Our Top 5 Picks: Best Automotive Podcasts
Car enthusiasts are always looking to learn more about a complex and constantly changing industry. One way to tackle this task is through automotive podcasts.
These shows offer a treasure trove of information through expert opinions and in-depth discussions on everything about cars. And many of these podcasts include a healthy dose of humor that makes the content even more engaging and memorable.
The whole purpose of car-centered podcasts is to provide interesting insights into the world of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. These shows provide a platform where industry professionals come together to discuss and debate the many aspects of the auto industry.
Some shows also engage with their listeners through question-and-answer sessions, guest spots, and other techniques. Automotive podcasts highlight various topics, from the newest vehicles to cutting-edge technology to classic cars. No matter what your particular interest is, there’s a podcast that covers it.
Of course, podcasts are more than just chats about facts, figures, and specifications. They also provide entertainment through likable hosts who can spin interesting stories, interact with special guests, and use captivating narratives. Best of all, there are podcasts for every level of car aficionado.
The Growth and Appeal of Podcasts in Recent Years
According to Statista, only 22% of U.S. adults were aware of podcasting in 2006. This figure had almost quadrupled to 79% by 2022, thanks to personalities like Joe Rogan (The Joe Rogan Experience) and Ira Glass (This American Life). The lockdown days of the pandemic also undoubtedly helped advance podcasts. An estimated 82 million people listened to podcasts in 2021, while forecasts call for podcast listeners to increase to 100 million by 2024.
Much of this success is attributed to the podcast radio show format and its accessibility. A curated blend of information and entertainment is conveniently available while commuting, exercising, or doing daily tasks. Despite today’s fast-paced lifestyle, this versatility has helped podcasts secure a vibrant audience. And even though accessing podcasts is somewhat high-tech, there’s something old-school about listening to a simple narration or dialogue.
This is an opportunity for a more intimate and personal experience—like you’re part of the conversation. In particular, automotive podcasts have capitalized on this trend, providing car lovers a platform to explore their passion.
Top 5 Automotive Podcasts You Should Be Listening To
In truth, there’s an endless supply of automotive podcasts. You could make listening to them all a full-time job. However, a few stand out for their engaging style, informative insight, and overall entertainment value. Here are our top picks.
#1 The Smoking Tire
Hosts: Matt Farah and Zack Klapman
Each week, Matt and Zack spend 90 minutes talking with luminaries from the car world (particularly those with a strong YouTube presence). You’ll feel right at home if you know who Doug DeMuro, Emilia Hartford, and Magnus Walker are. The Smoking Tire also gets into car-related discussions with regular celebrities like Hall and Oates’ John Oates and comedian Tom Segura. In addition, listeners can enjoy deep dives into the world of rare exotics and behind-the-scenes explorations with industry experts.
#2 Car Talk
Hosts: Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Long before “podcast” was ever a word, brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi shared their mechanical knowledge and strange blend of humor with a National Public Radio (NPR) audience starting in 1977. Affectionately known as Click and Clack or the Tappet Brothers (sounds that old cars make), the duo entertained and informed its NPR listeners with practical suggestions for car owners. Tom and Ray also didn’t hesitate to share relationship advice when cars got in the way. Tom’s death in 2014 didn’t completely stop the effort. Car Talk lives on as a 30-minute podcast of classic radio episodes and an informative website.
#3 Everyday Driver Car Debate
Hosts: Paul Schmucker and Todd Deeken
Best known for their ASMR-like behind-the-wheel videos, Paul and Todd take to the world of podcasts for detailed car reviews and advice sharing. Their approachable demeanors and encyclopedic knowledge make each Car Debate episode useful for novices and hard-core gearheads. Expect coverage on everything from a family SUV to a weekend racer. Test drive reaction episodes are usually brief (15-20 minutes), but expect an hour-long discussion of more in-depth topics and Q&A sessions.
#4 Past Gas by Donut Media
Hosts: James Pumphrey and Nolan Sykes
Through the popular Donut Media YouTube channel, James and Nolan have helped keep car culture alive among the Gen Z and Millennial crowds. The duo feeds this same energy into their Past Gas podcast. Car junkies passionate about automotive history will enjoy weekly hour-long episodes that frequently cover unique stories. Learn about untold tales of Ford, Ferrari, and other legendary names in the car world. Racing fans won’t be disappointed either, as many episodes dive into intriguing aspects of motorsports.
