Just for Fun – What Your Car Says About You

What Your Car Says About You


Young men drive Camaros, soccer moms drive minivans, and rich snobs drive Bentleys.  We usually associate a certain type of car with a certain type of person, but do  we really know who’s behind the wheel? After all, our perception of a car is  largely based on how it was marketed—Volvos for safety, Porsches for speed. But  it can be tough to decipher whether people buy a car because they think it will  make them out to be something they are or may not be, or because the same group  of people always buy the same type of car. That’s because  psychographics—grouping customers according to beliefs and attitudes and selling  them products to fit their group—is at play.

So what does your car say about you? What is that SUV driver really supposed  to be like? Here’s a clue.

Small Car: Prius, Honda Civic, Smart Car According to a  study by researchers at UC Davis,  small car drivers are more  pro-environmental and prefer higher density neighborhoods than drivers of others  types of cars. This isn’t surprising; if you live in a big city, it’s simply  easier to park with a small car and if you’re concerned about the environment,  you’ll want something that’s more fuel-efficient. Small car drivers, unlike  other categories of drivers, don’t necessarily see their cars as a ticket to  freedom. They aren’t workaholics or status seekers who try to display wealth.  They want to lessen their impact on the earth and have a reliable car—and  find a parking spot.

Mid-Sized Car: Chevrolet Sedan The authors of the study  found that “mid-sized car drivers have no distinct travel attitude, personality,  lifestyle, mobility, or travel-liking characteristics.” Ouch! Does that mean  they’re totally boring? Maybe, or maybe just pragmatic, or maybe they got their  cars as a hand-me-down. The owners were more likely to be female and homemakers;  they also had higher incomes.

If you’re driving an American-made sedan, you might belong to the group  psychographers call “belongers.” That’s those who need to belong to a group, are  very nationalistic, and don’t like change. The stereotype of this person is  someone who lives in an average town in the Midwest. When not driving a sedan,  they may also be in a U.S.-made pickup or station wagon.

Luxury Cars: Cadillac, Lexus Those who drive luxury cars  are—no surprise—status seekers; they also are more apt to drive long distances.  Men and older or retired people are more likely to drive luxury cars. In  particular, luxury car drivers are over-represented among highly-educated and  higher-income people.

In psychographic lingo, the “achievers”—profit-oriented workaholics who like  being independent—are also likely to drive luxury cars and/or sports cars.

Sports Cars: BMW, Porsches Those who are adventure  seekers (even if they never get out of the car) drive sports cars. They’re not  calm and are more likely than average to have a college degree. Surprisingly,  based on the cost of most sports cars, they were more likely to have lower  incomes. Some of these may fall into the category of “emulator”—younger,  financially unstable, low self-esteem people who buy flashy cars that aren’t  true sports or luxury cars to try to emulate achievers.

Minivan/Van In the study, minivan drivers tended to be  calm and weren’t loners. (Who would buy such a big car just for themselves?)  They enjoyed traveling in their car; they were more likely to live in the  suburbs, be females, homemakers, and aged forty-one to sixty-four, and surprise  surprise, have children.

Pickup In the study, pickup drivers don’t like  high-density living situations and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their  lives. They tend to be workaholics, have lower education, be full-time  employees, have service related jobs, and be middle-income.

SUV It’s not surprising that people who favored larger cars were less environmentally-minded. SUV drivers,  in particular, also liked to travel short distances in their cars. They were  more likely to be suburbanites, aged forty or younger. The drivers came from  larger households that were more likely to have children.

Not only might the type of car you drive say something about you, so does the  color. According to a survey done in Great Britain, certain colors indicate  certain personalities. Here are some generalities:

  • Black: aggressive personality, rebel
  • Silver: cool, calm, may be a loner
  • Green: reactive
  • Yellow: idealistic
  • Blue: introspective, reflective, and cautious
  • Red: someone who is full of energy and pizzazz
  • White: status seekers, gregarious
  • Cream: contained and controlled

Whether we choose cars for how we want others to perceive us, or if we are  simply concerned with price and function, what we drive can send some serious  messages.



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