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The Psychology of Personalised License Plates

A driver’s car is his prized possession. Whether you own a new car or a used car, you tend to love the car that you drive as though it were a member of your own family, and in many cases it feels as though it is!

New cars or used cars, drivers love them and tend to spend lavish amounts of money on them whenever they can. That could be in the form of valeting, servicing, accessorising, performance enhancing or sometimes, when the worst happens, repair work.

One of the most popular forms of expenditure on new cars and used cars alike is personalised number plates. Personalised number plates used to be very expensive and were the exclusive domain of rock stars and royalty, but now the prices have come down, personalised number plates can be bought by anyone, and sported by any types of cars. You no longer see personalised number plates on just new cars such as Ferraris or Limos; you can now see personalised number plates on Fords and Nissans.

Psychological studies suggest that personalised number plates, rear window stickers and furry dice adorning cars indicate an aggressive driver who may be prone to road rage. The more accessories drivers had on their cars, as well as the level of attachment to the vehicle were significant predictors of aggressive driving.

Several UK based car clubs have disputed the claims by this study conducted by the Colorado State University, where mothers adorning “baby on board” signs say they simply do so to warn other drivers to practice caution and avoid silly accidents. This may indicate that the type of personalisation may signify different personality types.

What do you think of personalisation? Are you a personalised car junkie or do you prefer to keep your car accessory free? Leave your comments for discussion!

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