What Your Character’s Wheels Say About How He Rolls

I read an article the other day that stated that you can tell a lot about a woman’s personality based on her shoes.

I think that’s probably true. But I believe the same is true about a vehicle.

I drive a car similar to this one.

Toyota Highlander

I love my small SUV. I’ve got kids, so it’s big enough to hold us and all our stuff. And I will not drive a mini-van. I will not.

You can tell a lot about a character in a book based on what kind of vehicle they drive.

When I write, I take a little bit of time to consider my character’s method of transportation, because it needs to fit with his or her personality.

It’s an important part of character development. If you write your character with well defined traits, you can throw off your reader if you don’t have those traits match the physical things in your character’s world.

For example, my highfaluting snob of a business exec isn’t going to drive a 4-wheel drive pick-up with mud flaps.

Here are some vehicles with personalities to match for your consideration.

The Audi TT Coupe. For the spy in your life. He’s mysterious with a need for speed.




The Ford F-150. For the rugged outdoorsman. Cowboy-esque.







The Subaru Outback. For the granola-loving hiker who tends to see overabundance everywhere.





The Toyota Prius. For the up-and-coming businessman who’s also an environmentalist.





The Jaguar XJ. For the CEO, lawyer, or wanna be.








What about the ladies?

The Chrysler Town and Country. It screams Soccer Mom.





The Honda Accord. For the practical young woman who still wants to remain stylish.





ย  The Honda CRV. A small SUV that says “I don’t need a man, but if I find one, there’s room for kids.”






Share with me: Two questions for you today. 1. Pick a recent manuscript. What do your hero and heroine drive, and what do the vehicles you’ve chosen for them say about their personalities? 2. What do YOU drive and what does it say about you?


Filed under Writing

17 responses to “What Your Character’s Wheels Say About How He Rolls

  1. Is it weird that I love picking out a car for my MCs?

    Love your pics and your descrips (I’m such a poet)

  2. I guess what my car says about me is that I’m cheap. Ha. Because I definitely still drive my 1996 Ford Contour that I got my senior year in high school (and it was like 5 years old at the time). Ye-ah.

    And I so know the feeling about the mini van…but they do seem convenient. And they’re so much cheaper, especially when you have a husband who wants to pay out of pocket for vehicles. So yep, that’s probably what I’ll drive when we have kids.

    Don’t judge. ;P

  3. This is so funny b/c I just kept going back and forth about the car one of my secondary characters should drive. It drove me batty and I found it comical I cared so much.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Gabrielle Meyer

    Ah, the beauty of a historical novel is there were far fewer options to choose from! Carriage, wagon or saddle? ๐Ÿ™‚ I drive a Toyota Sienna mini-van. Yes, I know. We have four kiddos and the space is unbeatable. My husband keeps looking at SUV’s and maybe we’ll venture that way someday, but for now I drive my my mini-van. Here’s a little trivia for you that I learned in an anthropology class in college. Wisconsin and Minnesota have more mini-vans per capita than any other states. You should see the parking lot of our church on a MOPS Tuesday – it’s comical how many mini-vans pile into one space. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. My hero drives a rental car, and my heroine drives a very practical sedan – mostly because she’s broke, partly because she doesn’t care about that sort of thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hannah Joy

    Oh fun! I don’t drive yet, so I don’t have a car. But as for my characters, while they live in a setting where cars haven’t been invented, I still like to choose what they would drive, should they live in my time, here.

    So as for my most recent WIP, my hero is Marcus, who is 16, adventurous, and ambitious. He would probably drive an old pickup handed down from his parents, simply because he wouldn’t care all that much what he drives, as long as it gets him places.

    And as for the heroine…or, at least, female character, Eva is only 14 but since we’re pretending she’s in this world at this time, let’s pretend she can drive too. She is a very bookish person, in love with the idea of adventure, but also on the stay-safe side. She would probably drive an old Volkswagon beetle. Blue.

    Anyway, fun topic! Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Carmen

    I recently had a chance to trade my minivan in and get what I had assumedto be an suv….I said I would never drive a minivan in the first place and was definitely going to lose the stigma next go around. Afterall elastic waisted jeans are probably more comfortable, but the doesn’t mean I have chosen to wear them, right? Practicality has limits but considering I steadily have 4 kids, but if not, I have 6- the gas guzzling Sequoia I dreamed of and was an option my husband said “sure, whatever you pick, you’re driving it. Not me.” Later that day, I realized my SUV prowl all of a sudden became all about a stigma and wasn’t going to be practical to put on the road almost every weekend as we do or slide seats around like a rubiccube to fit that extra passenger in, also the small trunk but tons of room for 9 foot passengers wasn’t a good trade off. So, beyond belief and no interference from my husband I CHOSE another van, but I was adamant about shaking off the frumpiness…so I am rocking it with a sunroof and “spoiler”… Lol. I am quick to volunteer, help others and enjoy my kids and I never take myself too seriously, that’s what my car says about me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carmen

      And yes, ^ that paragraph is all chopped up, grammar errors, plus…a pet peeve of mine, but fairly decent considering I have 6 kids in the same room as me at the moment asking for snacks, blaring the new JB CD we got today, and a little argument over a playhouse figurine. Gotta love it and I do. Having said that, when I hit my 40s I will absolutely have a 2 seater convertible. ๐Ÿ™‚ enjoying every moment to it’s max!

  8. This post is hysterical. I drive a Subaru Outback….which is called the lesbian limo, apparently. Clearly doesn’t fit me, but I love the functionality of the car. Way important. My fav car was my 929, and it was this luxury car, fully loaded, which I got used for $5k. I felt like a rock star in that car. Of course, one thing goes wrong with it, and you’re on the street b/c it’s so expensive to fix. Had to sell it. Tsk.

    • I can’t believe you drive an Outback, you granola-lover, you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hilarious. I had no idea it was a lesbian limo. Guess I should have added that to the description. ๐Ÿ™‚

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