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The Dub Club: People Are Naming Their Cars and the Choices Are Wild

Sonic Doorwedge. Prince Charles. Chucky Petunia. Shrek. After combing through the results of a recent Canada Drives survey, those are just a handful of very real nicknames that very real people have actually given their very real vehicles.

In real life. 

For real. 

But don’t be too quick to scoff. Sonic Doorwedge aside, giving a car or truck a nickname is standard operating procedure for many drivers. In fact, our recent survey found that more respondents have a special name for their car than we realized.

It just so happens that some people name their cars things like Vanilla Dumpy. Or General Hand Grenade. 

We’ll dive deeper into the results but first, let’s explore an obvious question. 

Why do people name their cars and trucks? 

The easiest way to answer this question is probably with another question: Why not? Think about it. If you had to pick between saying to a friend “Hop into The Beast and we’ll hit the road” or simply “Get in the car” the choice should be obvious, no? 

If you have young children, this “why not” rationale could very well be (or soon become) the driving force behind your car’s nickname. If you aren’t already aware, kids name everything—from their stuffed animals to their favourite cereal bowls—and vehicles are no different. This is how, in the blink of an eye, the super cool car or truck you just bought can end up being forever known as “Bubbles”. 

Of course, nicknames aren’t just about fun and games. There’s also some basic psychology underpinning why we name our rides. As humans, we’re in the habit of naming things we’re fond of and have an attachment to, and we all tend to get attached to our vehicles, for better or worse. 

What are the most popular vehicle nicknames? 

We wanted to dive deeper into this phenomenon of vehicle nicknames so we ran a survey and polled over 1,000 drivers, asking them if they have a special nickname for their ride and if yes, what is it? 

As you can imagine, the range of nicknames was varied but there were also a few common themes across the board. Here’s a quick taste. 

Part of the family 

Surprisingly, more than a third (36.8%) of respondents who named their vehicle chose a human name. For example, some of the submissions in our survey include Betsy, Marty, and Charlie. While these names won’t raise any eyebrows or win any awards for creativity, a car named Charlie or Timmy or Eleanor can work its way into your family’s heartstrings pretty quick. 

Simple but effective 

After human names, another popular choice for drivers is to just call their ride by its make or model. More than 16% of owners who named their vehicle opted for simple-but-effective choices like Dodge, Honda, and Sierra. These names are only a slight step up from calling your car simply “my car” or your truck “my truck”, but they still convey some affection. 

Colour me surprised

For many, a vehicle’s colour is the main factor when it comes to bestowing a nickname. In fact, 7.2% of the names submitted in our survey were inspired by the colour, including names like Blueblue, Silver Mistress, and Big Red. One can only imagine that names like Snowflake and Pearl are inspired by car colours too. 

Homage to Hollywood 

The silver screen has been home to some of the coolest vehicle names in history, so it’s no surprise that almost 8% of respondents who named their vehicle listed names like The Millenium Falcon. Other Hollywood-inspired names weren’t vehicles at all, but popular characters, from Shrek to Evie to Smaug. 

Fun finds 

Of course, vehicle names aren’t always born out of a place of love or affection. One respondent shared with us that their vehicle’s name was the result of a lost bet. Needless to say, that vehicle’s name can’t be printed here. 

Other memorable finds included names like Mud Shark, Beastie (not to be confused with The Beast mentioned above), Egg, and Ice Cube!

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