According to a new study, we’re all really, really concerned with what kind of car our potential partners drive. Apparently, a quarter of Brits ages 25 to 34 say their date’s wheels are an important consideration when mulling over a future together. You can’t go driving off into the sunset with just anyone, the survey says — you have to find a person with a “prestige” vehicle, like a Mercedes, or perhaps a limo. Ladies, says the study, love the limos. Men, meanwhile, are seduced by sports cars, and everyone is repulsed together by the thought of “estate cars,” or “station wagons,” as we know them stateside. Sexy trumps practical, reports the Daily Mail. At least, in the eyes of various UK motorists.
But not in my eyes. There are very few things I am interested in less than what car you drive. You have a Mercedes? Congratulations! You have a limo? That is bizarre and probably parking is difficult for you, but awesome. I’m into it if you are. You have a sports car? Mazel tov, let’s drive. But also, I am into your station wagon, your Honda Accord, your Toyota Corolla, your Jeep Grand Cherokee. I am proud of your pickup truck. I am into your tractor. I think your school bus is weird, but if it makes you happy, I support you.
I care about your car to the extent that it goes. Does your car go? Great, we’re on. I would be extra impressed if it had air bags, and also the seat belts worked — safety first! — but assuming your vehicle is roughly in accordance with the contemporary standards of not-dying, I am impressed. Or at least, I am as impressed as it is possible to be by your car. Which, to be clear, is not very much.
If you believe that your car is a deep reflection of your innermost self and you tell me that, I guess I’ll try to judge you accordingly? Otherwise, though, I will continue to assume that your nice car means you had the means of getting a nice car, and your mediocre car means you had the means of getting a mediocre car, or possibly you have financial priorities other than cars. Your shitty car, I will interpret as evidence that you are still one step ahead of me, given that I do not have a car at all. Your vintage VW bus means we are probably not compatible for completely non-car reasons. That’s about as far as I get.
Says the spokesperson for Europcar UK Group, the organization that commissioned the study, “we make judgements about people every day” — true — and those judgements are “magnified on a first date.” Also true. But the idea that a “prestige car with wow factor could make sure there’s a good chance of a second date” doesn’t make sense to me, unless our second date is to a car competition. In which case, I would like to cancel.