Press release

So you've got a fast car? That don't impress me much!

Tuesday 7 October 2008

  • Family saloon drivers viewed as 'dull'
  • Owners of convertibles most 'fashionable'

The car you drive says masses about your personality, age, wealth and fashion sense, research by Saga Motor Insurance* has revealed. Although owners of luxury cars and supercars, such as Rolls Royces and Ferraris, may be hoping to demonstrate great taste, they are more likely to be seen as 'flashy' (21% and 22%), particularly by women (23% and 24%).

Although convertibles like the Mazda MX-5 were only given a-thumbs-up from just one in ten (10%), it was enough to secure it as the car of choice for the fashion conscious. By comparison, the research suggested that the cars with the least fashionable owners are city cars e.g. Smart, family saloons e.g. Ford Mondeo and estates e.g. Volvo (3%).

As far as money is concerned, two thirds (66%) of the population assume that owners of luxury cars are the wealthiest, closely followed by drivers of executive saloons (65%) like the Mercedes E-class. Surprisingly, men seem to correlate wealth with style of car more than women, as 68% think luxury car drivers are well off vs. 64% women. Owners of supercars trail behind in spending power, with just over half (53%) perceiving them as wealthy, despite the average selling price of a Ferrari topping 100,000. Owners of MPVs (multi purpose vehicles e.g. Renault Espace) are bottom of the wealth stakes, receiving just 1% of the vote.

The perceived age of the person behind the wheel is also directly related to the wheels in question. The research suggests owners of luxury cars are thought of as being the oldest drivers, with the average age believed to be over 50. In comparison, if you want to appear young then hatchbacks are advised, as drivers are considered to be in their mid 30s.

Typically perceived ages of drivers by car type:

1. Luxury = 52 years old

2. Estate = 48 years old

3. Executive Saloon = 46 years old

4. 4x4 = 44 years old

5. Family Saloon = 44 years old

6. MPV = 41 years old

7. Supercar = 40 years old

8. City car = 40 years old

9. Coupe = 39 years old

10. Convertible = 37 years old

11. Hatchback = 36 years old

Estate and MPV drivers are those most welcome on the roads, with half the public believing that they are the safest drivers (50%). By comparison owners of convertibles, coupes and supercars are regarded by almost two thirds (63%) as being 'fast' drivers.

It's clear that cars, once deemed the ultimate in desirability, are now held in lower regard because of the lack of 'green' credentials and the increase in running costs. While almost a third (30%) believe city car drivers to be aware of environmental concerns, a third (33%) think the total opposite of 4x4 owners.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive of Saga Services, commented: "It seems drivers and pedestrians alike hold strong views on particular car types. Environmental concerns and fuel prices have contributed to a change of attitude towards motoring."

-ENDS-

Editorial Notes:

*Survey carried out by Opinium Research for Saga Motor Insurance between the 4th and 8th September 2008 among a sample of 2,040 UK representatives.

**Car types and examples used:

* City Car – Smart, G-Whiz

* Hatchback – Honda Civic, VW Golf

* Family Saloon – Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra

* Executive Saloon – BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class

* Luxury – Rolls Royce Phantom, Bentley Continental GT

* Convertible – Mazda MX-5, MGF

* Coupe – Nissan 350Z, Jaguar XK

* 4X4 – Range Rover, Isuzu Trooper

* Estate – Volvo V70, Subaru Legacy

* Supercar – Ferrari F430, Porsche 911

* MPV – Renault Espace, Ford Galaxy

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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