Date Night - Does Your Car Count?

A new poll says that your wheels can make (or break) a first impression. And no, this doesn’t mean you need to buy a Porsche—read on for the scoop.

By Matt Schneiderman

ver pick up your date in some clunky hand-me-down station wagon and wonder if your wheels didn’t put a damper on the evening? Well, according to a survey of 400 singles by Ford, an overwhelming majority of us (89 percent of men and 95 percent of women) do notice their date's car. And it’s not just the make and model. The poll also determined that 47 percent of men and 69 percent of women think the condition of
47 percent of men and 69 percent of women think the condition of their date's vehicle impacts whether or not they’re attracted to its owner.
their date's vehicle impacts whether they’re attracted to its owner.

“I don't think it has to be a particularly nice car. Just a well-maintained car,” points out Jane magazine’s car editor Annemarie Conte. “If he treats it well, I think a woman subconsciously believes he will treat her well, too.” So trash the fast-food wrappers and empty Starbucks cups, and shake the dirt out of the floor mats! It’ll send all the right signals.

One other interesting fact from the poll to note: Those surveyed said that the most embarrassing thing that happens in their car on a date involved their driving skills being critiqued. So if your date drives a little fast, slow, or herky-jerky for your tastes, it’s best to avoid snarky comments like, “You know, the speed limit around here is 55 MPH, in case you and your lead foot hadn’t noticed.” A more polite way to go? “I think the speed limit here is 55 MPH; can we slow down a little?” or another matter-of-fact comment will get results without making your date feel like the butt of a joke.

Matt Schneiderman has served as car editor for Stuff, Cargo, and Sync. He is an extremely cautious driver.
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