In this section, we'll post photo-reports from our own travels or from readers around the world, showing others what kind of cars occupy the roads in other places, all over the world. If you're interested in finding out what kind of brands, models or even which type of car people like to drive in another part of the globe, you may find it here.

As always, I encourage interaction between the regular editors and our readers, so wherever you live, if you want to share the kind of cars people drive in your country, or even your neighborhood, feel free to get in touch with me and send me your pictures (and if you want, some text to explain your car culture). This way, we can grow our "database" of street scenes across the globe.

Car cultures around the world: Texas, USA

In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes we’ve taken a virtual tour to Morocco, Africa, Monaco, Europe, Nagoya, Japan, Bali, Indonesia and Singapore, now we’ll cross the Pacific and the US West Coast to land in Texas. And the automotive landscape in Texas is exactly as you’d imagined: lots of huge SUVs and pick-up trucks, one bigger than the other but all big enough to dwarf a Range Rover. Gasoline is cheap, roads are wide and straight and towing a big trailer, boat or caravan happens in a few occasions, but mostly they’re just big “because we can”.

Chevrolet_Silverado_HD-Texas-USA-street_scene-2015

As a result of this preference for bulky trucks and SUVs, the domestic US brands are more popular in Texas than in other parts of the United States, most notably the import-dominated East Coast (especially New York City) and West Coast (especially California). What did strike me in regards to import brands was the relative large number of midsized body-on-frame trucks like the Nissan Xterra and Toyota 4Runner, I’d almost say I saw one of each in just about every street of Austin. The Toyota FJ Cruiser must have also been popular in Texas, but not as extremely as in Dubai, UAE as you’ll see in the next report of this series. Other import models with an over-representation in Texas are the Nissan Pathfinder and the Infiniti QX80, and of course the Toyota Tundra full-sized pick-up truck. Sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, among the best sellers in the nation, are much less omnipresent than in the rest of the country, but still no rarities.… Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Singapore

So we’ve taken a virtual tour to Morocco, Africa, Monaco, Europe, Nagoya, Japan and Bali, Indonesia, and we’ll stay in Asia once again, visiting Singapore. Although not that very far from Indonesia on the map, the car culture in Singapore almost couldn’t be more different than that of Bali. Gone are all the small motorbikes and in are supercars. That’s right, the Singapore streets look more like those of Monaco with all the supercars and luxury cars showing off

Lamborghini_Huracan-Ferrari_458_Speciale-Singapore-street_scene-2015

This is not only because Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries in Asia – and in fact the world- but also because they have quotas on the number of new cars that can be registered each year. On top of these quotas, new car buyers need to get a Certificate of Entitlement from the government, which gives them the right to register, own and use a vehicle in Singapore for a period of 10 years. Because these COEs have to be acquired through an auction, prices rise when demand is high. As a result, the cost of acquiring a COE can be as high as the price of the car itself, therefore favoring the wealthy, whom are more likely to buy luxury cars. Because the certificate is valid for 10 years, after which a car needs to be exported or scrapped, you won’t find many old cars on the roads of Singapore either.… Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Bali, Indonesia

In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes, after Morocco, Africa, Monaco, Europe and Nagoya, Japan, we’ll stay in Asia for a bit to observe the car culture of Bali, the Indonesian “Bounty Island”. The streets of Bali are actually flooded with small motorbikes, but I’ve still managed to find a few cars among those thousands of bikes. Don’t forget to check out my videos at the bottom of the page!

Daihatsu_Gran_max_Luxio-Toyota_Vios_Taxi-Suzuki_APV-Bali-Indonesia-street_scene-2015Daihatsu Gran Max Luxio MPV, 2 generations of Toyota Vios Taxi and Suzuki APV

And then I noticed that the Balinese are very single minded when it comes to their cars, as there’s not a lot of variation on the road. If I had to estimate, I’d say that 80% of the cars on the island are within a handful of models, which are the Toyota Avanza and its clone Daihatsu Xenia (4 out of 10 cars are one of these two), Toyota Kijang Innova, Suzuki APV, Daihatsu Gran Max in both the Luxio MPV version as the utilitarian and pick-up versions, Toyota Ayla minicar and its clone Daihatsu Agya, and Toyota Vios, which is the standard taxi in Bali.… Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Nagoya, Japan

In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes, after Morocco, Africa and Monaco, Europe we’re going to yet another entirely different car culture: that of Japan. And the streets of Japan are filled with models you won’t find anywhere else, it’s an entirely different sight from the rest of the world.

