After scouring the web and asking around, it appears that naming ones car is not an uncommon practice. Not only that, but it also seems to be considered (shock, horror) perfectly normal to do so!
According to a survey conducted by Swinton insurance, 8 out of 10 people give their car a pet name. They even go so far as saying that people who name their cars tend to look after them better and may even be safer drivers!
Surprisingly, the web is full of guides on how to go about naming your car. Why not name it after a loved one? Or a cartoon character? Further inspired suggestions include using the model name, the colour of your paintwork or the assortment of letters on your license plate as a basis for the name.
Try something along the lines of “Funto” the Fiat Punto, or “Johnny Bravo”, the Fiat Brava. These sites reiterate that it is perfectly acceptable; your car is after all your second home! However, I have yet to come across a home with a human name…
Additionally there seems to be some severe confusion over the gender of a car. With some insisting that all cars are most definitely female and others disputing this fervently. Big burly trucks are alpha males, whereas sleek sports cars are obviously female. Real performance cars on the other hand clearly aren’t girls.
From all the advice I’ve encountered, I've learnt that if you're going to name your car, don't rush to a decision, but drive your car for a while to figure out its gender. Sorry what was that? Yes that's right, figure out its gender. Don't ask me how this distinction is made!
Once this has been decided, get to know its personality traits and characteristics a little better before making your final decision. I came across a man who was convinced his car was a grumpy housewife, she didn’t like to be woken up early and would punish him if he did so. He aptly named her “Gretchin”. Another favourite is a ‘99 Saturn SL2 referred to only as, "Das UberWagen".
Racing driver Sebastian Vettel has more than a few superstitions, one of which is that he has to give his car a female name, claiming he likes to have a close relationship with his car. The names have to be in ascending alphabetical order, his most recent cars being "Randy Mandy", "Luscious Liz", and prior to her, "Kate’s dirty sister", as seen below.
Another famous face that has been known to give a human quality to an inanimate object is Top Gear’s Richard Hammond. He got rather attached to his 1963 Opel Kadett whilst driving through Africa, naming it Oliver. After failing a task to save his car and shipping it back to England, it now has a plate emblazoned with "OLI V3R".
Bizarrer still, the website CarBirths.com allows owners to register the birth of their car and then see a certificate.
Perhaps it's the anthropomorphic nature of cars. The fact that they appear to have eyes (headlamps) and a mouth (the grille). Or even the uninspiring model names such as C70 or 500, which just aren’t striking achord with car owners seeking a trusted and reliable friend, which willget them unfailingly from A-B.
Now I will admit, I did once bestow a name upon our old 80s Volvo, calling her “Celeste” after Babar’s elephant wife. Brilliantly imaginative I know! Bear in mind I was about 5 at the time. However, adults naming a piece of machinery still does scare me a little.
I suppose when you think about what the poor vehicles have to brave; severe weather conditions, traffic jams, unruly passengers as well as putting up with the driver, maybe it does deserve a name. Careful you don’t get too sentimental though as the day will come when you’ll have to say goodbye.
Let us know if you want us to name your car for you, we’ll try and come up with one for you. If you've already named your car then tell us what it's called!
Oh and don’t forget that October 2nd is officially Name Your Car Day.