Their headlights look like eyes; their grills, teeth; and they very often have their own temperament and personality—so it’s only natural that there’s a long history of naming our vehicles. From Herbie the Love Bug, to the inimitable Batmobile, good car names can really transform a piece of metal into part of the family.
But how should you go about choosing the right moniker? What are the best funny car names? And have you thought about the fundamentals, like how it might be shortened (with or without your blessing)? There’s lots to consider, and it’s an assignment we’ve taken pretty seriously.
What should I name my car?
There are a number of ways you can go about finding the best name for your car. If you’re lacking in inspiration, we’ve got a whole range of ways you can jumpstart your ideas.
One way of choosing the best name for your car is to associate it with how the car behaves. In Biblical times, names were given based very much upon their meanings—and even today, it’s common to look up the connotations of potential names.
Spend time in any vehicle, and you will get to know its quirks and personality. It might have ideas above its station, or an inferiority complex. It may be flashy and showy, or shy and reserved. Input descriptors into a baby name generator and you could end up with a gem that’s perfectly fitting for your car.
There’s no harm in irony either. Look for direct contradictions to get the full funny name effect. For instance, The Beast could work equally well for a huge 4×4, or a tiny little runaround.
Go full human
Call a pet by a distinctly human name, use it ever so casually in public, and enjoy the reaction of everyone in the vicinity. The same holds true for vehicles. And, just as temperament can determine a name, a name can also help to suggest a personality.
Dogs with human names will never not be hilarious. Dog on the tube this morning barked and its owner looked down at him and said GRAHAM in the most disappointed tone and frankly my day has peaked.
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) December 4, 2018
For maximum entertainment, we recommend opting for either a traditionally middle class name, or one that’s extremely popular nowadays. Experiment adding in middle names or giving your car a surname to increase your chances of choosing a unique epithet.
Boy car name suggestions
Girl car name suggestions
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Celebrities can often epitomise a certain characteristic in our minds. You’ll usually find a funny car name by looking at the features of your car, and christening it a name that either fits well, or is a direct contradiction. Here are some celebrity car name ideas:
➔ Aretha if your engine sings sweetly or is prone to making concerning noises (which, yeah, you should probably get checked out)
➔ Anna Wintour for a car that’s stylish and put together or a run-down old banger
➔ Jackie Chan if your vehicle has the moves that count or suffers sluggish acceleration and an ungainly turning circle
Fictional characters are also strong contenders for car name ideas. They make for great conversation starters too.
Number plate inspiration
If you’ve ever played the number plate game, you’ll know that you can come up with a name for almost any car based on the letters, and sometimes numbers, used on its licence plate. Look at what the number plate spells out—and remember, it doesn’t have to be a conventional name, or even a real word. If it doesn’t initially seem like your number plate will generate a good car name, you can add or remove letters to make a viable word. Alternatively, think of a name that begins with the first letter of the number plate, or rhymes with a word you can decipher.
One example from our office comes from Sam, whose family Micra was an old banger with a number plate ending in ‘NFA’. This little car became affectionately known as Naffa because, well, it was a bit naff!
Some people go down the colour route when thinking of the best car names. Red Rover or Silver Arrow might fit your vehicle well, but be aware that many others will have thought of the same thing. Not that that’s necessarily an issue—there’s camaraderie in connecting with others of the same name; why shouldn’t the same be true for cars?
But if a commonplace name does put you off, you don’t have to abandon the use of colour. Just think about how you can combine it in a less obvious way. For instance, you could always name a red car Burgundy Betty, or a black car Jetter the Go-Getter.
Look at the car’s make or model, and think of a word that rhymes. For instance, you could go for Maud the Ford, or Horace the Morris. This one’s only going to work for some vehicles, but get creative and you come up with a name that’s the envy of the neighbourhood.
What are YOUR best names for cars?
We asked PMF followers (*insert plug for Instagram*…but no, seriously, it’s where you’ll find all our latest discounts and driving tips) whether you have named—or would want to name—your car. A mighty 70% you said that you did! Then we asked for your best car names; here’s a selection of some of our favourites:
➔ Knight Rider
➔ Micra Malone
Pedro the Peugeot, Gwendolyn the Golf or Arabella the Audi?
Marmalade has a great range of first car options, which include FREE Black box insurance, with car and insurance packages available from the age of 17!
We’d love to hear what you’ve named, or would like to name, your car. Have we inspired you in any way? Drop your best ideas in the comments below.