Why What Your Car Says About You is Louder than You Think
As exaggerated as some car ads are, many of them get at least one thing right – the look of your vehicle sends a message to others. You’ve seen the commercials before. A well-dressed individual stops at a red light in a high-end SUV or sedan, and an equally well-dressed and attractive pedestrian crosses the street, giving them a smile or nod of approval. And the car certainly has something to do with it. Whether you see it as a reflection of our shallow society or not, you have to admit that your car is an extension of yourself. What your car says about you is quite revealing, suggesting things to others even if you say or do nothing at all.
What Your Car Says About You
Upon first glance, people tend to make judgements about you based on the type of car you’re driving, as well as the car brand you own. It’s a two-pronged affair here. Yes, we have to reiterate how vain it is, but the make and model of the vehicle you drive will provoke certain responses from others – that’s why the vehicles of some car companies are considered “status symbols”. To experience this for yourself, rent a supercar for a day and roll into the parking lot at work (or school). Your colleagues will do double and triple takes when you step out.
- Pick-up trucks – Drive a pick-up truck, and you’ll receive a bunch of labels, ranging from “tough guy (or gal)”, construction worker, or anyone who has a labour-intensive job that requires some serious strength. So if you want to project yourself as a muscle-bound hero (even if you’re not), then you might want to pick up a pick-up.
- Luxury cars – You’re rich, you’re successful, and you’re snobby. Okay, so the last one is totally unfair considering so many nice and amiable people drive luxury rides. It’s just that movies and T.V. shows have perpetuated the stereotype that the driver of a luxury car is some business exec in a Hugo Boss suit, or some entertainer who has more money than they know what to do with.
- Minivans – Minivans are for soccer moms, right? Sure, it’s clichè, but you have to admit the truth in it since minivans are targeted towards those with families, and who often participate in sports, outdoor activities and other gatherings. Man or woman, you will get the designation of mom or dad if you’re seen stepping out of one. Of course, that doesn’t apply if you’re the son or daughter of the parents who own the minivan.
- Compact – Drive one of those chic, trendy compacts, and people will assume you’re young, energetic and mobile. They’ll probably assume you’re one half of a couple. Perhaps, you might have a kid. They might even think you’re a “yuppie” (young professional) or something. It kind of makes sense since these cars are popular among Millennials.
You’ve been Branded
- Cadillac – You’re classy. Cadillacs are built for those who value style just as much as they do substance. Unlike Buicks, which are seen as automobiles for the “aged”, Cadillacs have a mature appeal without giving others the impression that their drivers are “older”. This is especially true now that Cadillac is one of many car companies that has implemented some design makeovers.
- BMW – You’re a jerk. At least that’s what popular opinion says about you. A study published back in 2013, revealed that BMW drivers have been ranked as the worst offenders for parking violations and disregarding traffic laws. Attitudes of the wealthy, who sometimes think they’re above the law, are to blame.
- Toyota – You like to play things safe. Toyota is often the go-to choice for new drivers or those who are generally on the fence about other car brands. You can’t blame them; the Japanese automaker builds some of the most reliable cars on the planet. But aside from reliability, does Toyota jump out as being a performance machine, or a luxury car, or anything else? Not really. It’s still a fantastic brand though.
What the Colour of Your Car Says About You
In a previous post, we discussed the meaning conveyed by certain colours, and how they influence what your car says about you. Your choice of car colour is certainly a personal thing. But regardless of what you think about it, the colour of your vehicle will give people a sense of your personality, and they might assume you’re a certain kind of person, even if their assumptions are completely wrong. If you need a reminder of what individual colours mean, take a look below to see how they apply to cars.
A message in the paint
- Blue – If you want to appear cool, collected and confident, blue is your baby. The darker the shade of blue, you’re more likely to give off an air of integrity (think of the Navy).
- Red – You may come across as aggressive, passionate or provocative. Red is a strong colour that suits just about any car, especially if the driver likes to command attention. The question is, are you that kind of a driver?
- White – Purity, peace, perfection – the colour white generally gives off a positive vibe, and it works well with just about any car. Fail to keep a white car clean, however, and the dirt and grime will remove those good feelings (which we’ll discuss soon).
- Black – Another safe choice, black, which suits just about any car, will give off the impression that you’re mature, professional and sophisticated. It’s the colour of choice for many people in the business world, and other industries where looking elegant is a big deal.
- Green – A conflicting colour, green conveys a range of meanings from freshness to ambition to jealousy. Interestingly enough, green only works with certain cars and in certain shades. Perhaps, the more positive meanings emerge when the right shade meets the right car.
What the Condition of Your Car Says About You
The first two categories mentioned in this post are largely subjective. Just because you buy a certain car in a certain colour, it doesn’t mean that you fit the stereotype associated with those choices. But our third topic, the condition of your car, is a quality that most people tend to agree on. In other words, we tend to hold the same view towards those who keep their vehicles well-maintained. The same is true for those who don’t keep their cars in good shape.
- Dirt, dust, debris – Realistically, your car will never be dirt-free all of the time. But when it’s painted with grime and dirt, especially if there hasn’t been much snow, slush or precipitation, it gives others the impression that you’re generally unclean in other aspects of life. And they might even feel embarrassed for you and your passengers.
- Rust & chipped paint – Sometimes, the unfortunate happens. Whether it’s through wear-and-tear or exposure to certain elements, leading to rust, chipped paint and unsightly spotting. When it’s extensive, it attracts the wrong kind of attention. It might be expensive to fix, but we’re pretty sure no self-respecting driver would want to cruise in a rust bucket. Remember too, that an abundance of rust reduces your car’s trade-in value.
- Food wrappers & cups – Don’t forget about the interior. If a friend jumps into your car, seeing a pile of McDonald’s wrappers, they might draw some conclusions about your hygiene even if they remain quiet. It’s like a bedroom – even if people walk in and see it is a pigsty, they might shrug it off but let their inner voice run wild.
- Unusual noises – Constant squealing and rattling noises aren’t sounds you want to hear. Neither do your passengers. Or a passersby. Not only are they bothersome to the ears, they give others the impression that you’re comfortable driving a dysfunctional hunk of metal.
- Rough ride – If your car is shaky and you have an easily-frightened passenger, they might worry about their safety. But they could also think that you’re overlooking the maintenance of your vehicle. If they like to tattle, they might warn others about the “hazards” of riding in your car.
Ultimately, Don’t Care What Others Think
At some point, someone has told you not to worry about what others think or say about you. So should you let the judgments of others about your car concern you? Not at all. Unless we’re talking about your car’s cleanliness, which you should care about, the look and make of your car should speak to you, and you only. It’s yours! Whether you want a black Mustang or a red Mini-Cooper, worrying about outside opinions shouldn’t get in the way. You’ll have to face the scrutiny of others for many things in life, but your vehicle should be a source of escape from it all.