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Motor Mouth articles 2011

Charlie tops the car name charts

IF you happen to know a couple called Charlie and Ruby, there’s every chance that they’re . . . cars.

A recent survey has shown that more than a quarter of UK motorists have pet names for their beloved cars and that Charlie and Ruby are the most popular monikers.

Half the 2,000 car owners polled by car insurance people Confused.com regard their vehicles as part of the family.

And as if that’s not daft enough, a third of motorists admit to having a daily chat with their cars – not just about road frustrations but also about relationships and personal problems.

The silliness continues: most people consider their car to be female with a personality that is sensible (25%), cute (8%) or playful (7%).

Findings also confirm that 16% of men see their cars as female, choosing words such as sexy (6%) and mischievous (5%) to describe the personality of their vehicles.

After Charlie, the most popular male car names are Jack, Harry, Noah and Oliver. Top of the girls’ charts, behind Ruby, are Lily, Pippa, Jessica and Grace. 

However, the survey also uncovered some really off-the-wall names that people inflict on their innocent motors: such as Albie the Great, Baldrick, Michelangelo, Horatio, Fadgehammer and Yannis.

I’ve called some of my old cars a few names in the past but normally when they refuse to start or break down; I don’t think I’ll disclose them, though.

Anyway, the car-name nonsense continues. Peter Collett, psychologist and author of ‘Driving Passion – The Psychology of The Car’, suggests that naming your car can actually reduce the risk of incidents on the road.

He says: “The drive to individualise one’s car in this way is very widespread and it lays the foundation for how people treat their cars. By giving their car a special name, drivers are treating it as something that deserves to be cared for – a friend, a pet, a companion, sometimes even a lover.”

So, to ‘encourage the nation to care for its cars’ and no doubt to obtain some publicity, Confused.com has developed an online name generator, which automatically creates a name for your car. Just answer a few questions about your car to get a name. You can even print out a certificate.

A spokesman for the insurers says: “Nearly a fifth of motorists who name their cars believe it encourages them to be more careful on the roads. We have nicknames for our friends, partners and even pets so why not our cars?”

You can find the car name generator at http://www.confused.com/car-name-generator. I fed my car details in and it offered me Hercules. They obviously didn’t realise his real name is Alfie. Mrs Mouth was offered Rover as a name for hers when he’s really called Adam. All rather silly, if you ask me.

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