Name that car

Article date: 4 October 2002

More than three million car owners in Britain have chosen a namefor their cars, according to new research.

The study by the UK's largest insurer, Norwich Union, shows thatalmost one in five owners name a car, with drivers between 25 to 44most inclined to christen their wheels. The over 65s were leastkeen to consider personalising their vehicle.

The research was carried out to discover how car owners feelabout their cars and if those who choose to name their vehiclesdevelop a personal attachment to them.

The new study also shows:

  • Almost a quarter of women questioned admitted to giving theircar a name
  • One in five car owners in the Midlands has given a name totheir vehicle, yet only one in ten Scots confessed to doingso
  • Over half of names chosen were female, with both men and womenpreferring to give their cars a female identity.

Richard Alger, market development manager for Norwich Union,said: “Two thirds of car owners felt more attached to theirvehicle as a result of giving it a name. The most popular factorscontributing to the choice of name are the colour and registrationplate of the vehicle.

“It is interesting to see that most owners regard theirvehicle as female, with over fifty percent of owners giving femalenames – even Alex from ‘Big Brother’ reportedlycalled his first car ‘Ethel’ and went on to name hislatest car, a VW Beetle, ‘Bettie’!

“However naming a car is not a new thing – justthink of famous loveable cars such as ‘Herbie’,‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and ‘KITT’ fromthe 80s Knight Rider series, suggesting a car with a name iscertainly more than just your average car!”

Media contact:
David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 65 (mobile 07786526350)

Notes to editors

  • This research was conducted by ICM Research Limited forNorwich Union in August 2002 among 1000 car owners nation-wide.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. In generalinsurance it is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestcompetitor, and has a 19 per cent share of the market.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies, and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on theinternet at
  • A selection of images is available from the Aviva Newscastsite at
  • An ISDN line is available. Call the press office 08703 66 6868
  • Norwich Union Insurance Limited Registered in England Number99122 Registered Office 8 Surrey Street Norwich NR1 3NG
  • Member of the Aviva Group of companies and of the GeneralInsurance Standards Council

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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