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How many times have you driven up to pick up your date, only to have her wide smile sink to a grimace once she caught a glimpse of your car? Once is more than enough to convince you your auto may need an overhaul–or you may need a new vehicle altogether. Before you run out to buy the flashiest car on the lot, check out six things your car says about you to women so you can make a more informed choice on the impression you’re going to leave in the dust.

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The exterior. A junky, banged-up car means you drive like a jerk, are too broke to get your jerk-caused fender benders fixed and probably have an equally damaged mind. An automobile that is too pristine, especially if you’re prone to blow a gasket if someone accidentally leans on your hood, makes you an anal-retentive boob. Go somewhere in the middle for best results, with a car that has no dings but one it’s OK to sit on.

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The interior. Cushy fabrics rate you high on the list with the ladies and you get extra credit for spaciousness. A woman does need a place to put all her shopping bags after she borrows your car, after all. She won’t care much about the doodads, like the rearview mirror that comes with a sports score readout, but she will note if the interior is clean. Fast-food wrappers and beer cans strewn about will probably mean you’re driving home without a female passenger.

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Size. If you pull up in a monster truck, expect ladies to pull away. Unnecessarily large vehicles scream of an equally large ego. And with good reason. How important do you honestly think you are if you have to drive around town at 35 mph in a Hummer, for goodness sake?

 

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Color. A black car is always cool, as long as you keep it clean. A white car means you either grew up in California or inherited the car from your grandpa. A boring, royal blue speaks of another inherited vehicle, probably from a soccer mom. If your car is bright yellow or pink, you better have a fast, ten-second car, because a pink station wagon means you’ll be getting zero dates.

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The amenities. Just like your exterior should be dent-free and your interior should be clean, your car’s amenities should be working. No air conditioner can mean no date while a killer stereo that only whispers out of half a speaker illustrates your all show at face value but have no substance beneath the surface. Women still won’t care about all the latest, high-tech doodads but if you have them, they better be functional.

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Other. A few other car features can be both a benefit and a detriment when it comes to a woman’s interpretation. A stick shift, for instance, shows you like to be in control–but it also means those women who cannot drive a stick may not be interested since they cannot borrow your car for her shopping sprees. Although bumper stickers can be funny and a great way to start a conversation, make sure they are not faded, peeling off and ratty looking. And steer clear from those naked-women mud flaps. No gal would be caught dead with you driving around with those things on.