Getting the ‘ick’ is quickly becoming the modern term for being turned off; that feeling when an attraction to a current or potential partner quickly switches to a feeling of disgust – often as the result of a specific behaviour.
There are many things that can give you the ick – and once you’ve got the ick any blossoming (or established) relationship is likely to be doomed. The tiniest thing, from someone using certain emojis, to the way they chew their food can turn you off a partner – but when it comes to driving, what are the biggest icks?
We wanted to find out, so we’ve surveyed over 2,000 people to reveal the biggest driving icks and the things that are actually turn-ons – from driving behaviours such as road rage or speeding, to even owning certain colours or brands of vehicles.
The 25 biggest driving icks in 2022
Careless driving is clearly the biggest turn off, with the top four worst driving icks relating to being unsafe on the roads. Almost half (45%) said that driving after any consumption of alcohol would give them the ick, while 42% said that dangerous driving would turn them off. Over a third (38%) said that both using their phone while driving and driving without a license would give them the ick and posting selfies on social media while driving (35%) rounded off the top five biggest driving icks.
While some drivers may be tempted to show off behind the wheel to get the attention of their crush, showing off behaviours including kissing their car goodnight (33%) and revving their engine at traffic lights or when stationary (29%) ranked in the top ten driving icks. Several of the top-ranking driving icks also related to aggressiveness towards other motorists on the roads, with almost a third stating that exhibiting road rage would give them the ick (32%) while almost 1 in 4 stated that beeping other drivers (24%) would actively put them off a potential partner.
And if you’re into injecting some of your own personality into your vehicle, then you might want to think again. Over 1 in 5 (22%) surveyed shared that drivers who buy personalised accessories for their cars gave them the ick, while wearing car brand merchandise turned off 18% of motorists. Unsurprisingly, owning an unclean car is also a sure-fire way to give some the ick, ranking as one of the top 25 worst motoring icks.
|Rank||Driving ick||% of people who would get the ick|
|1||Driving after drinking any alcohol||45%|
|3||Using their phone while driving||38%|
|4||Driving without a licence or while banned from driving||38%|
|5||Posting selfies on social media while driving||35%|
|6||Kissing their car goodnight||33%|
|7||Smoking or vaping while driving||32%|
|8||Exhibiting road rage to other drivers||32%|
|9||Parking on double yellow lines/no park areas, or unwarranted use of disabled and parent & child bays||31%|
|10||Revving their engine at traffic lights or when stationary||29%|
|12||Driving in bus or emergency lanes||28%|
|13||Driving a car with a loud engine or exhaust||26%|
|14||Beeping other drivers||24%|
|15||Posting images of their dashboard or steering wheel view on social media||24%|
|16||Owning an unclean car||23%|
|17||Poor clutch control||23%|
|18||Hogging a lane on the motorway||23%|
|19||Sharp braking at speed cameras||22%|
|20||Purchasing personalised accessories for their car||22%|
|21||Poor use of indicators||21%|
|22||Owning a modified car||20%|
|23||Driving while warning lights are flashing||20%|
|24||Eating while driving||19%|
|25||Playing loud music||18%|
|25||Wearing car brand merchandise||18%|
The 25 biggest driving turn-ons of 2022
Our research revealed that politeness can be a big turn-on in everyday life as well as on the roads, it turns out. Over 1 in 10 (15%) said that flashing their headlights to say thank you to other drivers was a definite turn-on.
For some, the brand of car a potential partner owns could make them seem more attractive, with 11% considering an electric car a turn-on and 8% regarding automatic car owners as more desirable than manual drivers.
Other driving quirks including singing while driving (11%) and driving with one hand resting on the passenger’s lap (9%) were all also deemed as some of the biggest driving turn-ons in 2022.
|Rank||Driving turn-ons||% of people who consider it a turn-on|
|1||Flashing their headlights to say thank you||15%|
|2||Owning an electric car||11%|
|3||Singing while driving||11%|
|4||Driving exactly at the speed limit||10%|
|5||Driving while resting one hand on the passenger’s lap||9%|
|6||Cleaning their car everyday||9%|
|7||Driving with both hands constantly on the steering wheel||9%|
|8||Placing a hand on your passenger headrest to turn around and look out of the rear window while reversing||8%|
|9||Overtaking slower drivers||8%|
|10||Owning an automatic car||8%|
|11||Owning a personalised numberplate||7%|
|12||Putting a cover over their car when not in use to protect it||7%|
|13||Playing loud music||7%|
|14||Driving with only one hand controlling the steering wheel||6%|
|15||Having their car windows rolled down instead of using the car’s air-conditioning when it’s hot||6%|
|16||Driving with one arm rested on an open driver’s-side window||6%|
|17||Owning a modified car||6%|
|25||Wearing car brand merchandise||5%|
|25||Exhibiting road rage to other drivers||5%|
|25||Purchasing personalised accessories for their car||5%|
|25||Smoking or vaping while driving||5%|
|25||Referring to their car by a name they have given it||5%|
|25||Refusing to use satnav and instead following their ‘intuition’||5%|
|25||Kissing their car goodnight||5%|
|25||Not flashing their headlights to say thank you||5%|
The 10 car brands which give people the ick
Our previous research revealed that it was BMW drivers who are most likely to show psychopathic traits when compared to drivers of other brands – and perhaps this is part of the reason why 8% said that drivers owning ‘beamers’ would give them the ick. Fiat drivers, Skoda drivers and Smart drivers were all also regarded by other motorists as “icky” with 7% saying each of the car brands would turn them off.
|Rank||Car brand||% of people who would get the ick|
The 10 car brands which turn people on
When it comes to the brands which could help seal the deal with a prospective partner, it was the German-owned luxury vehicle brand Mercedes Benz which topped the rankings, with 14% regarding the car brand as a big turn-on. Supercar brands including Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti all also ranked as some of the most desirable vehicle types, while BMW reclaimed some dignity, with 13% finding the brand a turn on, rather than a turn off.
|Rank||Car brand||% of people who would consider it a turn-on|
The car colours that turn us off (and on)
So, we’ve established that the brand of your car, and the things you do while driving your car could all make or break a relationship, but we also wanted to find out if the colour of our vehicles could have the potential to give prospective lovers the ick. Despite the emerging ‘Barbiecore’ trend, pink is the colour of vehicle which would turn most of us off, while more than 1 in 10 said that colours including orange, yellow and brown would give them the ick.
|Rank||Colour||% of people who would get the ick|
More neutral colours were revealed to be a big turn-on, with 19% of people saying a black vehicle would turn them on, while 12% said white was the most desirable car colour. Silver, red and blue vehicles all also ranked in the top five most attractive car colours.
|Rank||Colour||% of people who would consider it a turn-on|
Written in the stars?
With some people using their birth charts or astrological star signs to help them find their perfect match, we also dived into the data to reveal what gets the pulses of different star signs racing.
Once again, BMW was the least popular car brand amongst several star signs, including Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer. Despite this, owning a beamer could work in your favour if you’re dating a Capricorn – with BMWs being the most attractive brand for those born between December 21st and January 20th.
Tauruses, Leos, Libras and Scorpios all follow suit with the Mercedes-Benz turning them on the most, while Cancerians were revealed to have more of an expensive penchant for a Porsche, and Piceseans prefer their love interests riding around in an Audi.
Scrap Car Comparison partnered with Censuswide to survey 2,000 UK residents. Each driver was asked a series of questions, including which behaviours and brands they find gives them the ‘ick’ or turns them on the most.
Survey conducted in July 2022.