One of the stereotypical tell-tale signs of a midlife crisis is the purchase of a sports car, especially a convertible.
But which models do people think are the ultimate giveaway that someone is trying to mask their real age with a flash car?
A new study set out to find the answer by asking 2,000 motorists.
The result is a list of the top 20 midlife crisis motors – and it’s bad news if you’re aged 40 to 60 and own a Porsche.
Does the car you drive scream midlife crisis? Motorists have revealed which 20 models are most commonly associated with going through a midlife episode. Do you drive one?
The poll found that a third (32 per cent) of Britons know someone over the age of 50 who has purchased a sporty little number in a desperate bid to recapture their youth.
While some will argue this is the prime time to splash out on a luxury car – especially for those heading into retirement having paid off their mortgage, their children flown the nest and their pension pot robust – there are still some models that standout more than others when people think of four-wheeled midlife crisis purchases.
Motorists were asked to name the cars they most commonly associate with someone who has bought a racy motor to make them feel young again, and it’s the Porsche 911 that came out on top.
The German sports car maker’s flagship model – which dates back 60 years – is the one the panel said they most commonly believe to be driven by someone going through a midlife crisis.
Some 39 per cent of the licence holders who took part in the poll said this is the model that screams midlife crisis more than any other.
The Porsche 911 is the car people most associate with having a mid-life crisis, a GoShorty poll has revealed
The Porsche Boxster came second in the list of midlife crisis cars. Over a third of drivers polled said they think it’s a motor driven by someone going through such an episode
It is followed in the list by the cheaper alternative to the 911 – the Boxster, which is the midlife crisis motor for those with tighter budgets.
Over a third (34 per cent) said this is a car people in and around their fifties are likely to purchase to make them feel – and look – younger.
Available across four generations spanning back to the mid-1990s, there a Boxsters up for grabs for under £5,000 today, which is one of the reasons for why it is among the most popular two-seat roadster purchases among those entering their middle years and older.
A quarter (26%) of the panel said the Aston Martin Vantage is a car bought for a midlife crisis
In fourth place in the ranking of midlife crisis cars is the Jaguar F-Type, named by 23% of voters
The Audi TT, which went out of production last year, is another sports cars often associated with ageing drivers going through a midlife crisis
Ford’s Mustang muscle car has been named in the list. Some 21% of people surveyed said they would associate with a driver going through a midlife crisis
Also making the list is the Aston Martin Vantage, with a quarter (26 per cent) of the panel pointing it out as a midlife crisis model, likely for deeper-pocketed drivers channelling their inner James Bond.
It was followed by the Jaguar F-Type (23 per cent), Audi TT (22 per cent) and Ford Mustang (21 per cent).
Other motors listed among the top 10 are the BMW Z4 (20 per cent), Mercedes SL (17 per cent), Audi R8 (16 per cent) and Alfa Romeo Spider (14 per cent).
Almost making the top 10 list of midlife crisis cars is BMW’s two-seat roadster, the Z4
Some 17% of voters said the Mercedes SL is a car they believe is a firm favourite among older drivers trying to recapture their youth
Only deep pocketed drivers aged 40 to 60 can afford to splash out of Audi’s R8 supercar
The Alfa Romeo spider is among the more affordable roadsters people think drivers buy because they are having a midlife crisis
When it comes to the reasons why Britons dream of a flash motor in later life, half (52 per cent) believe it’s to make them feel young again, while a quarter (26 per cent) think it’s to appear more attractive to potential partners.
The poll also found that almost two in five (38 per cent) believe owning one of these sporty cars gives the impression of having achieved something in life.
The study, carried out on behalf of short-term motor insurer GoShorty, found that men are far more likely to throw caution to the wind and buy a sports car when they approach their fifties.
Almost a third (73 per cent) said they would, compared to just one in twenty (5 per cent) women surveyed.
British sports car firm Lotus also appeared in the list of midlife crisis cars. Some 14% of the survey panel named the Evora
Chevrolet’s Corvette sports car is another model Britons often associate with older owners enduring a midlife crisis
While not a sports car, the Range Rover Evoque can be purchased as a cabriolet. This might be one reason why it made the top 20 of midlife crisis cars
Subaru’s BRZ is the sister car to Toyota’s GT86. One in 10 taking part in the poll said they think they are often owned by someone going through a midlife crisis
Another American muscle car to make the list of common midlife crisis cars is Dodge’s Challenger
Andy Moody, founder of GoShorty said: ‘Our report showed men over 50 seem to be sticking to the stereotype, with a desire to put flash ahead of sensible cash.
‘It’s a case of Instagram versus reality, but in real life, with cars being chosen for their appeal rather than functionality.’
However, there is also an argument that not only do people first reach the stage they can afford one of the 20 cars in this list, a clean driving licence and history means this is also the time when insurance premiums for these vehicles start to become affordable.
Some 9% of people said the Land Rover Defender is a midlife crisis motor
One we thought would be higher in the list of midlife crisis cars is the MX-5. The roadster is affordable and offers a great drive
Only two hot hatchback made the top 20 of midlife crisis cars. One of them is the most iconic of all – the VW Golf GTI
Toyota’s performance sports car, the Supra, was also voted among the list of midlife crisis cars
Rounding out the top 20 of midlife crisis cars is Ford’s Focus RS hot hatchback
The data also revealed that 68 per cent of those polled felt as a society we’re too quick to judge someone who splashed out on a midlife crisis car, while 30 per cent admit they are secretly impressed by people who own luxury motors.
A similar number (32 per cent) feel having an expensive vehicle would make them happier when they get older.
And almost half (44 per cent) think the concept of someone buying a sports car due to a midlife crisis is a British stereotype, insisting that other nationalities are less critical of people who buy one later in life.
In contrast, over 94 per cent said they wouldn’t judge someone for buying the car of their dreams.
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