Bosch Survey Says: Most Americans Name Their Car Betsy

Americans are set to celebrate National Name Your Car Day on Oct. 2, whether or not they even know about it. The fact is, most Americans elect to name their car, effectively making it a strong but silent member of the family.

Bosch Automotive Aftermarket has conducted a survey with Wakefield Research of 1,000 nationally representative U.S. car owners and lessees ages 18 and over and found that a more than half of Americans have named their cars. From the top three names to preferences by each generation, Bosch discovers the main trends in naming a car.

The loyalty Americans have to their cars not only inspired National Name Your Car Day, but the data also found that people like to humanize their vehicles by adding a flair of personality to the name, according to Bosch. Some references include the names of loved ones, characters on the screen or in pop-culture, and classic icons. In fact, more than half of Americans (55 percent) have named their car-and they prefer people names.

More than half (51 percent) of Millennial car owners or lessees have named their current car compared to 32 percent of Gen Xers and only 18 percent of Boomers.

Conventional wisdom would be that the more cars you’ve owned, the more likely you are to have named a car, according to Bosch. However, 40 percent of Millennial car owners or lessees have named a car in the past as compared to more than a third (35 percent) of Gen Xers and more than a quarter (26 percent) of Boomers.

Let it ‘B’

In a world where people are named after foods and inanimate objects, the list of names for cars is just as vast. Though it turns out, Americans don’t venture too far down the alphabet when conjuring up a name for their cars. The top three names given to cars are Betsy, Betty and Bessie.

The People’s Choice

On National Name Your Car Day there is no battle of the sexes. Women rule, regardless of whether it’s men or women picking the name for their vehicle, according to Bosch. Interestingly enough, an overwhelming 73 percent of the human names given to cars are female-leaving the Bob, Cliff and Jimmy car names in their dust.

Pop Culture

When it comes to naming cars, Americans stay true to their time as far as inspiration. As more pop-culture celebrities resonated with the ’90s kids, the Gen Xers are partial to Britney, while Millennials steered toward modern movie, music and TV-centric names, such as Optima Prime, Keke, and Walter White. Boomers tend to favor names that present a quality or trait to their cars, beginning with “Old”-including Old Blue, Old Red, Old Yeller, and Old Reliable.

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