Is my 10-year-old brother a petrol head?

At what point are you officially a car person

45w ago

I love my youngest brother dearly but going anywhere in the car with him is a nightmare. Not only can he reel off the names of vehicles like a living WhatCar? magazine, but he also commentates on people’s driving ability.

We find this very funny in our family. Mainly because he’s often right and also because he’s a ten-year-old. The only time he’s sat at the wheel of a vehicle was when a fire engine visited his school.

But, given his car obsession, can we call him a petrol head? Can he really be a 'real' car enthusiast?

Your first thought is going to be, yes, of course, he can count himself in the club, as it were. There is no limit to age or knowledge when loving cars.

At the same time, though, are you lying?

A couple of days ago I wrote an article on here pondering on whether we should get rid of manual cars and push forth the automatic. I argued that automatics are the future, so why keep making the past.

I expected an abrasive response and that is exactly what I got. And it was telling because it seems that there perhaps are hidden rules to who does and doesn’t count as a petrol head.

People that drive automatics certainly seem to be excluded based on the many comments I got, such as:

“If you LOVE driving and you're a REALL petrol head, you MUST love manual. Otherwise, you're just faking it.”


“Because REAL driver's like that feeling of being a part of the process!”

And in one comment, a personal favourite, it was argued that sex with a robot is not as good as doing it with a human as evidence – I presume the commenter has done the research.

All in all, the general consensus was automatics can sod off, manuals are superior, and you aren’t legit unless you use them.

I wondered then if there are ingredients that make one person a petrol head and not someone else.

Do you really need to be a fully licensed, manual driving, gloves on, carburettor cleaning freemason, or does it not matter?

I count myself as a petrol head. I sit in the car arguing with my brothers about different models, take any excuse to go for a drive (‘I just need to take this to the tip, darling’) and frequent websites like Drive Tribe. But I don’t do manuals, I think electric cars are brilliant, and I quite like the look of the Honda Jazz.

And then there are people like my youngest brother. He can’t even drive, unless it’s through the Xbox, and even then he has assists on. Yet he’s got an encyclopaedic knowledge of cars and won’t shut up about them.

I believe being a petrol head is about loving the freedom to move as much as it is about the underbelly. But maybe there are other crucial ingredients.

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Comments (35)

  • If he loves cars then he's a petrol head. No other qualifiers needed. I like manuals for their simplicity. I have both and automatic and standard shift car, they both have pros and cons.

    As long as I'm the one controlling the inputs, it's all good. Love electric cars but if I need one to drive for me then I'll just get a cab, thanks

      10 months ago
    • Agree, and yes automated cars are evil.

        10 months ago
    • automated cars are the new flying cars of the 50's, doable, everyone want's one, people realise it's a dumb idea, nothing ever comeos out of it. These days we just have technology and 3d renders of cars.

        10 months ago
  • I mean personally I think he absolutely is. Mainly because he sounds a lot like me when I was 10. And for anyone who says you can't be a true car person if you don't like a manual, maybe you ought to watch some Top Gear specials and see exactly why a lot of people don't like them.

      10 months ago
  • You are a car person when u decide u are. Not anyone else

      10 months ago
  • I have a confession I am 14 years old and no basically all the knowledge that comes from every donut media video and podcast I sometimes have issues at car shows and on the road throwing out car names and models I know it’s something that I need to work on

      10 months ago
  • I think that if someone actually cares about their car and wants to know about other cars, that can make them car guys.

      10 months ago