There were 16,772 responses to the July survey between 12 and 19 July 2017.
Penalties and parking
60% of those who have ever received a ticket claim they were unaware they had done anything wrong until the penalty arrived.
When asked about the replacement of ‘pay by cash’ car park ticket machines 70% said they would be less likely to use a car park that only had ‘pay by phone’ machines.
When asked about buying road atlas’, one in ten (11%) panel members said they would never consider buying an atlas.
Among those who would ever consider buying an atlas, the most important feature in their decision would be how clear the mapping looks on the page. Seven in ten (70%) panel members selected this as one of the five most important features to them.
2% of panel members currently own/drive an electric vehicle. Younger respondents are more likely to own an EV
When those who do not own or drive an electric vehicle were asked what issues would act as a barrier to purchasing an EV the biggest concerns were the availability of public charging stations (84%) and the high purchase cost (83%).
Younger respondents are less concerned than older respondents over both of these issues.
When asked about where they would be most likely to charge their EV if they owned one, the majority of respondents said they would mainly charge it at home overnight (73%).
One fifth (21%) of respondents said the availability of on street charging at lamp posts where they live would make them seriously think about buying an EV.
Of those who have taken a summer day out and driven there, almost nine in ten (87%) have experienced an issue that spoiled their trip.
Just over six in ten (63%) have had a trip ruined by being delayed in heavy traffic on the way there and a similar number (61%) say they were delayed in heavy traffic on the way back. Two fifths (42%) have had a summer day out ruined by bad weather.
When panel members were asked about how they anticipate spending their time during the summer the most popular activity was watching TV with respondents planning to spend an
average of 10.43 hours a week doing so.
Respondents aged up to 54 expect to spend over 9 hours driving each week with those aged 18-24 anticipating spending the most time on driving at 9.85 hours.
When asked about a range of issues set to be negotiated as the UK leaves the EU, the issues of highest importance were:
- Being able to drive across national borders in Europe with ease rather than having to queue at immigration (6.88/10)
- Having UK car insurance that’s valid for driving in Europe rather than having to buy a separate policy (6.88/10).
- Retaining current rights to purchase goods elsewhere in Europe rather than reintroducing duty free limits (6.82/10).
When asked what their main car means or represents to them, among those to whom it was applicable the top scoring words were independence (26%) and mobility (25%).
The same proportion of respondents said their car was their pride and joy (6%) as said their car was a necessary evil (6%).
Bank holiday travel
Just over two fifths (43%) of panel members are planning to drive somewhere over the August bank holiday weekend.
Of those who will be driving, the largest distances are planned to be covered on Friday 25 and Monday 28 August.
Among those who have visited a garage for a service in the last two years, just under three in ten (28%) say they paid more in order to visit a garage they trust.
There were 16,239 responses to the June survey between 13 and 20 June 2017.
Changing tyres & Car servicing
Of those who have spent time at garages getting tyres changed in the past 12 months just over half (55%) spent less than an hour doing so. A third (33%) spent between 1 and 2 hours getting their tyres changed at a garage.
Around two thirds (65%) think it’s best to get the MOT and service done at the same time so that any faults are easily dealt with.
Just under two fifths (38%) say that keeping the MOT and servicing separate helps to spread the cost of running a car.
One in twenty (5%) think that you only need to get your car serviced when there’s something that needs fixing.
Nine in ten (93%) respondents who drive think some drivers park on the pavements without giving any consideration to how pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchair users will get past their vehicle.
Just under half (47%) think parking on the pavement shouldn’t be allowed at all, though just under three quarters (72%) agree that in some cases it is necessary to park on the pavements because roads are too narrow.
Road safety campaigns
When asked which high profile road safety campaign from recent decades has made the most significant contribution to improving road safety opinion is split between wearing a seatbelt and drink driving with around a third of respondents selecting each of these campaigns (35% and 32% respectively).
Overall, just under two fifths (37%) would be interested in a free one hour electric vehicle driving experience in their local area.
Around one in ten (12%) would be prepared to drive up to three hours from home for such an experience.
When asked about buying car insurance, around five in six (84%) panel members said they look carefully at the differences in cover excess, courtesy car, medical etc. before choosing.
Around seven in ten (69%) say they only buy insurance from brands they trust, whereas 37% say they generally buy insurance at the cheapest price they can find regardless of who it is from.
When asked about travelling to work in major towns or cities every day, two fifths (39%) of panel members travel more than 10 miles each way.
Of these respondents, 87% travel by car for the main part of their journey.
Among those who drive more than 10 miles to work in a major city or town the primary reason cited as to why respondents do this is that they simply accepted that getting there would entail a long drive when they accepted the job (30%).
Demand-based fuel pricing
When asked about a proposal by a major retailer to change the way it sets fuel prices on its forecourts by making fuel more expensive during busy period and lowering it again at quieter times, 88% of panel members said they would become confused if multiple retailers changed their prices several times a day.
