The evening seemed to go so well. But after dropping that date off in your car, why the ghosting? You might be ready for some Summer Loving, but could it be that your car, or your driving, is keeping you single?
National Tyres and Autocare surveyed 1000 customers about the biggest turn-offs when it comes to motorists recently. While it confirms the obvious (like messy cars, bad driving and taking your date out in a van are likely to ruin your prospects at best, and elicit restraining orders at worse) there are some surprises too, such as EVs being a buzz-killer.
EVs will short-circuit your courtship
You might think it's a cliche, but turn up in a potent petrol engine to really get things revved up. Over 41% of those surveyed admitted as such, while only 29.7% found drivers of fully electric cars attractive. Unsurprisingly hybrids drivers were even less loved. If that leaves your battery a little flat, stay clear of electric dreams, at least to start with.
Man with a Van's going to be Lonely Tonight
The worst possible vehicle to pick up a date in, is a van. This was agreed upon pretty much unanimously by 46% of respondents. If it has to be van, we'd recommend a 1970s model with airbrushed paintwork, and an interior lined with velour, deep shag pile carpet and fitted with Disco lights.
Even MPVs or people carriers didn't fare as bad with only about 24% saying it was a turn-off, the rest clearly recognising them as a symbol of virility.
Two-seaters obviously do better, almost as good as out-and-out sports cars (only 10% were put off by those), while at the top of the attractiveness automotive chain sits the convertible. Clearly going topless, has its appeal.
Say 'Audi Partner' with four-rings and a wedding maybe?
So far, we know that you need a petrol-powered two-seat convertible to win a date on first motoring impressions, but which make should it be? The survey asked their lonely heart survey respondents to pick between four executive brands: Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Tesla.
In the 1990s, you couldn't lose if you turned up in a BMW 3 Series cabriolet, but sadly BMW is missing the mark now when it comes to the 'ultimate date machine' and is relegated to fourth position with just 18.3%.
Tesla just makes it onto the podium in third place and 20.6%, which is actually surprising because it's an electric car, and also unsurprising because... well it's an electric car. Plus, it doesn't have a two-seater convertible until, that is, the new Tesla Roadster comes out next year.
While a Tesla will get you to first base, a Mercedes should get you to Lovers Lane at 29.6%. Which wouldn't be surprising if you rocked up in the stonking Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster.
However, to be invited back for a nightcap, you need an Audi as it streaks ahead of the Mercedes with 31.5%. We'd recommend the Audi R8 Spyder roofless supercar while you can still get one (it's being discontinued next year). You can always pretend you are Tony 'Iron Man' Stark - and tell your date you're a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Alternatively, there's the Audi TT Roadster.
More Marques we're Wild About
Not content with the responses from the survey, the authors of the report decided to trawl through Twitter and look at the most mentioned car brands, and which received the greatest affection over the last 12 months. To do this, they employed the scientific method of searching for 'Heart' emojis and keywords such as 'love' and 'sexy'.
While Tesla won out this time with the highest number of mentions, it was Ford at number two that was smothered with love-hearts and loving hashtags. Combining that with the earlier findings, it must be concluded that the hottest date car is probably the Ford Mustang, ideally as a convertible.
Strangely, while BMW didn't generate the amorous advances we expected in the executive car shootout, it's third here with the most number of 'gorgeous' mentions ahead of Jaguar and Porsche. Meanwhile if you've forked out over £2.5m on a Bugatti Chiron, hoping it's the four-wheeled elixir of love, turns out Cupid couldn't care less, as it's last on the list.
Keep it Clean!
But what about the car itself, what are its least attractive features? A dirty interior is a big turn-off (nearly 45% said so) so make sure you give the dash a wipe, remove left-over fast-food and stick an air-freshener in it.
On the other hand, an unclean exterior didn't seem to bother most people (only 5.8% found it objectionable). Only a personalised number plate was less objectionable, despite its obvious connotations suggesting the owner is narcissistic, vain and too self-absorbed to love anyone else.
Understandably 12.2% were put off by damage to the car, while a modified car, outside the world of the Fast & Furious movies, was put-off for over a fifth of people at 21.9%. Somewhat harshly, if a car had its own Instagram account, that also put off 10.5% of would-be admirers.
Don't Pressurise Anyone
Nobody likes a bully. And in motoring terms, that's what tailgaters are. A whopping 45.8% were put off by those driving too close to the car in front - essentially those drivers that try to intimidate cars in front into getting out of the way by hanging inches off their victims' rear bumpers. Ceaseless pursuit is clearly not an appealing trait in a lover. Well hey, we all need our space right?
On the other hand, driving too slow remains a turn-off for 15.4%, while only 14% were put-off by those breaking the speed limit. Which puts us in a quandary, as we really want you to find true love, honestly we do, but we can never condone exceeding the legal limit. Perhaps a track day might not be such a bad date after all?
Other driving dislikes include not indicating before turning or changing lanes (at just over 17%) - so no shocks and surprises along the way. And tooting too soon and too often with your horn is at 7.7%. Make of that what you will.
How to Win at Vroomance
To conclude then, it seems the ideal date drive is a two-seater petrol-engined convertible from a German brand, that's clean, driven sensibly but not too slowly, and stays off social media. Good luck!