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Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 drivers give their 'baby' a name

Insurance company survey finds one-in-four of us anthropomorphize our vehicles.

By James_Tate Oct 7, 2013 10:00AM

Did you know that last Wednesday was National Name Your Car Day? You probably didn’t, and neither did we. Auto insurance company Nationwide did, however, and conducted a survey to find out just how many of us actually go so far as to name our vehicles — or at least how many of us will admit to it.

The results tell us more than we ever would have thought to ask about those among us who name their vehicles, and what those names mean.

Surveying just over 1,000 drivers, Nationwide found that nearly 1 in 4 had given a name to their ride. Thirty-one percent said their name choice was inspired by their vehicle’s color or another aspect of its appearance. Thirty-six percent of respondents aged 18-34 named their cars, the largest percentage of any age group, but most of the results of the survey break down gender differences in car names.

Women (27 percent) are more likely than men (17 percent) to nickname their car, while 26 percent of all surveyed said they think of their car as being female rather than male. Nationwide says that the results of its survey show that women are more likely to think of their car as a “baby.” The survey also found that men are more likely to name their car for a famous or historically significant person (at nine percent versus four percent of women), and are more likely to use the name of a character from a movie than women (10 percent versus four percent).

While we’re not quite ready to discuss names we may or may not have given to cars, we do like a good nickname backstory. We have a friend, for example, whose first car was a 1981 Toyota Corolla wagon known as “The Foxmobile.” The name was ironically bestowed upon the plain little Toyota by its previous owner, who even found a small ceramic fox to use as a hood ornament. Though the fox went with the original owner for his next ride, the name stuck with the car when our friend acquired it.

In that spirit, let’s conduct a little survey of our own: Do you have a nickname for your car? If so, we’d like to see some of the great stories behind your car’s names. Leave your story in the comments and let’s celebrate the cars we’ve loved enough to name.

[Source: Nationwide]

Oct 10, 2013 8:26AM
 My dad had a 1951 chevy truck called Betsy. He bought it in the spring of 1952. The last time i saw it was in 1975 when i left home and got married. PA died 2 years ago and i moved back to homestead . BETSY was still in the barn under a heavy tarp with the keys still in it . THANKS PA ,where ever you are .
Oct 7, 2013 3:51PM
We have a minivan with the name Griz. Its short for the Griswalds family truckster from Christmas vacation. Even have it on the plates.
Oct 20, 2013 4:53AM
Oct 9, 2013 11:43AM
Hey why not, men give their appendage a name
Oct 28, 2013 11:42AM
My roommate in college during the late 80's had a piece of crap car named The Demon.  I figured since my 1979 red Celica was equally beat up I would give it a name too.  The name, El Diablo.  Still get old friends mentioning it.
Oct 20, 2013 1:22AM

Michael.  He's a good car, I like him a bunch.  And everyone looks at me funny when I tell a story and they finally realize Michael is a car and not a person.  At this point everyone refers to him as Michael.

Oct 9, 2013 8:30AM

We used to let the kids name our cars: Camry- Tootsie(Toyota)  Plymouth Voyager minivan- Big Red ( it was burgundy) I had another name for that one- bleepin' POS.  Subaru Forester- yeah, you guessed it Forester Gump.

I had one car with a real name painted on the back with  a logo:  "Sleeper"  It was a 1970 Barracuda convertible- plain jane grandmom car( who I bought it from) with a totally worked 383 and 727 tranny and suspension. Scary Fast and a "chick " magnet.

Oct 9, 2013 4:29AM

 I drive a Chrysler 300C, has the "HEMI" engine; So..

I call my car "Bad Toyz" fits well, as the car IS fast-

has had a few modifications done to her..

Oct 28, 2013 4:07PM

Currently I drive Monica, who told me her name as soon as I turned on the radio for the first time the first word was in Santa Monica Blvd, so I said "hi, I guess your name is Monica".

Oct 9, 2013 4:54AM

I am a 20 year old dude and have had 3 cars, granted they were all sold to me for under $1,000. what I found when naming cars is they all have different attitudes. for example my 95 tercel was a slow thing with 275,000 miles on it, but it started every time and was up for anything. while my 00 elantra being the only automatic I've owned was always changing its mind about what gear to be in. for example when you would go to speed up a little it would drop down a gear and rev real high before shifting back with a jerk.

00 elantra = Oliver

95 tercel = Alice

98 metro = Elizabeth

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