We’ve all seen those movies when a date quickly turns sour because the man isn’t driving the latest flash sports car. It seems like those unimpressed daters were on to something as researchers at the University of California, Davis* found that the car you drive says a lot more about you than the size of your pay packet. If you drive a pick-up truck for example, you’re more likely to be “frustrated” compared to an SUV driver, and if you a minivan, you can be quite the social butterfly.
So what does your vehicle say about you?
These drivers have a strong pro-environmental attitude and prefer higher-density locations (pro-high density) like urban neighbourhoods. They are less likely to think their car gives them greater travel freedom.
These people may work hard but they are not workaholics – they have higher priorities.
They “like being alone” or people who seek a higher social status related to wealth ad a want to show it off.
They don’t drive for the fun of it, they drive out of necessity.
Small car drivers are more likely to be in clerical or professional jobs and have lower incomes.
Mid-sized car drivers are more likely than average to be females or homemakers, and to have higher incomes or larger households.
The same researchers, in another study, also suggest these motorists tend be organiser with a higher household income. They like to be in charge and are possibly mid-level managers.
Large car drivers tend to be less pro-environment. They are more likely to be males, older or retired people, and part-time employees.
These drivers are large car drivers are overrepresented among less educated or lower income people.
The study authors speculate that the large cars driven by these groups may tend to be second-hand.
Luxury car drivers are status seekers, who travel long-distance by airplane a lot. They are more likely to be males, and older or retired people.
They are likely to be highly educated or have a higher income people. They have a great disdain for travel. Give them a built-up urban area over a cottage on a farm any day.
These adrenalin junkies are adventurous. They’re not calm – their impatient. They probably have four-year college degrees or lower incomes.
Other research by the university suggests sports car drivers tend to be “status seekers” and young.
Minivan drivers are calm and sociable. They enjoy driving and are more likely to be females, homemakers, or age 41–64. They also tend to have higher household incomes as well as lower personal incomes. Perhaps it goes without saying they tend to have large households, too.
Pick-up drivers are a frustrated bunch. They feel less in control and less satisfied with their life, and unlike their small car counterparts, they are workaholics. They tend to be males, aged 41 to 64 years old, males, and overrepresented among lower education levels, full-time employees, service-related jobs, middle incomes, and two-vehicle households.
SUV drivers are less frustrated than their pickup pals. They enjoy short-distance travel, and are aged 40 or younger. They’re usually highly educated or higher income people. Similar to minivan drivers, the SUV driver group has a higher than average proportion in larger households with children.
Research by the same authors suggests, these drivers also quite the fitness enthusiast, choosing to walk or bike, but if you don’t, you’ll drive because you think it’s the safest mode of transport.
This research is based on a US survey so if you don’t like the results, may be invest in a pickup truck driver.
*Source: “What type of vehicle to people drive? The role of attitude and lifestyle in influencing vehicle type choice” by Sandra Choo and Patricia L Mokhtarian of the University of California, Davis
“Neighbourhood design and vehicle type choice: Evidence from Northern California” by Xinyu Cao, Patricia L Mokhtarian and Susan L Handy of the University of California, Davis