For better or worse, the car we drive says a lot about who we are

Like just about everything else we buy, come to that!

While this plays an active part in the purchasing decisions of some, for others it’s more of an inconvenient truth.

Gone are the days that you can innocently enjoy a pair of Heelys about town in your thirties, apparently.

I’m not bitter.

If you’re a business owner considering how to resource your fleet, the importance of choosing the right business lease cars (and footwear) to represent your brand won’t have escaped you.

We’ll go more onto the positive rise in consumer consciousness at the end of this piece. But for now, let’s indulge in an interlude of tomfoolery.

If you know us by now, you’ll know it’s what we do well.

The personalities of car brands

Whether it’s all down to the power of branding, or is completely coincidental, who we are affects the cars we like. Supposedly even down to our choice of colour.

So, to flip that on its head, there must be significant commonalities between the people buying certain car brands.

Research by YouGov suggests just that. 

YouGov research findings on how car brand customers identify with different personality traits

Data supplied by YouGov

Their demographic data on some 200,000 car owners found personality traits were more frequently shared among some brands over others.

Now, it unfortunately isn’t an extensive line-up. And as a Vauxhall driver, I begrudge missing out on seeing how well I fit in with my fellow Corsa comrades. We’ll bring you more data as we get it.

Regardless, if we were about to sign up for a new 3-year BMW lease deal, we’d want to know what club we were joining.

Mercedes personality types

Mercedes-Benz personality types

We’ll start with Mercedes-Benz as those surveyed topped the list for personality types in two areas.

If you’re a Mercedes-Benz driver, you're statistically inclined to be both more adventurous and show better leadership qualities than drivers of rival brands.

Mercedes drivers did rank themselves well in the knowledgeable category, too. But BMW owners, who favoured their IQ significantly over any other trait, trumped them to the intelligence podium.

Being friendly and big-hearted? Not so much of a priority it seems. 

BMW personality types

BMW personality types

One thing’s for sure. BMW drivers know who they are. 

And what they’re not.

When asked, they ranked themselves as knowledgeable over any other personality trait. By some distance.

In fact, this was by far the highest percentage of any other brand indexing in any other category.

It was followed by a quite lovely mix of imaginative, emotionally intelligent and strong leadership.

But there’s no unseeing the big vote of self-confidence – and we’re here for it!

Ford personality types

Ford personality types

Ford offered a more steady split among personality types. But as one of the UK's all-time top sellers, that's no real surprise.

Compared to the luxury brands who prefer to know where they stand, Ford drivers ranked themselves well for eight out of the 10 options.

But where did Ford top the chart? 

According to this survey, Ford drivers are likely to be the friendliest.

And we need more of those on our roads, if you ask us!

Lexus personality types

Lexus personality types

An interesting brand attracts interesting people, so it seems.

More than any other brand of car, Lexus drivers consider themselves more analytical.

And as one of the lowest scoring traits across the chart, it’s a special string to have in your bow.

With a history of leaning towards the hybrid powertrain, it’s possibly no wonder those with a head for spreadsheets would favour a brand focused on crunching numbers. 

Ready to maximise mpg? Joining this fleet of data wizards might just be your calling.

Volkswagen personality types

Volkswagen personality types

Last but not least, the mighty Volkswagen.

Are you an innovator, a day-dreamer, inclined to think outside the box? 

Then a Volkswagen lease would suit you down to a tee. 

While taking the top spot for imagination, Volkswagen had the highest number of personality traits claimed by over 40% of respondents. Therefore adding knowledge and emotional intelligence to their proverbial personality CV. 

And social skills are a must in this case: as one of the UK’s most popular brands, you'll have plenty of company.

Four friends sat on their car looking out over a sea view

What car brand fits your personality?

  • Mercedes – A leader, adventurous
  • BMW – Knowledgeable 
  • Ford – Friendly
  • Lexus – Analytical
  • Volkswagen – Imaginative

A leopard can change it's spots

If you’re a driver of one of these brands and are not happy with your rankings, fear not.

Perceptions can and often do change over time and in different contexts.

Chelsea tractor, anyone?

Here’s hoping we see a UK car brand proudly take big-hearted crown sometime soon.

Tesla model 3 in forest scene

Are car brands defined by the personalities of their drivers?

Other research involving small-scale surveys highlighted further insights. 

Better drivers

BMW drivers followed by Vauxhall drivers were statistically more likely to rate their driving skills as 10 out of 10.

More dangerous

On the other end of the spectrum, Ford and Volkswagen drivers were more likely to put their hand up for being in a traffic collision.


Which brands do a good job of resonating with different genders? We’re relying on YouGov again for this one.

Their data suggests women in 2024 positively rate Volkswagen, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, MINI and Ford.

This compares to Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Honda, Rolls Royce and Bentley for the men in our lives.

Zodiac sign

What if your brand loyalty is predisposed from birth?

Stepping away from the world of research and further into the realm of hearsay, here’s our take on car compatibility based on your zodiac sign.

Two smiling girls driving in sunny, country setting

The positive rise of consumer consciousness

While the likes of clothes, cosmetics and cars provide very practical and important purposes in our lives, they are also our way of showing the world what’s important to us.

And we’ve started voting with our wallets.

Building for some time, but fueled by COVID-19, more of us will refrain from buying from brands who do not share our values.

Holding businesses to higher levels of social, ethical and environmental responsibility as a result.

Even within a cost of living crisis, we’re seeing more people refuse to compromise what’s going to gleefully plonk through their letterbox (with a wave from the lovely postie you got to know during lockdown) for the impact that bit of cash has in the wider world.

If this resonates with you, it's worth checking out the community activity of the car brands you're considering. They're likely to include a link to this in their website footer.

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Sarah Hunt

Sarah Hunt

Sarah is the Head of Marketing and she's tasked with keeping the fantastic marketing team in line. She's probably the reason you've heard of us, and her wealth of marketing experience means that no challenge is too big.