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What’s In a Car Name?

Knight Rider’s K.I.T.T.

Herbie “The love bug.”

The Batmobile.

The car naming phenomenon is real and it’s abundant. Maybe because it’s easy to personify the objects that make your life so much easier. Or maybe because when you name a car, you give it a sense of camaraderie. It’s you and your buddy – through thick and thin, heat and sleet, asphalt and gravel.

If you’ve never been one to name your car, you might be wondering how to go about it. Some people stick with the make or model of the car – names we’ve grown to know and love like Nova, Forrester, Beetle and Rogue. Other people take that task into their own hands. Like artist and designer Hilary Demko of Lakewood, Ohio who named her new Scion xA “The Nugget” because it’s “compact, stocky and feels like a chicken nugget on wheels.” But if you’re not the most creative type, let us help you out.

“Anything – a pet name, a cartoon character, a movie character, a book title. Really the name can stem from anything you like – even a fruit or a vegetable.”

      ~ A representative from national car-sharing service and renowned car-naming company, ZipCar

The internet is great when it comes to naming things from your kid to your start-up company. ‘Name Your Car’ quizzes are plenty and generally come with just a few select questions like “what animal would you associate your car with?” and “if your car had a customized beep, what would it sound like?” Choose from the multiple-choice answers and voila, you’ve got a name!

If you’d rather take a more creative approach, take into account raw data – is it big, is it small, is it bulky, is it bright? What makes it unique from other cars? Gathering a list of adjectives on paper can help narrow down a personality for your ride.

ZipCar taps both its employees and customers for suggestions in naming their fleet of vehicles. (Yes, they name every last one.) Some crowd favorites include the Honda CRV Caliente, Audi A3 Jazzhands, MINI MeowMeow, Focus Flapjack, and the Prius Platypus.

“It’s very common we get names that match the model of the vehicle, for example the Volkswagen Golf names often starts with a G, the Honda Fit names start with an F, etc.,” said the ZipCar rep.

If you’re feeling inspired, there’s no better time to start naming your new ride than now. So start brainstorming! And don’t forget to use #nameyourcarday so we can appreciate all your excellent names, all at once.

Happy naming!