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13 February 23 Press releases

A nation of car lovers: over 1 in 10 Brits admit that a car can make a person more attractive


New research from Auto Trader explores how amore and automobiles match up. 

  • Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) Brits give their car a pet name, second only to their significant other
  • Over 1 in 10 (12%) people agree that a car can make a person more attractive, with 11% admitting that they’re in love with their car.
  • Going green: wanting to go electric is the top reason Brits will be looking to buy a new car in 2023, listing higher than big life changes such as having a baby, moving house and wanting to drive faster


13th February 2023, London: Love isn’t blind when it comes to car choices as new research from Auto Trader reveals that 1 in 10 (12%) Brits think a car can make a person more attractive. Millennials are the driving force behind this, as the figure rises to 20% of the age category likely to be impressed by a partner’s four wheels.

With cars now becoming more important than ever (over half of drivers in the UK want to own a car*) it’s no surprise that 1 in 5 (18%) admit to giving their car a pet name, second only to their significant other. 1 in 10 people see their car as an extension of their family and 11% would go as far to say that they’re in love with their car. In fact, nearly a quarter (22%) of the dating app generation (millennials) reveal their relationship with their car out lasts any romantic relationship they’ve had.

Auto Trader found that people are so invested in their relationship with their car, that 1 in 5 (20%) attribute personality traits that they’d like in a partner such as reliable, retro and stable to their four wheels. And just as people in the early stages of romantic relationships may fall foul to ‘the ick’, the research revealed that bad smell (48%), untidy interior (41%), lack of space (38%), colour (28%) and lack of interior luxuries (27%) are the biggest red flags when taking the leap to buy a new car.

When committing to a new car, Brits have their eye on sustainability with a whopping 40%* saying that they are likely to buy an alternative fuel vehicle such as an electric or hybrid as their next car. Choosing to go electric is the top reason for people buying a new one in 2023 (11%), listing higher than big life changes such as having a baby (3%), moving house (2%) or even wanting to drive faster (2%).

Furthermore, eco credentials (10%) are just as important as practical car elements, like boot (10%) or passenger (10%) space, when finding the right one.

Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s Editorial Director and Motoring Expert comments: “We understand the struggles and uncertainty that come with buying a new car, which is one of the biggest purchases consumers make after a home.  Our cars are our third living spaces outside of our homes and offices, we use them as a means of living our everyday lives and they can be a hindrance or advantage to our lives. So it comes as no surprise that we have such strong instinctive feelings towards buying a new car and how it makes us feel.

Similar to how people evaluate a new partner’s compatibility, we help millions of drivers to find a car that’s right for them and helps them go about their daily life in the easiest way possible. We know how emotionally taxing a new car decision can be, that’s why we are proud to be Britain’s biggest matchmaking service, helping take some of the struggles away from consumers who are making their next car purchase and helping them find a car that suits their individual needs.”

For Brits thinking about ditching the petrol or diesel but having doubts going fully electric, here are the five easy tips for making the switch. Auto Trader also has lots of advice on site which allow consumers to filter through many guides that can help them find the right one.



This research of 2,000 UK based Britons was commissioned by Auto Trader and conducted by in February 2023.

*Research from Auto Trader’s Nat Rep Tracker



About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK's largest automotive marketplace. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace is where UK consumers buy and sell cars with the largest number of car buyers and the largest choice of trusted stock. Auto Trader exists to Drive Change Together. Responsibly and creating a diverse and inclusive culture is at the heart of the business. It is focused on changing how the UK shops for cars by providing the best online car buying experience and enabling all retailers to sell online. It aims to build stronger partnerships with its customers and use its voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices.

Auto Trader publishes a monthly used car Retail Price Index which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, this data is used by the Bank of England to feed the broader UK economic indicators.

For more information, please visit

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