It’s safe to say that car enthusiasts like to develop strong bonds with their vehicles. A trusty car is almost like a loyal friend or companion. But what’s a good friend without a name?
According to Capital One, 40% of drivers give their vehicles a name. And that’s just the people who admit it.
Some choose to name their car using a combination of letters on their license plate. Others name their vehicles after their favorite singer or a childhood friend. Whatever the inspiration, naming your vehicle is a popular concept in the car community.
This type of personification is very common. Despite what others might have you believe, it’s not actually that weird to give your car a name. Here’s why.
Is it weird to give your car a name?
It’s perfectly normal to give your car a name. Car enthusiasts across the world are known to attach pet names to their vehicles to strengthen their ownership experience. There’s even an annual national Name Your Car Day (October 2nd).
Most of my friends in the car community choose to name their vehicles. I consider myself well acquainted with a 2012 Mini Cooper called Chase and a Jaguar XF called Spencer.
Some people think it’s ‘goofy’ to give your car a human name – like Chase, or Spencer. But it doesn’t have to be a human name. Heck, you can call your car Greased Lightning if you really want to.
Personifying your vehicle with a name helps to develop its story and recognize the part that it plays in your life. Some car enthusiasts even consider their cars a member of the family.
Likewise, naming your car means that you’re actually more likely to take good care of it. When you view your car as more than just a well-engineered hunk of metal, you’re going to be more sympathetic towards its maintenance and repair needs. You know what they say: a well-maintained car is a happy car!
But if we’re being completely honest, naming a car is just pure and simple fun. I often get caught up in hours of brainstorming when I’m naming a new vehicle I just purchased. I crave that burst of satisfaction when I know I’ve landed on the perfect name.
Weird or not – do what makes you happy!
Why do people name their cars?
People give their cars pet names for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the vehicle has some funny quirks, or it has had a large impact in your life. Each vehicle is a reflection of its owner, and a name helps to boost that emotional connection between driver and machine.
It strengthens the ownership experience
Naming your vehicle can help to strengthen your ownership experience and create a bond between you and your new car.
If you’re into buying used vehicles, your car might have had several owners before you. Naming your used vehicle after it comes into your ownership sets you up on a clean slate. Your car is a blank canvas for you to modify, take care of, or keep bone stock.
Naming your car is an important ritual for any car enthusiast.
It gives your car personality
Your car is an impressive feat of modern engineering. For many of us, we spend a lot of time behind the wheels of our cars – so why shouldn’t we name them?
Let’s say that your car has an old-school quirk, like a cassette unit with an Elvis tape stuck in it. Dubbing your car ‘Elvis’ or ‘Presley’ gives the car a unique backstory – and other car enthusiasts love that.
So don’t just call your car ‘it’, or refer to your beloved vehicle by its factory model name. Inject some personality into your machine with a bespoke and thoughtful name.
It means something to you
For many of us, the names that we give our cars have an emotional meaning to us.
For my friend Eric, his father was the person who sparked his love for cars. His father took him to his first car show 20 years ago and helped him purchase his first vehicle: a Fiat Coupé that he still owns to this day.
When his father tragically passed away, Eric chose to name his car ‘Gordon’ after his father. Eric takes good care of the vehicle. We’re confident that his father is looking down on him with a huge smile on his face as he tinkers and builds his dream Coupé.
Emotional connections are the strongest type of connection. And yes, emotional connections can exist between driver and car.
Why do guys give their cars female names?
It’s a traditional practice that dates back to the old days of sailing – where crews would adorn their ships with a female name to represent a mother or goddess protecting them on their voyages. It’s a convention that has spilled over into cars, too.
You might have heard certain car guys refer to their cars as ‘she’, or by a female name like ‘Beth’ or ‘Candy’. Sometimes it can be viewed as creepy, but perhaps there is a historical reason for doing so.
The origins of this naming practice can be traced back to the days when ships and voyages were the most common way of transporting goods. Crews would choose to bless their ships with female names so that they could feel protected by a goddess-like presence on the high seas.
Some car guys just couldn’t imagine calling their car a male name, like Bruce. It just feels too weird to them. There’s no real logic behind it, it’s simply a matter of preference.
To put it simply, it’s not weird to name your car. It’s an incredibly common practice amongst car enthusiasts across the globe.
Whether it’s for deep emotional reasons or simply to make your friends laugh, we can all be proud of our vehicles and the names we give them.
If you don’t quite get the whole naming thing, that’s also fine. It’s not for everyone.
What are your cars called? Let us know below!