Bumper stickers and the occasional Jesus (or Darwin) Fish decal are usually the extent of vehicle embellishments for most drivers. But some folks take accessorizing their cars to a visually jolting level. In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to identify some outstanding car costumes, accessories, and art cars attracting the attention of drivers and – according to The Zebra’s own insurance expert Neil – insurers.
Bringing Cars to Life
We’ve all seen the dashboard hula dancers, the dice and dream catchers hanging from rearview mirrors, even mini flower vases and steering wheel covers. But people love their cars (and believe us, we get it – we’re clearly auto enthusiasts up in here), so quirky new car accessories seem to keep popping up. Lately, we’re doing double takes for:
- Headlight eyelashes
- Grille mustaches (ahem, Lyft)
- Backseat beds
- McDonald’s french fry custom “cup” holder
- Even hair, bows, and top hats
Wait… eyes, mouth, hair… do we sense a trend here?
Creative Cars: Greatest Hits
A Massachusetts Saab, aptly dubbed the Toy Car, is packed end to end with glued-on toys (including the rear-view mirrors!)
Perhaps the weirdest car in New York City, this Hyundai is completely covered in toys and decorations (and not even the inside is spared embellishment).
Why might a person risk permanent paint damage (and possible insurance repercussions) to outfit their ride in such a way? For many, it’s self-expression. Bill Grider says he glued a menagerie of vintage toys to the hood and roof of his 1995 Toyota Tercel to attract a love interest, he told the Cumberland Times-News. Vehicle decorations can also be cultural. “In some parts of West Africa, ponytails aren’t just hairdos. They dress up taxis, too,” reports The New York Times. Traffic deaths are common, so taxi drivers who spend much of their lives behind the wheel adorn their bumpers with long, tied horse, sheep, or cattle hair blessed by a religious figure.
If you’re really into vehicle decoration and embellishments, you might check out the Houston Art Car Parade each April–this year they’ll celebrate their 30th anniversary.
A Halloween Costume… For Your Car
To use an oft-cited reduction, there are two types of people in the world: those who love Halloween and plan for it meticulously and those who just don’t get the hype. We’re the first kind, naturally. We (really, really) love Halloween – especially when costumes and parties offer a charming nod at cars, and even car insurance.
For Halloween die-hards, going all out is practically a given, and whether you’re attending a party or a parade or sticking close to home to hand out candy, making your car a part of your costume can give you a considerable edge. We scoured the web for the best of the best. Our favorites below.
NR: “‘I’m on the highway to hell!’ This guy loves AC/DC.”
NR: “ … and that’s the last we ever heard of the Kool-Aid Man.”
NR: “I’m sorry sir, I’m still going to have to write a parking ticket. Nice try, though.”
NR: “There’s a giant WHAT on my roof?!”
NR: “Do insurance requirements also extend to the undead?”
Can You Get in Trouble for Adding Decorations to Your Car?
Insurance disclaimer from Neil: Getting into the Halloween spirit is all well and good – even on cars. However, if you plan on decorating your vehicle this Halloween, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Keep your windows clear. Drivers can be ticketed for having an obstructed view because it is hazardous to everyone on the road. That ticket will raise your insurance rate, too.
- Make sure that anything attached to the exterior of your vehicle is securely fastened. You are liable for any objects that fall off of your car and damage other vehicles.
- Interior lighting can be distracting for drivers, especially at night, so use your best judgement.
- Watch for trick-or-treaters crossing the streets. You always want to be aware of pedestrians, but that’s especially true on Halloween.