Pardon my self-expression...

Aug. 11, 2016

But my inner truth just manifested all over my car

Bigger isn’t always better

While the auto industry may love SUV owners and the high prices they are willing to pay, it turns out most other people find them annoying.

In his book, “100 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know,” author Russ Kick reveals the results of the auto industry’s extensive research about SUV buyers, and the results aren’t pretty.

The research describes them as insecure, vain, self-centered and self-absorbed. They’re unsure of their marriages and less than proud to be parents, sometimes fantasizing that there isn’t actually a pack of kids hidden behind the tinted glass of their back seats.

SUV drivers may lack confidence in their driving, and use their vehicle’s heft to intimidate other motorists. They tend not to be very involved in their communities or interested in other people in general.

Car companies know exactly who their gas-guzzling pollutant-spewers appeal to, and given the profit margins that SUVs command in a tight auto market, they’ll continue marketing to these buyers rather than offering them the reassuring hugs they so desperately need.

True colors

Now we know what driving an SUV says about you, but what about the color of your vehicle?

Research shows that color is a major factor for 60% of car buyers because it is part of our public image, but not many drivers realize what that color says to other drivers.

For example, if you drive a red car, you want the world to see an outgoing, ambitious excitement-seeker. Men believe that red means power, action and masculinity, like your car is flexing its muscles. On the other hand, some experts say that drivers of red vehicles are like children yelling, “Look at me!”

White cars are popular and are perceived as fresh and modern. These drivers strive for perfection. That perfection is hard to maintain, though, because white is the most difficult color to keep clean. A white car may just be a sign that you have a high-maintenance personality.

Silver mixes security and style. Drivers of silver cars want to project elegance, but may actually be suggesting that they just buy what everyone else does and are behind the times. In the early 2000s, silver was the most popular car color.

Color isn’t just a factor when buying. According to a Kelley Blue Book study, if you are trying to sell a car painted an unpopular color, it will decrease the value of your car by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Wrap stars

What if you’re eager to show the world your personality, but paint colors just aren’t expressive enough? Unique car wraps may be the solution.

Wraps have been used for advertising (think wrapped city transit buses), but a new breed of custom wraps for consumers means the choices for car exteriors are limitless.

A chrome wrap turns your car into a mirror, reflecting its surroundings and making it virtually impossible for the paparazzi to get any more embarrassing photos of you in the Krispy Kreme drive-thru at dinner time.

A velvet wrap may sound impractical, but it allows you to wrap your vehicle in luxury. Wouldn’t your PT Cruiser look impressive in plush, ruby red velvet?

If shining bright after dark is your thing (or if you like attracting moths), you can choose a bold glow-in-the-dark wrap.

Do you have a hobby that you want to share with the world? Why not showcase it on a wrap? Everyone will love seeing your crossword- or crochet-themed car driving around town.

Maybe 3-D animal prints are more your style, so you can unleash your inner beast on your suburban neighborhood.

You could also ink your car like you’ve inked your arm—why not give your vehicle the sleeve of tattoos that it’s always deserved?

Unlike real tattoos, car wraps can be removed with ease, allowing you to change up your car’s look as often as you want, depending of course on your vehicular beautification budget and the tolerance of your wife.

But no matter what you drive or what image you try to present to the world, someday you might find yourself in the path of a huge, fiery red, mirrored 3-D python-print SUV. Should that day come, be prepared with an action plan: Swerve off the road immediately, duck down, cover your head, and above all, avoid eye contact with whatever is behind that wheel.

About The Author: Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.

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