Common Car Names: Why Do People Name Their Cars?

Woman leaning on a red Ferrari

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Naming cars has remained a phenomenon practically since they first populated the streets. People claim that naming their car is all part of the “relationship” you build with it over time. It’s with you on the way to work, through scenic back roads, on summertime road trips and maybe even during your love life. It gets you from A to B, and you get it — the way it rides, handles and runs into trouble.

No wonder some people (25% of the United States population, in fact) want to shed those bland factory names. It’s their trusty steed, and what’s the use in riding a horse with no name?

When all is said and done, naming a car is just a silly thing that humans do. We assign an identity to something that’s important to us. That’s it. But what’s even more silly (and entertaining) is the names people come up with. Believe it or not, there are some trends to be found here. Let’s take a brief dive into a 2,500-count survey conducted last year by AutoNation.

Overall Most Common Car Names

Here are some of the top overall car names:

  1. Betsy
  2. Bessie
  3. Baby
  4. Betty
  5. (The) Beast
  6. Sally
  7. Bertha
  8. Lucy
  9. Big Red
  10. Buddy/Fred/Stella

Does anyone else find it odd that 8 of the 10 start with B?

Here are the top car names by region. Again, more B’s:

  1. Northeast: Spark/Steve
  2. Southeast: Sally
  3. South: Big Blue/Big Red
  4. West Coast: Bubu
  5. Midwest: Beast

Most Common Car Names by Gender

How about when it comes to men and women naming cars? These are the gender trends when it comes to car naming:


  1. Betsy
  2. The Beast
  3. Sally
  4. Lucy
  5. Bertha


  1. Betsy
  2. Bessie
  3. Baby
  4. Bertha
  5. Herbie

Some of the More… “Interesting” Names

Of course, AutoNation’s surveys gave us a solid look into the names people choose for their cars. But for some of the greatest hidden gems of the car-naming world, let’s turn to Reddit:

  • 2001 MR-2 Spyder: Becky. It stands for “Butt-Engined-Car. Yeah! I’ve tried awkwardly shoehorning a K in there, but I haven’t found one that works yet…
  • 2005 Subaru WRX:  Taylor Swift. She’s whiny, noisy, annoying as all hell, attracts the wrong kind of fanbase, and unstable as $#%@. But no matter what she does, you’re still singing along with her.
  • I call mine Alexis because it is a Lexus.
  • Mr. Smiles:
  • Crystal Meth Persuasion
  • Honda Rousey
  • The dumpsterfire. It’s pretty self explanatory
  • My girlfriend named my car ‘The German Mistress’ because I spend more time with it than I do with her.
  • My first truck was called the Danger Ranger due to the fact it was an 86 Ford Ranger that broke down all the time and had I hit anything, I would certainly have been killed.
  • 2005 Scion: The Box. When it was done up in rainbows for Pride it was The Queer Box. This past summer it was the Jurassic Box. I have the best box.

For me personally, I call mine The Mushroom because of the mushroom color of it. Technically the color is “Army Rock” but that doesn’t sound as cool.

The Best of the Best

My favorite reasoning for someone naming their car what they did comes from Raven Brajdic. She says:

My last car was a black 98 Ford Explorer that I named Neville (from Harry Potter) because he tried his best and was clunky but reliable.So when I got this car, which is also black, I reasoned that he also be called Neville, because the actor who plays Neville ended up becoming extremely good looking when he got older. Like a metamorphosis, you know?


So, what are some of your favorites? And what have you named your previous cars? Maybe the names were inspired by their off-roading abilities or the year they were made. Let me know in the comments!

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