Most people could care less what vehicle gets them from point A to point B. Others take a more involved approach.
And so it begs the question: Are you a Driver or Commuter? It’s one or the other.
Commuters, by definition, are mainly along for the ride (even when the pilot), content to turn the key and be on their way. On the other hand, Drivers are the more inquisitive bunch, seeking out opportunities to better understand and learn about cars. To put it simply, Commuters just want to get somewhere, whereas Drivers want to enjoy the ride.
Defining oneself can be a murky endeavor. You don’t have to be an enthusiast to appreciate cars, yet most Drivers fall into that category. Conversely, just because someone can operate a manual transmission (where have they gone?) doesn’t necessarily give them Team Driver status. Changing one’s oil leans towards the Driver side, but that is also misleading.
Still, being a Driver is definitely a lot more fun and exciting when you really think about it. Drivers take charge of their car lives, in more ways than one. Drivers notice the little things. For instance, take the following scenarios:
The instrument panel. Idiot lights irk a Driver. What’s the point of not having all the engine’s vital readouts in plain sight? Instead of a red idiot light, it might as well be a flashing green “$” sign. With a full sweep of gauges, a Driver is confident and knows where each needle is supposed to be, especially the tachometer. The only flashers that concern Commuters are the turn signals.
At the gas pump. True, most people click the nozzle multiple times when filling up, trying to squeeze out every last drop of fuel. But a Driver usually goes the extra mile to check and calculate the mileage, noting what road conditions were, to determine if the vehicle is running in tip-top shape. Commuters perceive a fill-up as a chore.
Buying tires. Whereas a Commuter looks for the cheapest set of rubber, Drivers won’t consider No-Name tires that don’t include a mileage warranty. The Driver, after doing a mini-celebration when their tires lasted well beyond the manufacturer’s limits, is already looking forward to rotating and checking the air pressure on a continual basis. Commuters would rather buy a new car than shop for tires.
In the end it doesn’t matter what side you’re on. It’s just a tad more fun and lively when you become more involved with your cars.
Remember, it’s not about the car you drive or how you get there. It’s the journey that counts.