If you hear that a motoring journalist is a Car of the Year judge, ask for further information before you decide whether or not to be impressed. There are so many of these awards that it’s difficult to avoid being on they jury of at least one of them.
Many are regional, or specific to a particular magazine. Others are national or international. The order of their foundation can be surprising. For example, the Irish award is older than the Japanese one, which predates the Scottish one, which has been going longer than the World one, while the UK one is younger than all of them.
The longest-running award not restricted to a single country magazine calls itself simply Car of the Year, as it has done since its creation in 1964, though it’s now often referred to as European Car of the Year.
It is administered by seven magazines, though its 60 jury members work for many others. Each gets a number of votes which can be awarded to any cars launched within the past 12 months and available in at least five European countries. The seven top scorers are then voted on separately to produce a final result. There are no category awards, so there is only one winner.
The next European Car of the Year will be announced on 5 March 2018, which gives us plenty of time to have a look at some of the many statistics that have been generated in the last 53 years.