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From petrol +‎ -head.


  • (file)


petrolhead (plural petrolheads)

  1. (colloquial) A person who is overly reliant on the use of their car, resisting any suggestion to use other means of transport.
  2. (colloquial, Australia, New Zealand, derogatory) A bogan who is overly fond of their car or motorbike and enjoys showing it off and making noise with it.
    • 2000, Chris Baker, Kokopu Dreams, Huia Publishers, New Zealand, page 87,
      There were four of them, old-style petrolheads, with greasy jeans and leather jackets. Each had a rifle trained on the pair. They looked barely out of their teens.
  3. (colloquial, Australia, New Zealand) A person involved in motor racing as either participant or dedicated spectator.
  4. (colloquial, UK) A car enthusiast.
    • 2004, Roger Austin Learmonth, Petrolhead: The Life and Times of a Classic Car Buff, →ISBN:
    • 2009, Stuart Prebble, Grumpy Old Drivers: The Official Handbook, unnumbered page,
      In the early years it[Top Gear] had been very much a series for people I believe are known by the curiously unappealing term ‘petrolheads’. Since most petrolheads are probably out in the evenings, burning up the rubber or the tarmac or whatever it is that petrolheads do, the show had a fairly limited audience.


  • (person overly reliant on use of their car):
  • (bogan overly fond of their vehicle):
  • (person involved in motor racing): revhead
  • (car enthusiast): motorhead (North American English), gearhead