aftermarket for them is way bigger than brand new cars, although beaters aren´t exactly customized often either.
What about fun? Although they cannot stop in a dime and will often experience from worn down components a beater can also give a lot of fun to a learner driver which is trying to learn how to control their car on snow, How to drive fast... the possibilities are endless with a beater.