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One In Three Motorists Give Nicknames To Their Cars, Survey Finds

Cars without a playful moniker are deemed to be 'missing something,' says poll commissioned by Volkswagen

One in three motorists have given a nickname to their car based on its registration plate – color – or the make and model.

And 34% of nickname-givers go as far as to say cars without a light-hearted moniker are “missing something.”

Among the comical car nicknames to be adopted include The Beast, The Flying Banana – and Flo – because its plate started with FL0.

And the poll, of 1,500 motorists found 32% believe a car can have “a real personality.”

The research was commissioned by Volkswagen ahead of National Name Your Car Day on Oct. 2.

The manufacturer has arguably one of the most famous named cars of all time – a Beetle known as “Herbie: The Love Bug.”

Sue Smith, 49 and her husband Paul, 53 with their Volkswagen Beetle nicknamed ‘Kitty’ and their Volkswagen Passat nicknamed “Potty.” PHOTO BY SWNS 

The brand also revealed data of some of the most common names British VW owners use for their vehicles, including “Tiggy” or “Tig” for a Tiguan, and an ID.5 named Idris.

Many took inspiration from TV or movies, with one naming their vehicle “Gandalf the Grey Golf,” while another opted for “Pamela Vanderson.”

A spokesperson for Volkswagen said: “Naming your car isn’t just a tradition, it’s a celebration of the bond you share.

“It’s like giving your trusty steed a name before embarking on a grand adventure.

“Every car has a story and giving it a nickname is like writing the first chapter of a lifelong novel filled with road trips, memories, and more.”

The research found 31% of nickname-givers will administer one to their car as soon as they get it.

But 37% will give it a few weeks and wait for inspiration to present itself as they get to know their new pride and joy.

More than six in 10 (65%) even feel more protective of their vehicle once they’ve given it a name to know it by.

And 70% of those polled via OnePoll, often think back about old cars they owned in the past, and the quirky nicknames they had.

To give people inspiration for their own car names, the carmaker has produced an Instagram filter at @VolkswagenUK that lets you scroll through a list of common nicknames until you find one that fits your motor.

Their spokesperson added: “Your car is more than just a machine; it’s a loyal companion that’s there for you through thick and thin.

“It’s clear to see from how many car owners bestow a nickname on their car how dear to the nation’s hearts cars can become.

“So, if your four-wheeled friend doesn’t have a nickname yet, this checklist for inspiration could help you come up with one.”

Sue Smith, 49, from Porthcawl, South Wales is an avid nicknamer of cars.

She said: “Every car we’ve owned has had a name – my husband’s car when we met was Emily the Escort, our daughter Emily is named after her.

“A G-plate 1.8l diesel automatic was named after my grandmother, Dorothy, as she had been her car – when we got our first Passat my husband kept calling her Dotty which we changed to Potty.

Sue Smith, 49 and her husband Paul, 53 with their Volkswagen Beetle nicknamed ‘Kitty’ and their Volkswagen Passat nicknamed “Potty.” PHOTO BY SWNS 

“I’ve always given my cars names and talked to them.

“It was always a dream to own a Beetle – they are classic cars and I’ve wanted one ever since watching the Herbie movies in the 70s.

“Kitty was my belated 40th birthday after a terrible year when our then two-year-old Tommy was diagnosed with cancer on his second birthday.

“After nearly a year of chemo and a major spinal op we felt we could celebrate at last and I ordered my dream car.

“Tommie insisted she was called Kitty, so I could hardly refuse.”


1. The Mystery Mark
2. Flo
3. The Flying Banana
4. Deeney
5. Bumble
6. Noddy
7. The Beast
8. Kentucky Fried Ostrich
9. Dreadnought
10. Hotty Totty


1. Its paint color
2. Its model/brand
3. A celebrity
4. A fictional character
5. Its size
6. Alliteration
7. Rhyme
8. Its license plate letters/numbers
9. Friends
10. Family

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

(Additional reporting provided by Talker News)

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