Suzuki_Lapin-Suzuki_Alto-Honda_Vamos-front-Japanese-street_scene-2015Suzuki Lapin and Suzuki Alto Kei cars, Honda Vamos Kei firetruck

For starters, there are the dozens of “Kei” cars and trucks. These are tiny cars that get certain tax benefits in Japan, but are limited in size, engine displacement and power: 3,4 meters in length (11.2 ft) and no more than 1,48 meters wide (4.9 ft), with an engine of 660 cc pumping out 47 kW (64 hp) max. More than 40% of the new cars sold in Japan falls within these limits, which calculates to more than 2 million Kei cars a year, which is more than all the cars sold in France in a year. Some of these vehicles have been exported to Europe and other countries, although they mostly featured larger engines for export markets. The only foreign manufacturer to ever have sold a Kei car in Japan was Smart, which in the early 2000’s made a special version of its Fortwo to fall within these limits, but it sold poorly.… Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Monaco

In our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes we move from the car culture in Morocco to that of Monaco, the wealthy principality on the other side of the Mediterranean, the contrast couldn’t be bigger. Whereas the streets of Morocco are filled with cheap and practical transportation, sometimes decades old, living a tough but grateful life as daily workhorses, the cars in Monaco serve a much different purpose. The densely populated city-state which is enclosed by France and the Mediterranean Sea covers only 2 square kilometers (0.78 sq. Mi) and is built on a hillside. That means it doesn’t really make sense for its inhabitants to drive supercars, hypercars and top-of-the-line sports versions of regular cars, but that’s exactly what they’re doing.

McLaren_650S-Spider-Lamborghini_Huracan-Monaco-street_scene-2015McLaren 650S Spider and Lamborghini Huracan taking a hairpin in Monaco

Continue Reading …

Car cultures around the world: Morocco, Africa

This is the first installment of our series of car cultures around the world/international street scenes.The kind of cars the people of Morocco drive can be described very simply: all types of Renault with a number instead of a name, Peugeots from the -04 and -05 series, and increasingly so from the -06 series, and Mercedes-Benz from the same era (1970’s, 80’s and 90’s), preferably with a Diesel engine. Of the modern cars, by far the most are either French or Dacia, most notably in the bodystyle what the French call “Fourgonette”, the archetypical Boulangerie-van like the Citroën Berlingo and Renault Kangoo, both in passenger and cargo versions. Add a handful of South-Korean and Chinese models to the mix and you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of what the streets of Casablanca, Marrakech or Agadir look like.

3x-Renault_18-Citroen_Berlingo-Morocco-Africa-street_scene-2015Continue Reading …

New theme: Car cultures around the world / international street scenes

Cargo tricycle Morocco DockerThis year I’ve been traveling all around the world and that has given me the opportunity to study what kind of cars people in different countries and different continents drive, which is most of the times quite different from what I’m used to at home. Of course I’ve taken a ton of pictures from interesting cars and street scenes, but until now I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Naturally, I want to share them with you so I’ve decided to make an “International street scenes” topic, in which I show you the car cultures in a bunch of different countries across the world, hoping to eventually expand it to every corner of our globe.

As always, I encourage interaction between the regular editors and our readers so wherever you live, if you want to share the kind of cars people drive in your country (or even your neighborhood), if you have funny or interesting pictures of cars, street scenes or anything related to the subject, feel free to get in touch with me and send me your pictures (and if you want, some text to explain your car culture). This way, we can show our other readers from all over the world which brands, models or even which type of car the streets are filled in other cities, countries or continents.

In the next few weeks, I’ll start off with my own experiences in the following places:

Let me know what you think of this kind of post, and if you want to see more of them. And again, if you want to share your pictures of interesting car cultures or street scenes, I’m more than happy to post them here.