Though books should never be judged by their covers, very often individuals judge others by the clothes they wear, the home they live in and even the car they drive.
It can be interesting to examine what a particular car says about the person behind the wheel. More than 200 million drivers are licensed in the United States and Canada, and these drivers choose their vehicles for a variety of reasons. Some choose vehicles because of their utility, while others select a particular car or truck because of the message it conveys. Very often drivers will idealize their vehicles, lending them human qualities or naming them as if they were a friend. Sometimes owners will seek attributes in a vehicle that mirror their own self-image.
"A car says a lot about a person," says Dr. Charles Kenny, a consumer psychologist who studies car buyers and their needs. It's a reflection of who you are."
Just think about the once-popular minivan. Minivans once conveyed the image of the ideal family vehicle driven primarily by mothers. But in recent years, minivan sales have dipped so much that certain brands no longer produce them. Many drivers no longer want to present the image that comes with driving a minivan, compelling many to opt for crossovers and SUVs instead.
Although there are some stereotypes attached to owning certain vehicles, some truths lie beyond the jokes and banter. Sports car owners can be flashy and crave attention. They may want to live on the edge with high speed or know their sleek rides will impress others on the road. High-end roadsters may make a statement about financial status as well, as such cars are often among the most expensive vehicles on the road.
Sedan owners may be especially practical people, as sedans are large enough to fit a number of passengers, but they're also affordable and tend to boast good fuel economy.
Drivers of compacts and economy cars could fall into two categories. There are those who are just starting out financially and may not be able to afford a larger vehicle, while others choose economy cars, particularly hybrids and electric subcompacts, because such vehicles tend to be more eco-friendly.
Sport-utility vehicles premiered as vehicles designed for sporting and off-roading. Not too long ago it was rare to see too many trucks on the roadways. Now you'd be hard-pressed to find roadways that aren't flooded with SUVs. Mid-sized SUVs have become the new minivan, making SUVs some of the most popular vehicles on the roads.
Functionality is the backbone of trucks. Truck owners generally have driven pickups most of their lives and tend to live in more rural areas. Some will outfit their trucks with larger tires and lift kits, and these drivers could be looking for power and attention on the road.
Luxury vehicles from manufacturers like Lexus, Audi, Acura, BMW, and Jaguar are largely driven by white collar professionals who have the cash to afford vehicles with all the bells and whistles. Luxury cars turn heads and can be status symbols. However, some luxury cars have become more attainable for those who purchase preowned or lease, making it difficult to tell who might be behind the wheel.
It's not just the make or model of a car that can say a lot about its driver. Vehicle color also says a lot. For example, silver hints at a prestigious or elegant person. White cars are for those who like things clean and enjoy pristine surroundings. Red cars indicate flashy people who are willing to take risks, while orange cars are driven by those who are artistic and daring. Browns and beiges can indicate drivers who are down to earth and natural.
A vehicle can say many things about a driver before he or she even speaks a word.