What Does the Type Of Car You Drive Say About You?

Michael James


Glamorous supercar, agricultural workhorse, or a trendy hot hatch?  Whatever floats your boat (or tows your boat if you’re lucky enough to be living the dream) could say more about you to others than first imagined.

We chatted to Dave R., winner of a Range Rover Sport after entering online car competitions, about why he had to enter for that particular car.

Free car compettions may lead to owning a luxury vehicle with a plush interior.
Free car competitions may lead to owning a luxury vehicle with a plush interior.

“I was randomly scrolling through social media and came across the image of the vehicle which instantly grabbed my attention. I’ve always wanted one and like the look and spec,” he said.

Dave’s drive (pardon the pun) was clearly the vehicle’s nuances and its attention-grabbing looks.

So are we all just about the image?

Selling a lifestyle is the main goal for vehicle advertising campaigns. You may think you’re making a carefully considered purchase based on facts surrounding your existing lifestyle and finances, but actually, you might be surprised how much subliminal perceptions affect brand associations.

Different Car Brands, Different Opinions

The Audi A6 is champion ahead of the Ford Fiesta in a YouGov survey on the popularity of models in the UK in the second quarter of 2021. The same sources convey a different story regarding brand popularity. Ford has been a very popular model for quite some time, and a lot of this is due to Ford Privilege offers.

Luxury brands such as Bentley and Aston Martin held Audi off the top spot. It clearly highlights our desire for superficial ideals, our dream lifestyles and brands that have the pulling power to achieve it. Perceived status and a lifestyle to match appear almost as important in choice as practicality.


Free car competions may lead to owning a luxury vehicle with a plush interior.
Free car competitions may lead to owning a luxury vehicle with a plush interior.

For fun, here’s what your car type might be projecting about you to judgemental bystanders:

Large SUV – High earner, has 2.4 children and a very well-behaved Labrador. Frustrating relationship with back seat crumbs and back seat drivers, but looking great on the motorway.

Agricultural – Hard-working, likes mud and never seen without a large collection of very well behaved Border Collies.

Sports – Mid-life crisis, growing an impressive mustache and pretending not to own a sensible family vehicle and new-build 3-bed semi.

Estate – Practical, sensible, all-around good egg. Regularly enters car competitions as the only way to justifiably upgrade to that dream top-spec SUV.

Hot Hatch – Holding on to misspent youth, attending car meets whilst maintaining practical affordability.

Obviously perceived social status and actual income alongside the practical necessities we all must consider don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

With socioeconomic factors hugely outweighing our desires for a certain social appearance, the image your car presents to others might not be the real you.

If you feel like “getting your geek on” and delving further into the socioeconomic effects on brand and model perception and ownership statistics, read this study from the University College London.

Meanwhile, dream that dream. And see if you’re as lucky as Dave in online car competitions.

Article Last Updated: April 21, 2022.

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