Pensioner Lilian Pearce has waited seven months to become the first person in the UK to drive away in an all-new Peugeot 308, collecting it from Simon Bailes Peugeot in Stockton ahead of its June 1st general launch.

The 71-year-old, a self-confessed fan of French cars, was treated to a VIP preview of the latest model at one of two special events held at the showroom last week. With preparation and registration formalities completed, she picked up her gleaming pearl white Peugeot 308 SW a day earlier.

Lilian and 81-year-old husband Bryan, from Stockton, got to the head of the 308 queue after getting their names in the order book last October – days after Peugeot announced that it planned to launch a new 308 which would be available in the UK from June 2022.

A former Marks & Spencer customer advisor at Teesside Park, she said: “I’ve waited seven months to get behind the wheel of this car and now it’s here I can’t quite believe it!

“As soon as I heard about the new 308, I spoke to a salesperson, did all my research, worked out the costs, knew it was for me, and came into the dealership to order one.

“The first time we physically saw the new 308 was at last week’s VIP event, but it’s everything and more I thought it would be, and I’m excited to get it home.”

Huge fans of the French marque, the couple have owned six Peugeots over the years – two 306s, two 106s, a 3008 and their trade-in 2008.

Lilian added: “With two dogs and six grandchildren, we need something with plenty of space and we are already looking forward to plenty of day trips to Whitby for fish and chips – our favourite destination!

“I’ve always been a big fan of Peugeot because you get more for your money. They are well-built, reliable, economical, and comfortable. I love the shape and the style of the new 308 SW, which is why I didn’t hesitate!”

Simon Bailes said: “It’s an honour for this dealership to sell the first all-new 308 in the UK and it was a real pleasure to help Lilian and Bryan get out on the road in double quick time.”

The new Peugeot 308 hatchback and 308 SW compact estate is unveiled to the public in Peugeot showrooms nationwide today (1st June). It is available in a range of trim levels and engines, including a 1.2-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and two plug-in hybrid powertrains. A pure electric model will be available next year.