Quirky Cars.com Survey Gauges How Much Americans Love Their Vehicles

Maybe it’s a testament to how much we love our vehicles, or maybe it’s a proclamation of how much we dislike the dentist: a new survey conducted by Cars.com has found that 63 percent of respondents – or nearly two-thirds – admit they bring their vehicles for service more often than they go to the dentist. Somewhat disturbingly for human health, more than half of respondents (57 percent) indicated that they service their vehicle more than they see a doctor. The same percentage (57 percent) said they would rather take their car to the car wash than get themselves a haircut.

Overall, 73 percent of Americans say that they “love their vehicles a lot.”

“Our survey supports what we already know: for many people, our cars are an extension of ourselves, and sometimes that means they get the majority of our attention and affection,” said Matt Schmitz, assistant managing editor of Cars.com.

The affection, it seems, is somewhat regional. Residents of Los Angeles indicated that they love their cars the most (76 percent) and have the most pride in their vehicles compared to residents in other cities. They are most likely (46 percent) to wash their vehicles more often than they water their plants, and more than half (56 percent) get their vehicle serviced more often than they go to the doctor.

In Boston, it would appear, the love is the least. (Perhaps it’s those long winters of fighting to dig out parking spaces on the street). Bostonians show less love for their vehicles (64 percent) compared to the average American. Compared to people in other cities, Boston residents have the least amount of pride in their vehicles and would rather beautify themselves at the barber or hairdresser than beautify their car.

Other (even more) quirky results from the survey include:

St. Louis is more tolerant of “kid mess.” Of all cities surveyed, St. Louis residents are the most willing to allow children in the car and fast food being consumed in the back seat.

San Franciscans like a clean ride. Residents of that city are least likely to put up with passengers eating fast food or drinking coffee or soda in their car, and they are some of the most likely (28 percent) to keep their vehicle’s floor mats cleaner than their kitchen floors.

Cleveland understands preventing heath. Cleveland residents they are most likely to go to the doctor more often than they service their vehicles.

Atlanta feels overprotective. Atlanta drivers are extra-protective of their vehicles and won’t allow their car to be parked on the street or used for moving. They are also the least willing to put up with smelly athletic gear being brought into their vehicle. (One wonders how they feel about smelly people.)