A car is just a way to get from A to B.
I really don't see a car as an expression of my own personality.

Attitudes towards cars in general may seem like a pretty innocuous thing until you realise that it lights up a great divide in life perception – in a sense, the meaning of life. Is life about the “stuff” you own; or is it about simply being OK – you and your nearest and dearest; or is it much wider than that – the idea that there should be “fair” shares for all?

Car Casual highlights the divide between the primacy of “stuff” and the primacy of “enough is good enough”.

To the Car Casual espouser, a car is really on a par with a bicycle, a train, a horse, a canal barge or even “Shanks’s pony”. It all comes down to a mechanism for getting from one place to another in an “appropriate” amount of time. It’s not that they are “against” cars – it’s more that, while a car can be useful when you really need to get somewhere quite quickly or if you’re carrying something a bit heavy, there are times when it’s simply not necessary. Sometimes it’s better to see your destination coming towards you at a few miles per hour than at seventy miles per hour – you tend to have time to “see” more.

People who think this way simply don’t share the modern idea that life’s all about getting to the top of the heap. Indeed, they feel rather sorry for – although not necessarily forgiving towards - those who are caught up in that particular “bill of goods”. When they’ve got what they need or, especially, a bit more than they really need, they tend to lose their drive to get more. All that you get from wanting more all the time is confusion. What is it that I should focus my attention on getting more of? A bigger car? A more “exclusive” property? A more exotic holiday destination? Once you start, the list goes on and on and on.

Car Casual espousers tend to see right through the advertisers’ glitz and glamour with cars. They know, instantly, that a car model containing the letters Q (especially without a U), X or Z in its name is just an expensive version of a much simpler – but just as effective – model that doesn’t graduate much beyond S or R in the alphabet. It’s about what the thing does, not about what the thing is. In no sense “is” a car an extension of their personality (or any other part of their psychology or anatomy).

There’s a degree of resentment towards the societal inequality that the car can represent in the context of society's dominant narrative. The advertisers catch this in the ideas of men’s “pulling power” and women’s “teasing power”. For men a car is supposed to be about strength, certainty, the square jaw of the hero - always ready and willing to save (LOL) the damsel in distress. For women a car is supposed to be about colour, pzazz, independence and attractiveness (a concept that does not sit well with many a feminist). The message is that, if you’re not young, virile, playful and well-off, you aren’t anyone at all.

Finally, it doesn’t escape the notice of the Car Casual espouser that, while every form of transport has its own environmental negatives (just think horses for an obvious example), the car really takes the biscuit. It poisons and pollutes; it’s noisy and intrusive; and it encourages its own unique kind of psychoticism (think road rage), narcissism (think about your nearest 18-21 year old neighbour with the third-hand soft-top BMW) and disregard for law and order (think 120 mph in the outside lane, or 50 mph in an urban setting).

Car Casual is not so casual as it sounds.


Using Car Casual

Demographic Skews:

1) Over-indexed: Over 45.

2) Under-indexed: Under 35, up-market.

Car Casual espousers also espouse other Attributes. The top five most highly correlated Attributes of Car Casual espousers are, in order of the strength of relationship:

1) Coasting
2) Non-acquisitive
3) Justice
4) Complacent, Nature

In total those who espouse Car Casual also over-index significantly on 41 other Attributes.

If "Car Casual" (or the associated attributes) are important to you and you would like to delve more deeply, contact us at