Upgrade your car and downgrade your love life!
Are you married or in a long term relationship? There's a good chance that you are. On the other hand, there's also a good chance that you're not. According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), the number of married people has been falling since 2008, and, in 2020, less than half (49%) of the over-16 UK population had tied the knot.
Now, interesting though this fact may be, you're probably wondering why we mention it. Well, the answer is simple: it's because it means that there's a pretty high possibility that you’re actively involved in the world of dating. And, if you are (and even if you’re not), you may well be interested in some recent research which highlighted some surprising factors which influence your chance of success with a prospective partner. And one of these factors is sitting in your driveway. Because, yes, it’s your car. Or, more accurately, the way you drive it and look after it. The research in question showed that a person’s vehicle and driving habits form a small but significant part of their dating potential.
So, what exactly is it about your car, and the way you drive it, that could put – if you’ll forgive the weak pun – a spanner in the works, when you’re trying to ignite the flame of romance? We thought we’d run through some of the key findings from the study, which carried out in-depth interviews with over 1000 participants.
Being respectful and courteous to fellow drivers is obviously a good thing to do. First and foremost, of course, this is because it’s likely to result in higher safety for yourself and other road users, but it also tends to make a good romantic impression. According to the study, 56% of people said they were unlikely to date someone who exhibited ‘bad’ driving habits, such as not signalling their turns, frequently breaking the speed limit, or showing signs of road rage. It appears that, while good driving behaviour is no guarantee that you'll make a strong romantic impact on your date, it at least improves the odds that you'll get off on the right foot. On top of this, some 52% of respondents said they were significantly less likely to date someone whose car had fast-food trash on the floor or smelled of cigarette smoke.
Spoiling your chances
A lot of car owners like to add a few legal (and sometimes illegal) enhancements to their vehicle. But, while these may make you happy, they can also put you at a disadvantage in the dating arena. A spoiler, for example, proved to be a turn-off for 30% of respondents, closely followed by tinted windows (26%), neon lights (25%) and a lowered car (22%). However, not all attempts to upgrade your car could end up downgrading your dating life, as some enhancements were reported as a good thing – particularly a quality sound system and bumper stickers with your hobbies on them.
To get true value from a car can take time. In fact, according to some authoritative sources, you don’t get optimum return on investment from a new car until you’ve driven it at least 200,000 miles. This may (or may not) be true in financial terms, but, while you might be reducing financial cost by driving an older vehicle, you’re also putting yourself at risk. Older vehicles – and especially vintage cars – may be missing safety amenities, or be damaged in a way that exposes drivers and passengers to possible danger. This is not only undesirable for obvious reasons, but it can also negatively affect your love life, too. Some 70% of respondents said they were less likely to date someone whose car had broken safety features (including seat belts and air bags), while 64% were less likely to date someone with missing side mirrors, and 60% said the same about broken taillights.
In fact, it was in the area of safety that the biggest differences appeared between women and men. Take, for example, car rattles (caused by loose parts, such as the exhaust system). While these aren’t necessarily as dangerous as some other broken features, some 52% of women were inclined to list them as a roadblock to romance, compared with just 36% of men. But car rattles weren’t the only things which were more likely to be more offensive to women than men when considering a potential partner. A missing bumper, for example, showed a difference of 14 percentage points between the sexes, while broken windows had a 13-point gap, and different door colours had 11 points.
Overall, the research showed that some 88% of people thought that driving habits tend to be representative of a person’s general personality and level of responsibility. If, for instance, you're the kind of driver who's likes to opt for a rolling stop at halt signs, you may not care overmuch for details in other aspects of your life. Or, if you frequently break the speed limit, you might be the kind of person who thinks that rules apply only to others. According to 85% of respondents, poor driving and vehicle maintenance practices were a major factor in their assessment of a person's maturity level and likelihood of being a good partner.
And that’s it for now. We hope it’s helped you look at your chosen vehicle through the eyes of romance. And remember, if you’re looking for a great-value used car to help improve your love life, there’s no better place to start than the Desperateseller.co.uk used car section. Whatever you’re looking for, from a Hyundai Accent to a Range Rover Sport, you'll find it here.