Forget what you eat—you are what you drive.
“People think of cars as extensions of themselves and their personalities,” says Jon Linkov, deputy auto editor for Consumer Reports.
When you’re shopping for a vehicle, you’re looking for a ride that fits the three dimensions of your “self concept”: who you think you are, who you want to be, and how you’d like others to see you, says behavioral psychologist Joseph Sirgy, Ph.D., a professor at Virginia Tech.
Those three dimensions combine to nudge you toward one car or another—whether that means buying a Porsche to impress, or a used Volvo to prove you’re responsible.
We pored over tons of reports from YouGov, a global technology and market research firm that conducts surveys and collects consumer behavior data on more than 200,000 Americans (not to say these traits are exclusive to Americans – we all know which mate of ours is part of the car brand that never uses their indicators). Their findings reveal traits, behaviors, and beliefs that buyers of certain brands are more likely to exhibit than the average person.
Here are the insanely detailed results. Do you see yourself in your car?
You’re a Millennial, you live in a city—most likely on one of the coasts. You work in consulting or advertising, and you really like Coldplay, Rihanna, and potato-leek soup. (Yes, the surveys really do get this weirdly specific.) Watch a lot of TV—46 to 50 hours a week—and read the Financial Times. You invest in risky stocks and consider yourself a sharp dresser. You also think of yourself as active and daring, and you’re prone to daydreaming.
You think of yourself as friendly but direct, and you work in building or construction. You own a dog, and you’re either a Gen X’er or a Baby Boomer. Love rugby, biltong, and pumpkin pie, and you don’t care much about “looking young” or “feeling attractive.” You turn up the radio for Bob Dylan, and you like getting your hands dirty gardening or fishing. Prefer to buy locally. You wear Converse and Dickies.
You’re probably a Gen X’er, and you likely work in logistics or transportation. You love Indian food, guacamole, college rugby, and soccer. Your friends are important to you, and so is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Very spontaneous. You shop at Banana Republic and the Apple store, you love the movie Wall Street, and Kevin Hart cracks you up. You watch a ton of ESPN and Supersport.
You like steak and eggs—together or on their own—and you think of yourself as mechanically inclined. In fact, your garage is your happy place. Love dogs, rugby, and NASCAR. You identify as a leader but acknowledge you can sometimes be too demanding. You blast Stevie Ray Vaughn and Kid Rock. Don’t mind losing your hair, and you would never consider plastic surgery. Your two favourite clothing brands are Under Armour and Carhartt, and you don’t spend much time staring at screens.
You’re a Millennial who works in education or health care. But you prefer to spend your free time outdoors, visiting parks and historical places. If you’re not a parent already, you can’t wait to have kids—and you think science is cool. Maybe your future children will appreciate it, too. You feel satisfied with your life, but you also think you spend too much time online. You wear Nike apparel and shop at Sportscene, and you wish The Office was still on TV.
Compared to other drivers, you’re more likely to think of yourself as dependable. There’s a good chance you’re older than 65, and you enjoy a good Waldorf salad or beef casserole. You also love going to the movies. Varsity rugby dominates your fall Saturdays, and you’d probably admit you go too long between haircuts. You’re sincere and forgiving, but you can also be hyperactive and clingy. You spend a lot of time online each week—36 to 40 hours—and you spend even more time watching TV.
You think of yourself as bighearted. Prefer to wash your own car, and you disagree with the belief that electric cars are the way of the future. You don’t style your hair, and you don’t look after your health as much as you should. You like bacon, fried fish, NASCAR, dogs, and Subway. You’re usually tuned in to NCIS and the Discovery Channel, and you’ve probably seen George Strait in concert. When you shop for clothes, you opt for comfort over style.
You consider yourself knowledgeable. You’re likely under 30, and you work in accounting or architecture. Feel strongly that foreign-made cars are of higher quality, and you’re more likely than other people to have a fish for a pet. You care about current fashions, and you like going to trendy bars and restaurants. You exercise more than most people, and you dread the thought of going bald more than any other driver surveyed. You’re into Miley Cyrus hahaha.
You put a big emphasis on staying fit and active, and you’re either a Gen X’er or a Baby Boomer. Your hobbies include golfing and playing the stock market. Love peculiar food, and you buy your groceries at Whole Foods. You really liked The Big Short, and you enjoy watching YOU on Netflix—although you spend twice as much time online as you do watching TV. You would never drive an ugly car, and you gravitate toward premium products and services.
Compared to other drivers, you think of yourself as analytical and sensible. Live in a city, work in banking or finance, and you’re older than 65. Enjoy eating sushi, attending sporting events, and golfing. You couldn’t live without a GPS in your car, and you think public transportation is gross. You think it’s important to look young and feel attractive. You’re a big fan of coffee shops, you tend to watch premium channels, and you think Beyoncé rules (She does).
You think of yourself as imaginative, and you feel strongly that electric cars are the way of the future. You’re happy to catch a bus or train if that’s an option, and you care about the environment. You’re a Gen X’er, and you work in a creative or design-focused profession. Enjoy reading, visiting art galleries, and devouring enchiladas. You shop for organic food and you can’t imagine a day without music. You like Frontline on PBS, though you hardly ever watch TV.
You’ve thought of yourself as socially skilled and courteous. Work in quality assurance, safety, or consulting. Love sports, and you play golf. You gamble more than you should, and you occasionally feel lonely. You admit you never leave the house without looking in a mirror. Drink Gin and shop at Pick n Pay, and you think George Clooney is still the coolest (He is).
*Words: Markham Heid
*This article was originally published by Men’s Health US