The vehicles we drive can send many different types of signals to the people around us when we’re driving. The car you drive can lead people to make assumptions about how much money you have, how big your family is, or even how eco-friendly you are. Of course, it probably seems a little vain that people would make all these judgments simply because of the car you choose to drive. The traits that people may assume you have because of your vehicle may not even be true.

Nonetheless, people use archetypes to make sense of the world around them. Can you blame them? Sometimes, these assumptions are true. After all, a sensible business owner with a large family probably isn’t driving around in a sports car. So what does your car say about you?


People often make strong assumptions about others based on the type of vehicle they drive. If you own a pickup truck like the Subaru Baja, you may be seen by others as a utilitarian. Pickup trucks are typically owned by those who work at blue-collar jobs. If you work in agriculture, construction, or any other type of service that requires hauling or towing, you probably own a pickup truck. Pickup truck owners are viewed as no-nonsense, tough individuals. People also view pickup drivers as confident and willing to help out other drivers in need. That’s because pickup trucks are also viewed as helper vehicles like tow trucks and snowplows.


If you have a minivan, people will view you as a family person. You likely own a van because you have plenty of family — whether you have lots of kids, or your parents are living with you — to drive around town. It could be assumed that you’re involved in your kids’ after-school activities. You may drive your kids and their friends to their extracurricular practices and events. Either way, you’re probably the neighborhood favorite: friendly, and always happy to lend a helping hand.

Compact Cars

If you drive a compact vehicle like the Subaru WRX in Los Angeles, people may deduce that you are a young adult in need of an affordable ride that can last for miles on LA highways. People will make the assumption that this is your first ride or at least the first ride you bought on your own. People with compact cars are seen as fiscally responsible individuals who view their vehicles as a means to an end. They don’t need too many frills when it comes to their cars. The same cannot be said for people with compact sedans with stylish additions, like high spoilers and customized rims. These people are all about individuality and style-on-a-budget.


People who drive hatchback vehicles like the Subaru Forester in Los Angeles are seen as busy people with a lot to do in their week. These people may treat the trunk of their car as a second closet to hold items like gym bags, yoga mats, shopping bags, fold-out chairs, and sports equipment. There’s always somewhere to be after work if you have a hatchback or an SUV. People with hatchbacks are often assumed to have at least one or two kids or even a dog in need of safe transporting. Younger adults tend to choose these cars because they are more stylish than a minivan and they offer flexible use of space for even the busiest of metropolitan city-goers.

Luxury cars

If you drive a luxury vehicle, you likely receive a lot of attention on the road. Perceptions of those with luxury cars tend to be split down the middle. The common perception of luxury car owners is that they are successful in some way, and are financially stable. Very financially stable. Wealthy, even. Some may view you as someone who simply prefers to be as comfortable as possible while they drive. You have the money, so why not take advantage? Others may view you as someone who as a business shark or someone who is stuck up. They may avoid you so as to not get stuck in any on-road interactions with you. So long as you keep calm and share the road with your fellow drivers, this can be a stereotype that people will forget.

Sports Cars

If you own a sports car, you are probably someone people view as fun and extroverted. You’re likely someone who likes to try new things and live life to the fullest. For you, life is all about exhilaration. However, sports car owners do get a bad rep. While some people may just assume that you’re a fun-loving car enthusiast, others may assume that you may be a bit of a jerk. You may be proving this stereotype true if you’re guilty of going way past the speed limit and cutting people off on the road.

If you’re a middle-aged driver, people may believe you’re only driving your car because you’re having a mid-life crisis. This belief isn’t very fair, especially if you’ve loved high-performance sports vehicles all your life. It’s not your fault you finally started receiving the income necessary to buy one later in life! Crisis or not, don’t let anyone dissuade you from getting the car of your dreams.

So do these generalizations about the car you drive match up to your personality? What did people get right? What may people be getting wrong about you? Either way, it doesn’t matter! We can’t do anything to change other people’s minds. All you can do is choose a great vehicle that works for you and your lifestyle. If you’re truly fed up with the car you’re driving and want to buy something that better represents you, make your way down to Subaru in Los Angeles. You’ll be sure to find something that speaks to who you are.

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