The VW Wave introduction

Have you ever been driving your Volkswagen (VW) and noticed another VW driver giving you a friendly wave? If so, you’ve experienced the unique and heartwarming phenomenon known as the “VW wave.”

This is a great topic! If you are new to owning a VW Transporter of any year and model you may be wondering why random people are waving at you when out and about on the UK roads! The VW Transporter wave is exactly what you might imagine it is, let’s explore it in detail.

Whether you’re a devoted VW enthusiast or simply curious about the camaraderie on the road, join us as we unravel the secrets behind this cherished tradition and celebrate the connection that unites VW drivers around the globe.

VW Wave
VW hand wave

What are the VW Transporter waving rules?

There are no rules! If you are in a Transporter of any year and model it is perfectly acceptable to wave at another fellow VW enthusiast providing the road conditions are safe for you to do so.

I tend to limit my waves to those VW’s that are clearly owned by enthusiasts (rather than the commercial panel van with ladders on the roof variety).

The trigger point for me to let loose a wave is if the Transporter has the giveaway side window (kombi) versions. Occasionally if the side window is missing but it clearly has tasteful modifications such as alloys or body kits/ unique spray job then you can be pretty certain it is an enthusiast that will wave back.

As a rule of thumb if you, or they are sat at a junction or roundabout it is reasonable to not wave. When on the open road a polite wave or thumbs up is almost always returned with the same.

VW Transporter waving – Model snobs

It is important to note that although most transporter enthusiasts’ wave at all years and models, you do occasionally get “model snobs”! These are a rare breed of VW transporter owner that prefer to stick to waving at their own kind! Do not be offended.

Don’t take it personally if you are in a VW T4 and don’t get a return wave from someone driving around in a VW T6 for example.

If I don’t get a return wave I tend to put it down to the owner most likely either being new to the enthusiast club so simply doesn’t understand the meaning of a wave, or occasionally their nose maybe too far pointed upwards to be able to notice the wave ;o)

Either explanation is a perfectly acceptable reason that you might miss a return wave and we can’t hold a grudge for a none waver ;o)

Why do VW Transporters wave at each other?

The VW wave is a sign of comradery and appreciation that you share the same expensive hobby as another fellow dubber! In the UK at least, It is not unique to just VW owners.

Frequently other enthusiast clubs have a similar wave, examples such as bongo owners and TVR owners. Even bikers have a “nod rule” where it is common practice to exchange a nod between one another.

VW Owner comrades

Other clubs that may be of interest

Classic VW Beetles
Classic VW Beetle owners wave too!

Acceptable reasons to miss a return wave

There will always be reasons that you cannot always return a wave and fellow VW owners will understand so don’t stress!

Acceptable reasons to not wave

  • Wind screen glare meant you missed the wave completely
  • Adverse weather conditions makes identifying a wave very hard. If visibility isn’t clear, a wave probably isn’t your priority.
  • Motorways are a no wave zone. You can’t see over the barrier and travelling too fast to identify every VW that passes.
  • Junctions, roundabouts or in town where a wave maybe misinterpreted by pedestrians or other road users. You do not want to cause an accident.
  • Model snobs (I am putting this down as acceptable to demonstrate I don’t hold a grudge ;o)
  • Commercial vans with ladders on the roof. If they wave first, definitely wave back as it is polite to do so. Generally speaking I wouldn’t wave at a panel van as they are unlikely to be similar enthusiasts and are just off to work.

The VW Transporter toot

This is a bit of a grey area as tooting on UK roads is a signal to alert another road user and shouldn’t really be used as an exchange of comradery.

To toot or not to toot VW
Worthy of a toot?


If you are in a REALLY nice Transporter particularly a split screen classic from the 60’s, sometimes our fellow enthusiasts do get a bit excited with the horn.

Don’t be startled, it is just an additional sign of appreciation for your super cool wheels.

I have also witnessed the odd toot exchange where you have matching vans, usually where you have the same original paint job on a T4, T25 or older. It is a sign of that extra bond with the other fellow enthusiast as the older models are becoming rarer to find in the same colours.

I personally tend to avoid the tooting but have witnessed it a few times on open roads where no harm can be caused by a bit of a rogue toot!

How do you wave at a VW Transporter?

An odd question I know! However, it has been discussed many times before. Some enthusiasts stick to a thumbs up or a casual hand wave. Occasionally I have seen owners use the VW hand guesture when you make the “V” and “W” with your hands.

If you have your windows down it is also acceptable to hold your arm out casually to exchange a wave to an oncoming dubber. Don’t hold back!

Can VW passengers wave too?

Of course, this is a really important part of being a passenger in front of a VW Transporter. It is a great way to introduce a friend to the comrade that exists within the VW circle.

Conclusion to the VW Transporter wave

So, should you wave at a fellow VW Transporter owner? Absolutely!

The VW wave is more than just a friendly gesture on the road—it represents a connection that transcends geographical boundaries and vehicle models. By embracing this tradition, we become part of a larger community that celebrates the joy of driving and the passion for all things VW.

So, next time you see a fellow VW driver on the road, don’t forget to give them a wave and share in the camaraderie. “The Transporter Life” blog is here to celebrate this cherished tradition and provide a platform for VW enthusiasts to connect, learn, and inspire one another. Let’s keep the VW wave alive and continue spreading the love and positivity on our Volkswagen journeys.

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