Do you drive a BMW? How does it make you feel? Like you’re better than everyone else? That you’re king of the road? If so, I’ve got some bad news for you, there’s a lot of people who don’t drive BMW’s who think very little of you.
What could it be down to you ask, as you comfortably bask behind the steering wheel of a machine which symbolises true engineering superiority? There’s a possibility it could be born out of jealousy, even envy.
It’s actually none of those reasons, according to a new study by One Poll.
The reason mere mortals despise BMW drivers is due to the perceived image which comes with driving one of Germany’s greatest creations. Apparently, they associate it ‘Smarmy BMW businessmen, holier-than-thou Prius drivers and reckless Subaru boy-racers’.
According to One Poll’s research, almost a third of Brits think BMW drivers are obnoxious business types, and one in eight imagine a banker in the front seat of a Mercedes-Benz.
Although it’s often said we should never judge a book by its cover, the cars we drive speak volumes about who are as people. For example, if you drive a Volkswagen Camper most people will think you’re a ‘hippie behind the wheel’, if you’re driving a VW Beetle people would assume you’re a hairdresser.
One Poll does reveal that while judgemental motorists are quick to guess the personality traits of other drivers, just one in six think they fit the stereotype associated with their own car.
James Buttrick, spokesman for Vantage Leasing who commissioned the study, said:
Whether accurate or not, the type of car we drive is seen to portray a great deal about our personality on the roads.
The next time you find yourself in need of a new car, it might be worth considering the stereotype associated with each brand before making your final decision
Other misguided stereotypes from One Poll and Vantage Leasing’s findings include an expectation only upper-class mums drive Land Rovers, while Porsches are driven by ‘middle-aged men who are trying to look wealthier than they actually are’.
If perception is important to you then it’s best you drive a Ford as it’s considered a car which is driven by ‘average parents’.
Despite these off-base misconceptions only eight per cent of the British public have actually put thought into image when buying a new car. Also, nine in ten actually believe they’re immune glossy car ads and the lifestyle it promises.
The most desirable car for British motorists is an Audi, followed James Bond’s favourite car the Aston Martin. Despite its prestige, BMW appears right at the bottom of the list of desirable cars.
This may have to do with the aforementioned perception of its owners and the fact BMW drivers are also seen as ‘the most reckless on the roads’. This is followed by those who those behind the wheel of an Audi or Subaru.
It has been fascinating uncovering the hidden meanings we assign to different car brands.
While many drivers deny it, we can’t escape the fact our choice of vehicle will be seen as an extension of ourselves and our personality, so it is important to choose wisely.
If you are planning to by your next car and worried about looking ‘too flash’, maybe you should take this study into consideration. Like The Notorious BIG said: ‘bad boys move in silence’.
To find out more about specialist brokers Vantage Leasing, who are offering car leasings, click here.