In honor of National Name Your Car Day, celebrated Oct. 2, several companies recently surveyed motorists to determine how common the practice is. They also looked at whether or not giving their vehicle a name made drivers more likely to keep up with vehicle maintenance.
According to The Car Connection, Nationwide Insurance polled more than 1,000 U.S. car owners and determined that just one-fourth of them have named their car. The majority (36 percent) of respondents who did so were in the 18 to 34 age group. Additionally, women were more likely than men to name their vehicle. Of the men polled, 10 percent named their cars after a movie character and 9 percent chose a historical figure. Interestingly, 26 percent of the respondents regard their vehicle as a female. The number one name by a landslide is "Baby."
There's a reason behind this poll, and a significance to the popularity of the name "Baby" as well. The Car Connection noted that Nationwide Insurance's new ad campaign involves a giant infant in place of an owner's new car to demonstrate how people treat and protect them.
SWNS reported that a related study of 2,000 British motorists by Continental Tyres found that six million of them have names for their cars, or one in five drivers. The most common name was Bessie, closely followed by Bob, Betty and The Beast. Old-fashioned names like Lola, Millie, Victor, Harry and Daisy were also in the top 10. Other popular names had a hint of nostalgia, and were taken from classic childhood characters such as Tigger, Nemo and Scooby. Meanwhile, others opted for superhero-inspired names like Batmobile and Thor.
A gap in maintenance
However, just because people are personalizing their vehicles with a name doesn't mean they're caring for them adequately. Laura Hardy, a spokeswoman for Continental Tyres, noted that a concerning 25 percent of motorists don't regularly conduct a basic tune up or oil change, or check the tires to make sure they have sufficient pressure. She was adamant that failing to stay on top of car maintenance can contribute to auto repair costs and safety issues.
"Our cars are important to us and naming them shows just how much," she said, as quoted by the source. "Although the affection demonstrated does not equate to looking after it as many motorists sadly neglect the upkeep of their vehicles."
Despite the fact that many drivers aren't taking proper car of their vehicles, one-third of respondents admitted that they loved their car and couldn't live without it.