Why Is the Car Community So Toxic?

Picture this: you, the car enthusiast, open Instagram, or any other social media, and are greeted with thousands of different builds from different categories. You see stance cars, off-roaders, drift cars, and the list goes on. But there is one more thing that you see - a lot of hate. So, why’s that?
2014 Toyota GT86 7 photos
Photo: Toyota
1972 Chevrolet Corvette2014 Toyota GR86EJ Honda Civic2002 Mazda Miata2019 Mazda MiataBMW M3 CS
I must admit that I was aware of this toxicity in the tuning community ever since I started using social media, but it didn’t really bother me until a few days ago.

What set things off for me and essentially gave birth to this article was a question I received recently. For context, I’m building myself a rally-spec Dacia 1300, which is an old communist car. I’m not super vocal about this project, but someone asked me why I was wasting money on that slow piece of junk. It didn’t bother me at first, but I couldn't help but wonder why that person was so concerned about the way I use my money?

Among all the hate on social media, I also see posts that encourage people to be proud of what they have and also blame the very problem we are talking about today, but those posts are few and far between. I could just say, “respect all builds,” and leave it at that, but nothing would change. So let’s dive deeper.

Photo: BMW
After countless hours of scrolling, I've noticed (and you would, too) that certain builds are generally accepted and praised by the car community, and they have some things in common. It’s usually super expensive cars with a ton of power. If you have something like a Supra, a GT-R, RX-7, or an M-powered BMW, it is a sort of right of way on social media. It gives those people a sort of nobility status, and that’s wrong.

Let’s do some quick statistical work. Open, let’s say, Instagram and go into the comments of the first ten car-related posts you find. That way, you’ll get a better understanding of what I’m talking about. Do you see a Miata? - slow. You see an old, stock ‘Vette? - boomer-mobile. Do you see a lowered Civic on reps? - ricer. The point is, if you don’t have something super-popular, get ready for some pretty strong opinions.

I think the main reason for this phenomenon is insecurity. I genuinely believe that these trolls are either really unhappy with their cars or starved of attention. So, they try to project their unhappiness on people who are happy and mind their own business.

2002 Mazda Miata
Photo: Mazda
You don’t have to like every single style of car modification out there, but there’s no need to throw negativity left and right. I myself am not a fan of stance cars and rolling coal, but you don’t see me throwing hate around. Just let people enjoy their cars, as you do yours. Ok, if you don’t like it, just keep scrolling until you find something you do like.

I know that social media is a free space. Yes, everyone is free to make their opinion heard, but this isn’t about that. This is about what the car community stands to achieve. You always see people boasting about how this is a safe space and everyone is respected. The problem is that those are the same people who disrespect others' builds.

I always hear older people talk about the good ‘ol days when everyone got along. Even if that’s just a nostalgia-fueled memory, I wish we could start acting that way. Throwing hate around is downright childish and it ruins the car community for a lot of people, especially newcomers.

1972 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: Chevrolet
And, if you find yourself on the receiving end of this hate, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have to put up with the trolls, and I hope you won’t give up on your petrolhead dream. It is really simple to combat these haters. Just ignore them. The second they don’t get validation is the second they stop making these remarks. Be proud of what you have, whatever that may be. It’s your car, that you built with your money and your efforts following your own vision.

Look, build your car however you like it. Do you like stance? Good, do it. Do you like drift cars? Ok, build one even if you are on a budget. It is your car, not theirs, so turn it into whatever you like. Yes, people might not like it, but why does that matter? You can spend 100,000 dollars or 1,000 dollars, the point of that car is to bring you joy because that’s what it's all about.

And if you are one of those people who always feel the need to leave pointless comments, try to restrain yourself from doing it. Nobody cares, and you should worry about your car, not some kid’s Miata that is just trying to have fun and enjoy whatever good is left in the car community.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Călin Iosif
Călin Iosif profile photo

Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories