21 January 2016

Hours of fun with YouGov Profiles

Can you think of a time when you visited a website on the spur of the moment and became so engrossed in it that your mates or family thought you’d disappeared? One website which did that to me lately and has become positively addictive is called YouGov Profiles. It’s actually intended as a tool for businesses to use, but if you’re like me and love being a nosey parker, it’s easy to get hooked on using YouGov Profiles as a bit of genuinely fascinating fun.

In a nutshell, 250,000 people respond to various surveys and the data can be fully manipulated by us mere mortals in a really graphical way using YouGov Profiles. It may sound a bit boring, but trust me, it’s not. In fact, you may end up chuckling to yourself. Type anything at all into the search box, from ‘Ford Focus’, ‘carrot cake’ or ‘Papa John’s Pizza’ (one of our splendid rewards partners) to ‘Topshop’ or ‘Crewe’, and the website will crunch the stats and then spit out a profile of the average person who owns or regularly enjoys such products or lives in such a place.

You want a few examples, right? Fair enough, here goes, starting with the most popular car covered by Carrot’s rewards-based telematics motor insurance, the Vauxhall Corsa. According to YouGov data, the average Corsa driver in the UK is female, aged 18-24, is considered working class, votes for left wing politics, typically works for the government perhaps in a local council, and has between £125 and £499 left in her pocket to spend each month. Incredibly, all kinds of other lifestyle data is provided, from revealing that the average Corsa driver’s favourite food is Thai Black Pepper Beef, to their most likely pet being a cat. What doesn’t quite add up is that her favourite sport is apparently snooker and Ms Corsa Driver loves playing video games, but it’s interesting that she describes herself as a worrier, prefers American sitcoms to British, and usually shops at the well-known supermarket whose name begins with a ‘T’.

YouGov screenshot2


The fifth most common car insured by Carrot is the Renault Clio, so let’s see what the average Clio driver is like. Interestingly, YouGov says she (that’s right, a female again) is middle class this time, comes from the same 18-24 age group and is more likely to live in the North West or along the south coast. Ms Clio Driver works in media, publishing or entertainment, has less than £125 spare to spend each month, her favourite shop is Ann Summers, she loves music and cricket, her favourite food is chips, she has a calming personality but can be lazy, and loves her bed too much.

YouGov screenshot3


As you’d expect, search YouGov Profiles for Ferrari, Bentley, Maserati, Porsche and other expensive car brands, and most owners are men aged 40-54, but I bet you didn’t know most of them live in Yorkshire and work in engineering, with Ferrari customers cited as having less than £125 monthly disposable income, just like the average Renault Clio driver. Ha. Ferrari drivers love roast pork and typically own pet fish, their favourite celebrities are Lesley Nielsen from The Naked Gun fame and Kirsten Dunst, and the newspaper they read tends to be The Sun.

Searching for carrot cake, the profile returned was a lady aged over 55, living in the Midlands, working in the military or defence industry, voting left, with a disposable monthly income of less than £125. Again, carrot cake lovers tend to read The Sun and own fish, their favourite sport is squash, they describe themselves as wacky, and their favourite dish is Pavlova.

Go on, have some fun, digging into the cars your mates, parents, lecturers, neighbours and bosses drive, seeing if they fit the data profiles, then tell us on Twitter or Facebook

Oliver Hammond

Written by Oliver Hammond

Oliver is an established freelance motoring writer, published journalist and automotive copywriter based in Manchester. He regularly reviews cars and covers events and launches as editor of petroleumvitae.com and his articles appear in various magazines each month. No relation to Richard from Top Gear, he’s got a weakness for luxo-barges, proper 4x4s and oddball cars.