#5 Autoblog Podcast
Host: Greg Migliore
If your listening activities often include using the shuffle feature, you’ll appreciate the Autoblog Podcast. The weekly show is hosted by Greg Migliore, editor of the popular Autoblog website, and a rotating cast of supporting talent and topics. Each presentation typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes and can focus on a specific car or broader industry topics. With over 800 episodes, the Autoblog Podcast offers automotive enthusiasts a handy resource for highlights of past automotive events like Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance or Monterey Car Week.
What Makes a Great Automotive Podcast
There’s no exact formula that makes for an exceptional automotive podcast. Successful shows strike a balance between information and entertainment. Depending on your particular interests, on-target episodes share details about the latest trends and technologies. Impactful industry news is also a frequent subject. Above all, the content must rely on interesting discussions and stories to keep listeners engaged.
The host also plays a vital role in making a great podcast. Not only do they need to be knowledgeable about the automotive industry, but they also require a passion for cars that comes across in their commentary and an ability to communicate effectively. Further, a great podcast host brings content to life while making complex subjects appealing and understandable.
There’s a back-end element to popular podcasts that often goes unnoticed. An exceptional podcast needs regular delivery of new episodes, high-quality audio, and a robust format that keeps listeners returning for more.
Automotive Podcasts: Honorable Mentions
While we’ve narrowed our favorite automotive podcasts to five, other worthwhile shows should be considered. Here are a few that almost made our best podcasts list.
Initially starting as a TV program on PBS in 1981, the long-running MotorWeek expanded into podcasting in 2008. John Davis, the show’s on-screen host, handles similar duties for MotorWeek’s podcasts. Davis and a supporting cast rely on decades of industry experience to share an in-depth analysis of the latest news and automotive trends.
The quirky CarStuff podcast appears to have gone dark, but you can still access more than 800 episodes. Because co-hosts Ben Bowlin and Kurt Garloff talk about many timeless car topics (like “Junkyard Etiquette” and “The Cars of Breaking Bad”), would-be listeners can still get enjoyment out of this meticulously edited podcast.
The Classic Car Show
Hosts Tom Cox and Richard Lentinello of The Classic Car Show podcast take vintage auto lovers on a trip through memory lane. The well-spoken duo discusses the beauty and history of iconic automobiles from bygone eras. Along the way, contributions from restorers and collectors give listeners first-hand accounts of the classic car experience.
Adapting its name from the Australian term (“hoon”) for a reckless driver, the popular Hooniverse website branched into podcasting a decade ago. Host Chris Tracy and a changing slate of contributors dive into hardcore car topics like overlanding and other off-road adventures. If the subject is about something extreme in the car world, chances are the Hooniverse podcast has covered it.
How to Subscribe and Listen to Podcasts
As long as you have internet access and a smartphone, tablet, or computer, subscribing and listening to podcasts is straightforward. First, you’ll need a podcast app or browser extension; most are free. The most popular ones are Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. However, there are many more. Once you’ve chosen an app (or two), use the built-in search feature to locate an automotive podcast or talk show to check out. Most car-related shows don’t charge a subscription fee.
Remember to click the “Subscribe” or “Follow” button to download new episodes to your device automatically.
Keep Moving With Endurance
Listening to podcasts is one way to stay informed about the automotive industry, but what’s really essential is protecting your car from breakdowns and surprise repair bills. That’s why an auto protection plan from Endurance is the go-to resource for many used car owners. Sometimes called an extended warranty or vehicle service contract, an Endurance plan provides peace of mind and removes the worry about repair costs.
Endurance makes the process easy by offering plans for most budgets and coverage preferences. Owners can choose from primary coverage that protects the engine, transmission, and drive axles (a powertrain plan) to bumper-to-bumper options similar to a new car warranty. Endurance also offers programs for select luxury models, high-mileage cars, and commercial-use vehicles.
All Endurance customers receive 24/7 roadside assistance (with towing coverage and lockout assistance), rental car reimbursement, trip interruption support, and convenient payment terms. A 30-day money-back guarantee typically provides a complete refund if the cancellation request is made during the first month of coverage. Endurance plan holders can also choose any ASE Certified mechanic or repair facility for covered repairs.
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Get started today with Endurance, or contact us to learn all the advantages of an extended warranty. Go online for a FREE quote, or call (800) 253-8203 for personalized help from our award-winning customer service team. Get instant pricing and coverage details by visiting our eStore.
Be sure to check out the Endurance blog for expert advice on car care, DIY maintenance, car buying and brand comparison guides on Hondas, Nissans, BMWs, Toyotas, and much more.
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