Recent research has revealed that over 25% of UK motorists have a name for their car. The survey conducted by One Poll held for car insurance comparison site Confused.com has identified more and more people are naming their cars, with the most popular names being Charlie and Ruby.
The research revealed that over 50% of motorists are happy to describe their car as ‘part of the family’, and that 33% of car owners have conversations with their cars, not only about day-to-day matters or if something infuriates them on the road, but also about relationships and personal problems.
The average UK motorist considers their car to be female, and even believe their car to have a personality. The research revealed that the average motorists believe their car to have a personality that is sensible (25%), cute (8%) or playful (7%).
Possibly the most shocking of findings is that only 16% of men see their cars as women, although of those that do, 6% describe their car as sexy, and 5% describe them as mischievous.
Peter Collett, Psychologist and author of ‘Driving Passion – The Psychology of The Car’ suggests that naming your car can reduce the risk of incidents on the road.
“A majority of car owners feel the need to give their car a distinctive name, usually an affectionate title that expresses how they feel about their car and how they regard it as being different from everyone else’s. The drive to individualise one's car in this way is very widespread and it also lays the foundation for how people treat their cars. By giving their car a special name, drivers are treating their car as something that deserves to be cared for - a friend, a pet, a companion, sometimes even a lover.”
Surprisingly, one of the most famous named cars did not appear in the top ten list. Herbie the Love Bug, the Volkswagen Beetle that has featured in several Disney movies, appeared on TV screens in 1968. In the movie ‘The Love Bug’ the VW was named Herbie by a racing drivers mechanic after his uncle Herb.
However names for vehicles can be traced even further back to when T E Lawrence called his Brough Superior motorbike ‘Boanerges’ famously declaring, “Because Boa loves me, he gives me five more miles of speed than a stranger would get from him.”
By Ben Malkin
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