Today, 2 October 2016, is National Name Your Car Day. So if you haven’t yet named your car or you have a new car yet to be named, today is the day!
No, we didn’t just make this up – National Name Your Car Day has been on the unofficial event calendar for many years now.
In fact …
In 2012, SWNS.com reported six million British motorists have names for their car, based on survey of 2,000 UK car owners conducted by Continental Tyres.
In 2013, Forbes reported close to 25% of Americans named their cars, based on a survey of 1000 US car owners conducted by Nationwide Insurance.
Statistics are hard to come across in Australia, but it’s certainly a trend.
So why do we name our cars?
University of Chicago professor Nicolas Epley says it makes us feel safer; naming cars humanises them and humans behave in ways we can anticipate – mostly.
Perhaps naming our cars makes us feel like their more reliable or reliably unreliable – for example, ‘poor old Betsy being on the blink’ is way different to ‘the bloody car not starting again’ – which brings us back to Epley’s humanisation point.
Maybe you just spend a lot of your time in the car and it has come to feel almost like a trusted companion, getting you from A to B safely. Hmmm… still comes back to Epley’s argument about names humanising cars.
If you wanted to go down a different route though, here’s one for the narcissists; perhaps we view our cars as an extension of ourselves, or as a reflection of our personality, and naming the car gives us the opportunity to convey certain things about ourselves to others.
For now, on National Name Your Car Day 2016, it officially remains one of the many mysteries of the mystical bond between man and machine.
So what are we calling our cars?
Colour seems to be a big driver.
Come on, we’re in Australia. We’re fans of being quite literal in our naming of things – red back spider, brown snake, blue tongue lizard, etc.
When it comes to cars we’ll generally combine the colour with a word that conveys speed – Red Rocket, White Lightning, etc. Or we’ll convey power by naming the car something obvious, like The Beast.
Otherwise we seem to enjoy a little bit of word play.
Rhymes seem to float our boat; think Rhonda the Honda. We also like names that cleverly combine the make of our car with the name of a celebrity of fictional character; think Penelope Cruze or Taylor Swift.
Selling a car or looking for a new one?
Carwant.com.au is where buyers and sellers converge when they want a fast and fuss free car purchase process.
Basically, buyers post a free ad, requesting the kind of car they want and indicating what their price range is. Sellers advertise their used cars for sale in the same way. And when there is a match, CarWant sends both parties an automatic notification.
To view what is currently wanted for purchase or available for sale, and find out how to connect with the relevant buyers or sellers, visit www.carwant.com.au.