'What Car Is Right For Me?'

What The Kind Of Car You Drive Says About You

And How Your Job Plays A Major Role

by Cheryl Levy

Buying a new car but don’t know what to get? There are a lot of studies out there that will help you answer, “What car is right for me?” 

From what the color of your car says about your personality, to what your driving style reveals about you, to what the brand of car you drive says about you. It can kind of start to feel like that scene out of Meet the Parents. The one where Robert Di Niro asks Ben Stiller if he picked the color of his rental car.

Take A Quiz

Curious about what the make, model and color of your car says about you? Take the What Your Car Says About You Quiz.
What car is right for me: Robert Di Niro asks Ben Stiller if he picked the color of his rental car.

What Car Is Right For Me?

“What car is right for me?” Well, there are many factors to consider when buying a new car. The kind of car you drive says a lot about you. So, it’s important you get it right.

There are general findings that suggest things like Ford drivers are friendly, Dodge drivers are bighearted and BMW owners are knowledgeable, but it goes much deeper than that.

Here are some results and big themes that might help you answer “What car is right for me?”

Lifestyle, Livelihood and Likability

How Your Profession Plays a Big Part in the Kind of Car You Drive

Not surprisingly, studies suggest the vehicle people drive directly correlates to their profession. But it’s not just a matter of what they can afford, it’s also the practicality of their choice.

White Collar Workers

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450

For instance, people in sales or whose business is directly tied to the impression they give – brokers, consultants, developers, real estate agents, or those in property management – tend to drive higher-end cars. They gravitate towards makes and models like Mercedes Benz, BMW and Cadillac. They drive the cars they drive not just because they can afford to but also because it contributes to bringing in the very business that allows them to afford it in the first place. The clientele they’re going after are more likely to relate and like them for driving higher-end vehicles. The cars they drive suggest they do what they do well and, therefore, other people should do business with them, too.

Blue Collar Workers

What Car Is Right For Me? Lifestyle, Livelihood and Likability: How Your Profession Plays a Big Part in the Kind of Car You Drive

Similarly, construction workers, installation and maintenance professionals, and other skilled manual laborers tend to opt for trucks. Why? Because they literally need that type of vehicle to do their job. They tend to drive Chevrolet and Dodge Ram trucks, and use them for what they were built to do — off-roading, trailering materials, and pulling heavy loads.

Source: YouGov.com

Steady, Safe and Silver

How the Make, Model and Color of the Car You Drive Says A Lot About Who You Are

According to Carjojo data collected for the month of April, luxury brands like Acura (+18.53%), Cadillac (+20.35%) and Jaguar (+15.78%) had high sales months when compared to the more middle-of-the-road brands — when it comes to price and practicality — like Chevrolet (-1.57%), Dodge (-13.19%), Ford (-1.37%) and Nissan (-7.95%). But, the hyper-practical car brands, like Hyundai (+1.84%) and Kia (+4.92%), held their own last month.

Practical Car Brand Buyers

What Car Is Right For Me? How the Make, Model and Color of the Car You Drive Says A Lot About Who You Are
  • Modest and less concerned about appearance
  • Averaging around $50,000/year in income
  • Lean towards silver as their car color
  • Prefer four-door style car models
  • Safety, gas mileage and resale value are important

Luxury Brand Buyers

What car is right for me? Steady, Safe and Silver How the Make, Model and Color of the Car You Drive Says A Lot About Who You Are
  • Consider themselves more knowledgeable and socially skilled than most people
  • Less mechanically intelligent than practical car buyers
  • A full third of all luxury vehicles are silver
  • Prefer 2-door luxury sport models and SUVs
  • Technology, utility and performance are important

New Cars, Ride-Share Apps and the Economy

What the Kind of Car You Drive Says About Your Age

Chances are, if you’re of car driving age but you’re younger than 35, the kind of car you drive isn’t as high a priority to you as the opportunity to make money with it is.

In a recent AutoList survey, Millennials are interested in buying environmentally friendly, compact vehicles like the Honda Civic, if they’re going to buy a car at all, but they don’t plan on owning one for more than 5 years.

Previously, it was suspected that ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft were going to detract from car sales, but the opposite is proving true, with 84 percent of Millennials — or those born between 1980–2000 — interested in buying new cars in lieu of used cars. According to Mintel, 15 percent of Millennial car buyers in the U.S. plan to drive for a ride-share service. And because most of these services require newer cars in order to be a driver, all of the data adds up. Millennials are in the market to buy new cars, but it’s not for the traditional status of their older counterparts. It’s to make side money.

Cars with strong resale value plus inexpensive repair and maintenance costs, and that are priced right are the ones expected to catch the Millennial eye.

2017 Forecast

What the Kind of Car You Drive Will Say About You in the Future

Last month alone, over 1.25 million cars were sold in the U.S. (source: Carjojo), which corroborates Mintel’s projection that nearly 18.5 million units will be sold throughout the course of 2017. So, what will your car say about you in the future? As the economy continues to evolve post the financial crisis of 2007–2008, new-car sales are on the rise, but people are using their vehicles in historically unprecedented ways.

Over To You

Whether you’re one of the 68,858 new BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes Benz owners from last month, or part of the 369,900 new proud owners of a Ford, Honda or Nissan, one thing will always be for certain: the kind of car you drive says a lot about you. So how did you answer “What car is right for me?”

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