Why do folks put bumper stickers on their car?

I recently was invited to lunch by a co-worker, and he drove. On the way to the restaurant I’m hearing loud obscenities directed in our direction. He says “never mind, it’s just my bumper stickers”. Turns out he has some provocative ideas plastered on the back of his car, bumper stickers.

So I was thinking about this. And I decided I’ve never been influenced one way or the other by a bumper sticker. I’ve never been sort of on the fence, not sure about something, and then I see a bumper sticker, and voila, I’m on that side. That’s never happened to me.

So I’m wondering if any of you CT forum users have ever been influenced by a bumper sticker to change your mind, and if not, why do folks even bother to put bumper stickers on their cars?

My car not only is bumper sticker free, but I also refuse to plaster one of those stick people family decals on my rear window.
I also won’t wear one of those screen printed T-shirts advertising some rock band or something. A free gimme cap with some companie’s logo is about as far as I go but only because I really needed to shade my eyes in the hot sun.

A trademark-free B.L.E. seems a good thing … lol … good post.

People do it as a form of free speech. I have military support stickers and an American flag on my windows. I have no interest on displaying my politics, but I’m proud of being a veteran and proud of my son being a veteran. And I wish well to all those who serve(d) honorably.

Here’s a tip: if you wish to improve your odds of avoiding a moving violation, put military stickers in your window. NOTE: I do not recommend stickers on your paint… but that’s your choice.

IMHO, bumper stickers are not meant to change viewers opinions, rather they are a means of announcing opinions and personality of the car owner and, in some cases, as name recognition advertising. My car is totally free of all stickers other than the legally required state inspection sticker on the windshield. I even made the car dealership remove their tacky logo from the back of the trunk lid when they stuck it on there during dealer prep despite my request not to do so.

I don’t do them anymore. Mainly to avoid family and friend conflicts and getting shot at. I used to do the presidential and governor campaigns but not anymore. I do have window stickers for the Sheriffs Association, Army, Legion and a couple others but don’t use them except in my shop where no one else goes. I used to have a 9/11 window sticker but sold the car and you can’t get them any more. Once in a while I’ll see a car plastered with various stickers and want to tell them how hard they are to get off again when their opinions change. Not like the old days when you put them on a chrome bumper and could just scrape them off. I guess my last one was an Explore Minnesota sticker but then too many people started wandering around the state uninvited so off it goes.

The only stickers tolerable to me personally are ones supporting military service members or ex-members for the obvious reasons although I did have a small NRA sticker on one of my Subarus.

Hats off to Marnet for making the dealer remove that tacky, free advertising logo from the back of your car. The vast majority of those things just cheapen the looks.
A dealer I worked for had some made up that were about 8 inches wide and in chromed plastic.

They were absolutely grotesque due to the size and shiny appearance but I assume the intent was to grab the attention of people in trail and it would do that in spades.

Something else I avoid is having a vanity license plate. Nothing wrong with most vanity plates. In fact, it is fun to figure them out. But it is a safety issue. Police strongly advise against women having vanity plates because it makes them more vulnerable to bad guys. So I stick with whatever license plate is issued by the DMV and forego plastering my ham call sign on the car tag.

@ok4450. Exactly! Why should the car I paid big money for be used as a free traveling ad billboard for the dealer? I’ve had to put up with parking permit stickers at college, one place I lived, and at several jobs but only because I had no choice.

I don’t put anything either. No even “my child was honor student XXX”, I also take the dealer license plate frames off (I would leave them if they paid me!).

The only T shirts I wear that are not plain, have the US flag on them, nobody has complained.

I only have the “Look twice, save a life, motorcycles are everywhere” sticker on mine. Being a motorcyclist, and seeing all those people on phones everywhere, that’s important to me.

I don’t even have AF retired, veteran or anything else on the back, even though I am all of those.

Here's a tip: if you wish to improve your odds of avoiding a moving violation, put military stickers in your window. NOTE: I do not recommend stickers on your paint........ but that's your choice.

Or Veteran plates. I swear they’ve saved me at least one ticket. Traveling down I-93 a couple years ago and there were 3 of us traveling near each other…all doing the same speed…right through a speed trap. I was the only one not pulled over.

I don’t like stickers on any of my vehicles. In fact…I have made a couple of places take their stickers off my bumper after shopping at their store. For some reason or another…lumber yards are the worst offenders in my area. Another little quirk of mine is to remove dealer emblems/decals from the back of any vehicles right after the purchase. My wife agrees with me but does have a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon magnet on her vehicle. I can live with magnets because they are easily removed.

missileman wrote:
In fact…I have made a couple of places take their stickers off my bumper after shopping at their store. For some reason or another…lumber yards are the worst offenders in my area

I must be misunderstanding this. Are you really saying that a store puts a bumper sticker on your car without your permission while you’re shopping there? If a business touched my car like that, they’d be paying for a visit to a body shop to remove it without damage.

I have many friends in the nuclear power industry.

When Ted Kennedy became anti-nuclear for reasons yet to be determined, some of them created a bumper sticker that said “More people were killed in Ted Kennedy’s car than at Three Mile Island”

Simple answer to the original question is…wait for it… Because they can. :blush:

Count me among the zero crowd.

I specifically have them note on any new car purchase agreement that no dealership advertising will be placed on the car. When I showed up to pick up my last car, there was a dealership sticker on the back.

“The owner will not allow a new car to leave the lot without one of our dealership stickers on it. Why don’t you just remove it when you get home?”

“The only way I’ll buy a car with your advertisement on it is if you give me $200 off the price to account for my driving around advertising for your dealership. Then I’ll remove it when I get home”

“Oh we couldn’t do that!”

“Alright then, please inform the manager that you have lost a sale over your policy.”

I went over to the finance manager and said- “you’ve violated the purchase agreement on this car, I want the sale cancelled and my deposit refunded immediately.”

You should have seen the flurry of activity that created. Ten minutes later I was driving off WITHOUT the sticker after a close inspection of the area to ensure they didn’t scratch the paint…

Where else would you put a bumper sticker?

PvtPublic: The answer I immediately thought of was very similar. "Because it’s their car and they can. lol

Agree totally with Marnet and TwinTurbo: if I drop $20 (or these days more like $30 - $40) grand on a vehicle I darn sure DON’T want to be a rolling billboard for the dealership unless they’re paying me royalties (which they won’t). These days its the decals and license plate frames, they used to drill holes in the car to affix those logo plates next to the name of the car, perhaps some still do, I wouldn’t stand for any of it.

These days you have to be careful about publicly announcing your political views, candidates you support or oppose. A few elections ago, I bought a t-shirt supporting an issue I felt strongly about. I quickly found out that complete strangers who disagreed with my viewpoint would approach me cold and start arguing about why I was wrong, usually when I’m in a hurry and in no mood to argue politics with a stranger. Way more hassle than it was worth. Someone who feels that strongly about something, I won’t be able to bring 'em around to my point of view in a parking lot in the cold November rain.

Nobody in my neighborhood has any political stickers on their car, so I do likewise. No sense in potentially turning my neighbors against me needlessly :smile:

I do have a sticker from a certain tourist trap I visited on my Jeep to make it easier to spot in a big parking lot. A cop told me to remove the American Flag / 9/11 sticker I had in the rear window of my Festiva, He said it was a safety violation even though it was all the way in the corner. Go figure.