Cars tend to become so much a part of our daily lives that many of us give them names, just as if they were human and part of the family. So Fred the Ford, Victor the Vauxhall or Peter the Peugeot insinuate themselves into our affections, and gain a moniker worthy of their status.
Women name their cars more than men
It’s a very common habit. According to the AA, around four in ten drivers have given their car a name, although women are even more likely to do so than men. Apparently about half of us females name our cars, compared with around a third of you blokes. But apparently young males are the most likely of all to give their car a matey name, with some 70 per cent admitting to having done so.
When I was a young, impoverished local newspaper reporter, I had rather grand literary pretensions. So I tended to name my cars after Shakespearean characters. My first car, an elderly Ford that became notorious amongst my friends for being temperamental and needing to be push-started rather too often, was regularly cursed as fickle ‘Ferdinand’.
My second car, also a Ford but rather younger and somewhat less troublesome, was super ‘Sebastian’. Unfortunately he became a terminally bent Sebastian when I crashed him as a result of youthful inexperience. Then I switched to driving a Fiat, and my fat little rear-engined runabout was instantly dubbed ‘Falstaff’.
Keeping it classy
Much more recently, I drove a rather fast, sexy sports car for a while. It was a Peugeot RCZ in a fetching shade of dark grey. A certain series of rather controversial best-selling books was hitting the headlines at around the time I took delivery. So no prizes for guessing that the car quickly acquired a name. Long gone, it is fondly remembered as ‘Christian’, so-called after a certain Mr. Grey.
My current car is a Seat Leon X-Perience. He would answer, if he could, to the name of ‘Perry’. How do others name their cars? Many owners choose a name that seems to suit the car’s perceived personality. I know one classic car driver who called his MGB ‘Clifford’, saying that “It’s the most traditional name I could think of”.
Weird and wonderful
AA research uncovered some quite bizarre names given to cars by their owners, including ‘The shed of dread’, ‘The Crudmobile’ and ‘Cactus Jack’. Some romantic souls name their car after their partner or spouse, although that could be pretty confusing, as in “Michael’s sprung a leak today …”
Colour is often a trigger, such as a friend’s bright yellow car known as ‘Daffodil’, or another’s known as ‘Bluey’. One chum called her car ‘Tom’, and when I asked why, she explained “Because he’s so nice for a cruise.” Hmm. Obviously more Top Gun than Top Gear!