Different countries around the world and their varying car cultures

Mar 6, 2023 | News


Nic Carnell

They say that life is a highway, and who doesn’t love the open road? Whether you’re turning to the tarmac in your rusty reliable or speeding with style in a sparkling new model, cars – quite literally – get the world from A to B.

Even if you don’t treat your vehicle with the tender loving car it deserves, it’s fair to say that our cars are an extension of ourselves – from picking its colour and choosing a scent, to moving in on a particular model. Across the globe, there is no single car culture, which begs the question – how does car culture diversify in different countries?

From Japan to Brazil, if you’re auto-ly obsessed with all things motor and want to learn more about some of the most exciting car cultures across the globe, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Flipit, we’ve put our foot on the pedal and taken a deep dive into some of the most interesting car cultures around the world…

Car Culture in the UK

Who says the UK is only good for a decent serving of fish and chips or a movie-moment ride in an iconic black cab? From the cinematically sleek sports cars driven by James Bond to the speedy scenes of the much-loved television show Top Gear, car culture has grown to become a staple part of British history.

There’s nothing quite like the nostalgic silhouette of an iconic British car and when it comes to British car brands, there are many renowned designs that are now considered classics. From the revolutionary Mini Cooper and Morris Minor to the MGB Roadster – these distinguished models offer a great driving experience and hold a high reputation all over the world.

However, it’s not British-made vehicles that are always the most popular amongst drivers in the UK. According to Top Gear, the practical and spacious Nissan Qashqai was the most in-demand car brand last year. Equip with all the latest gadgets and set at a competitive price, it’s no surprise that the Nissan Qashqai has taken the UK car market by storm. Clearly, it’s a no-brainer.

As for the most popular car colour, you may be surprised. Far from the union jack colours of post-box red, bright blue and white, the most popular car colour in the UK is grey, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

From bustling dual carriageways to ring roads and roundabouts, we’re lucky to have a wide variety of accessible motorways in the UK. Nevertheless, as a country that takes pride in its agriculture and scenic escapes, it’s no wonder that some of the country roads can be difficult to navigate.

In remote areas, such as the sheep-filled mountains in Wales or across the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, you’re likely to come across single-track roads with rocky, or uneven terrains. Land Rovers at the ready!

Did you know…?

With a hefty 103 wins under his belt, British F1 icon, Sir Lewis Hamilton, is the best Formula 1 driver to ever get behind the wheel and is the most successful competitor in recent history.

Car Culture in Greece

Did somebody say OPA!? When you think of Greece, images of whitewashed blue hill houses, tzatziki-filled gyros and Grecian temples tend to come to mind – complete with the Mamma Mia soundtrack, naturally. But what about its driving culture?

With many a winding road and an abundance of rural areas, speeding is very common in Greece – and drivers are often in an (unexplained) hurry. In fact, the first-ever handbuilt passenger car manufactured in Greece, the Super K, was made specifically for speedy trips to off-road destinations. Known as ‘the island car’, this model doesn’t leave much room for plate smashing but is simply super for any beach lover or rural dweller.

Much like the beautiful houses dotted across the Grecian coast and hillsides, the colour white is a very popular colour in Europe’s car culture, most likely because drivers want to keep their cars nice and cool in the heat. But what’s the most popular car to drive in Greece nowadays, you ask? According to recent research, the best-selling car in Greece is the Toyota Yaris. Nifty in size and with a strong pedal and a stellar break system, the Toyota Yaris is great for whipping round the Grecian country roads and taking on those hair-raising bends.

Did you know…?

The Talking Heads once sang that ‘we’re on the road to nowhere’ – and on the Greek island Hydra, this line rings true. Hydra, famous for its quaint culture, stunning architecture, and crystal clear waters, is a vehicle-free island. That’s right, no cars, no wheels, no roads. Nada. So, if you’re planning a visit, you best bring your hiking boots…

Car Culture in Japan

Who doesn’t appreciate art and expression? To lean on the words of Oscar Wilde, the whole of Japan is ‘pure invention’ and ‘art’. From salty sushi rolls and the latest gadgets to serene cherry blossoms and the scenes of Mount Fuji, Japan is simply bursting with flavour and character – and its car culture is no exception.

Commonly known as ‘rice burners’, it’s likely that you or someone you know has driven a Japanese car – and, no, they don’t run on wasabi. Whether through popular video games or hit films like Fast & Furious, Japanese car culture and its domestic market (JDM) have had an immeasurable impact on car communities across the globe.

In fact, countless popular cars like the Toyota Corolla, Mazda RX-7 and the Honda Accord all come from, you guessed it, Japan. But what about the locals? What do countryside folk drive to get from farm to farm? Enter Kei cars. Far from flashy with stellar gas mileage, these modestly priced automobiles were originally made to meet tax regulations. So, if you’re lucky enough to visit Japan, expect to see a whole host of variations of this boxy model.

But what’s the most popular car in Japan? When it comes to best-sellers, the reliable Toyota Yaris dominated Japanese car sales in 2022 with nearly 169,000 units – and white cars lead the way as the hottest car colour. As for their roads, they tend to have pretty even terrain and good driveability – though you should expect narrow city side streets.

Did you know…?

Ever heard of an exotic supercar? In Japan, they are all the rage. Scrap any thoughts of cape-wearing vehicles and learn all about the creative world of Japanese supercars. Modifying expensive supercars to make them even flashier and more individual, throughout Japan, there are many car shops that specialise in pimping your ride. Think neon lights, window-shattering exhausts and loud colours.

Car Culture in Brazil

Someone stick on some samba beats – we’re going to Brazil. Fit to burst with colourful carnivals, well-cooked meats and beautiful beaches, the rainforest-filled Brazil is an explosion of colour and culture. Not only is it rich in traditions and packed with flavour, Brazil also happens to rank as the sixth-largest automobile market in the world.

Wondering what the most popular selling car is in Brazil? Look no further than the Fiat Strada, which beat the likes of the Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 last year. With 107 horsepower and a 1.3-litre flex-fuel engine, this model is popular for a reason.

As for car colours, though there isn’t a specific shade that takes the cake, Brazil in itself is a very colourful part of the world – with each region having its own statement colours, both on the roads and in everyday life. The North is an explosion of rich blues, pinks, yellows and shades of bright green – whereas the South sports more wintery shades.

Did you know…?

Anyone for rocky-road? In Brazil, though they do have some well-kept motorways, the potholes are huge and the mud pits massive in more rural areas. There’s also a huge lack of public transport in Brazil, which means that car sales are always sky-high.

Get behind the wheel and value your vehicle

No matter where you go, cars and their culture vary in make, colour, size and feel. They may all have four wheels, but you can bet each car has a different story to tell.

So, why not drive down paths untraveled and learn more about your car? If you’re keen to taste a champagne-clad victory and learn how much your vehicle is worth.