Our love-hate relationship with the car dealer sticker

Major Waffle
We have a love-hate relationship with the car dealer sticker. Unwanted when the vehicle is new, but valuable in the classic car world.

Most normal people wouldn't give it a second thought. To them, a car dealer sticker is about as relevant as the serial number on the back of a dishwasher. As important as the text on a website privacy policy.

To us, especially fans of older cars, the car dealer sticker is the automotive equivalent of the holy grail. A little slice of history and evidence of the car's originality. Combine it with a set of dealer number plates to send a car enthusiast into a state of delirium. Simple pleasures for simple minds.

For maximum delight, the car dealer sticker should be showing some of the tell-tale signs of ageing. Sun-bleached patina. Maybe some discolouration. Edges peeling away from the glass. You can keep your Oil of Olay – wrinkles are welcomed with open arms.

The car dealer sticker is a snapshot in time. Typefaces, colours and logos from the era in which your beloved car left the showroom. Gleaming. Glossy. Lengthy finance contract or lease agreement trailing in its wake. “Another quality new car from [INSERT DEALER NAME].”

GC Stanbury car dealer sticker and plate

The sticker is as much a survivor as your car. It has withstood multiple summers parked in sunny seaside car parks. Over-enthusiastic scrubbing of the inside of the rear window. The temptation to remove it; a user car dealer advertising a rival showroom is unlikely.

You can stick your sticker

Which brings us onto the ‘hate’ part of the love-hate relationship. An enthusiast is likely to remove a sticker in record-quick time after buying a new car. It'd be like leaving a label on a pair of Levi's 501s. Akin to keeping an energy sticker on a television screen. Why would you?

How anyone can drive a car with a bloody massive ARN*LD CL*RK sticker on the back window remains one of life's mysteries. Are you being paid to promote the business? If not, remove the big yellow sticker.

The previous owner of PetrolBlog's 406 Coupe is a prime example. Having won the pools, he wandered into a Peugeot dealer in his hometown of Sidcup and asked for the best version he could buy. “And don't stick any of your dealer number plates or stickers on the car – I'm not advertising your showroom for free,” he told the salesman.

Even the original Cliffords of Sidcup keyring remains unused in the service history.

Our love-hate relationship with the car dealer sticker in a nutshell. Unwanted advertising when the car is new, but coveted in the classic car world. We're a strange breed.

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