Learning to drive, buying a house, and starting a family are among the life goals more than half of Brits think should be achieved by the time they turn 40, according to research* by Vauxhall.

To mark 40 years since the first Corsa (originally badged Nova in the UK) was unveiled, Vauxhall consulted 2,000 UK adults to understand the lifetime achievements the public think should be achieved by the time they turn 40. Showcasing how important cars are for people, 60% of Brits said they’d want to have their driving licence by the time they’re 40, placing it above buying a house (56%) and starting a family (52%). It was even ranked ahead of getting married (46%).

The research also highlighted generational differences. Getting your dream job by the age of 40 was selected by 43% of 18-39 year olds, compared to just 27% of those aged 40 and over. Similarly, while 44% of under 40s said completing a degree or apprenticeship is an important objective to achieve by 40, only 35% of over 40s agreed.

Of all adults surveyed, 41% agreed it’s more important to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences (e.g. sky diving) by the age of 40 than to accomplish life achievements (e.g. career progression). Among under 40s, this figure rises to 53%, with taking time out to go travelling (54%) and running a marathon (37%) among the key experiences they would like to have done by the time they reach 40.

With 57% of all respondents having bought their first car by the age of 25, the survey also revealed changing considerations to car purchasing with age. While over 40s are more likely to prioritise price, reliability and safety, under 40s are more likely to name in-car tech, design/styling and speed/sportiness as their top considerations when buying a car. Some of the biggest differences were between those aged 18-24 and those aged 65 and over, with 63% of over 65s prioritising reliability compared to just 31% of 18-24 year olds.

Revealed in 1982, the Vauxhall Corsa (badged Nova in the UK until 1993) has been a familiar sight on British roads for the past 40 years, with more than 2.8 million sold** in the UK so far.

James Taylor, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “Our research shows how important cars are in our lives, with people placing learning to drive as a bigger achievement to have completed by the time they turn 40 than getting married. Over the past 40 years, the Vauxhall Corsa has become a staple in people’s lives; from being the car they’ve learned to drive in, moved house with, or used to take newborns home from the hospital for the first time.

“The Corsa’s popularity endures to this day, as the UK’s number one supermini and one of the best-selling cars in the country overall so far this year.***  As Vauxhall looks to the next 40 years, we already offer the Corsa as an all-electric vehicle, the Corsa Electric, ensuring it will continue to remain part of the social fabric for the next generation of drivers.”

Available as a fully electric car since 2020, the latest Corsa Electric provides up to 222 miles of range (WLTP) from its 50kWh battery, while a 0-80% charge takes just 30 minutes to complete from a 100kW rapid charger. Vauxhall will become an electric-only brand by 2028 – seven years ahead of the Government’s deadline to phase out internal combustion engines from UK roads.

To celebrate 40 years of supermini heritage, Vauxhall has launched a new Anniversary Edition version of the Corsa Electric. Limited to 1,000 units, it features a unique ‘Record Red’ metallic paint finish inspired by the ‘Carmine Red’ of the original Nova and features a modern interpretation of its classic tartan seat fabric. Based on the GS Line version, the Anniversary Edition benefits from additional features including heated seats and steering wheel, blind sport alert, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Priced at £31,000 On-The-Road, the Anniversary Edition is available to order exclusively online.

* Survey of 2,000 UK adults (nationally representative) carried out in November 2022.

**Including over 500,000 Novas. Data accurate as at end October 2022.

***According to SMMT figures as of November 2022.