The most popular car names

Young drivers are more than twice as likely as older drivers to name their car

Four out of ten (39%) drivers have given their car a name

Four out of ten (39%) drivers have given their car a name

Four out of ten (39%) drivers have given their car a name, according to the AA Driving School.

Women are far more likely than men to have named a car, with half (50%) saying they have done so compared to a third (33%) of men.

Young drivers aged 18-24 were by far the most likely age group to say they had named a car with a huge seven out of ten (70%) having done so, compared to just three out of ten (30%) of drivers over 65.

Registration number

Of those drivers who have named a car*, a third (30%) said they decided on a moniker based on the car’s registration number.

'Personality'

The second most popular way for choosing their car’s name was by picking a name that ‘seemed to suit the car’s personality’. And a romantic one per cent said they named their car after their partner or spouse.

Other popular ways to decide amongst those who have named a car were basing it on the make or model of the car (16%), its colour (8%), picking a name they liked (8%) or naming it after a celebrity (1%), their partner (1%) or their children (1%).

Most popular

AA-Populus research** also revealed the most popular and unusual names people give their cars. The most common names, or groups of names, were:

  • Names with ‘Blue’ in them e.g Bluebelle, Blue Boy and Bluey.
  • Fred, Freddie or Freda
  • Betsey
  • Babe or Baby
  • The Beast
  • Penelope or Penny
  • Names starting with ‘Little’ e.g Little Beauty, Little Star and Little Mighty
  • Bertie or Bert
  • Bessie or Bess
  • Bertha
  • Katy or Katie
  • Names starting with ‘Old’ e.g Old Gal, Old Lady and Old Whitey

Most unusual

Some of the more unusual answers people gave when asked what the car was called included ‘The shed of dread’, ‘The Crudmobile’, ‘Brian’ and ‘Cactus Jack’.

Celebrity influence

Celebrities and famous cars also have an influence with ‘Britney’, ‘The Batmobile’, ‘Herbie’, ‘Lightening McQueen’ and ‘Kit’ all cropping up in the list.

Not for everyone

Naming a car is clearly not for everyone though, as one respondent said: “Anyone who names their car shouldn't be allowed on the road.”

The fact that young drivers are so much more likely to have named a car is probably a reflection of what a huge impact passing your driving test has on your life

Jim Kirkwood, AA Driving School MD

Like a member of the family

Jim Kirkwood, managing director of the AA Driving School, said: “Most drivers spend a lot of time in their cars and depend on them for the smooth running of their daily lives, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that they name them like another member of the family.

“The fact that young drivers are so much more likely to have named a car is probably a reflection of what a huge impact passing your driving test has on your life.

“Once you get a bit older, the novelty wears off a bit but to start with the joy of driving is very real. Having said that, overall the figures seem to suggest that this is a fun part of driving that stays with many drivers long after they have passed their test.”

AA vehicles with names

AA SORT flood rescue Land Rovers are named after fish

AA Land Rovers are named after fish

The AA even names some of its own vehicles. The Special Operations Response Team (SORT) names each of its specially-adapted Land Rovers that are used for flood rescue. Each Land Rover is named after a fish: Trout, Pike, Carp, Tench, Roach, Bream, Wanda and Perch.

And some AA Driving school instructors, and their pupils, have called their cars names including ‘Aaron’, ‘Gino’, ‘Jacks’, ‘Zeus’ and ‘Seamus’.


* Populus interviewed 24,351 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online motoring panel between 21st February – 3rd March 2014. Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Of those (9, 505 respondents) who have named a car, they decided on the name of their most recent car by:

  • Based on the registration number (30%)
  • Picked a name that seemed to suit the car’s personality (27%)
  • Based on the make/model (16%)
  • Just picked a name I liked (8%)
  • Based on its colour (8%)
  • Named after a celebrity (1%)
  • Named a partner / spouse (1%)
  • Named after my children (1%)
  • Other reason (8%)

** Extracted from AA-Populus poll of 6,127 adults aged 18+ on The AA/Populus online panel between 16th – 24th September 2014. Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

(6 October 2014)