When asked about the roads in their area, four in five (80%) panel members reported that potholes needing to be filled was a problem at this time of year.
42% said that shrubs or long grass blocked sight-lines at junctions.
Summer driving & Parking at summer events
Of those who make preparations before a long summer car journey, 95% of respondents said they fill up with fuel.
82% of panel members that make preparations beforehand said that they check their windscreen washer fluid before setting off. A similar number check their tyre pressure before setting off (82%).
Of those who every use temporary car parks at large summer events, the most common way respondents go about trying to make sure they can find their car at the end of the event is by looking for memorable landmarks at the end of their row (46%).
Newly qualified drivers
Six in ten (61%) respondents with children aged over 15 said they would feel more comfortable if their child had P-plates after passing their test.
More than half (56%) of panel members with children over 15, and to whom it was applicable, either bought or intend to buy their child a used car as their first car.
There were 17,417 responses to the May survey between 16 and 24 May 2017.
Second hand tyres
Over half (55%) think that new tyres are too expensive and around a third (36%) agree that getting tyres replaced is a hassle.
Only one in five (19%) don't think that penalties for littering should be increased.
Around half (49%) think it is reasonable for registered keepers to take the blame for littering done by their passengers.
Half (50%) think that the next government’s top priority from a motoring point of view should be increased spending on road maintenance i.e. fewer potholes and better road markings.
Asked about a variety of driving related ideas that may be floated during the election campaign, eight in ten (81%) think it is a good idea to introduce compulsory eye sight tests for drivers over 70 applying to renew a driving licence.
Just under three quarters (74%) think it’s a good idea to introduce financial incentives to buy new vehicles with greener credentials and half (51%) think it would be a good idea to restrict the use of older/more polluting vehicles in city centres.
One in ten (9%) of panel members do not listen to anything when they are in their car alone and prefer to drive in silence.
Of those who do listen to something when in their car alone, a third (33%) chose to listen to music radio (am/fm) and just under a fifth (18%) listen to their own choice of music.
The most popular method for listening to their own choice of music or audio books and podcasts is via CD with over half (56%) of panel members citing this as their primary method.
When respondents were asked which features they would associate with a connected car almost half (48%) said they didn’t know.
Among those who were aware of some features of connected cars, the feature with highest recognition was the car connecting to the internet so the latest information can be accessed e.g. maps (61%).
Just under half (48%) associate connected cars with the car’s systems being monitored and alerting them if there are any problems that could lead to a breakdown.
When driving, the situation members are most concerned about is their car breaking down in a dangerous location; just under half (45%) said they are worried about this. This is very closely
followed by fear of being ripped off by a garage (44%).
Car park damage
Around six in ten (58%) panel members have had their car damaged in some way whilst it has been parked in a car park in the last 12 months.
The majority of those whose car has been damaged experienced a dent or scratch caused by someone else (89%).
There were 18,077 responses to the April survey between 26 April and 3 May 2017.
- One in twenty (5%) panel members said they have never bought a used car.
- Of those who have ever bought a used car, reliability and safety (25%) is their most important consideration when shopping around for a used car.
- Two fifths (41%) say they have another car in the household so would be able to cope if their car broke down and needed to go to a garage for a few days.
- When asked to consider what they would prefer to do if their car broke down on a long journey to a destination away from home, two fifths (40%) said they would prefer for the breakdown recovery provider to take them the rest of the way there and they would arrange alternative transport home.
- Of those who have ever been made late or missed an appointment or event, the most common reason was bad traffic (76%).
- When respondents were asked which lane they would aim to travel in across various types of motorway, 85% said they would aim to travel in lane 1 on a three lane motorway with continuous hard shoulder.
- Only around six in ten would aim to drive in lane 1 on a four lane ‘smart’ motorway without a hard shoulder (62%) or a four lane ‘smart’ motorway with a hard shoulder that can be used as a running lane at peak times (61%).
- When asked which behaviours of other drivers they found the most irritating the top ‘pet hate’ was tail-gaiting with around a quarter (26%) claiming this is their biggest irritation when driving.
- This is closely followed by other drivers using a mobile phone (25%) and middle lane hogging (23%).
- Only 2% of respondents said they never see other drivers using hand-held mobile phones while driving.
- Around two in five (42%) said they see other drivers doing this on some journeys.
- One in five (18%) said they thought all potholes should be repaired within 24 hours of a local authority becoming aware of them.
- Around one in seven panel members (15%) own a dash-cam.
- Around half (52%) of respondents said they are interested in getting a dash-cam with 15% seriously considering buying one.
There were 15,470 responses to the March 2017 survey between 21 and 28 March 2017.
Only just over two thirds (68%) correctly identified a circular blue road sign showing a white bicycle over a white bus as meaning that the road is for buses and cyclists only.
A similar proportion (69%) correctly identified a red circle containing a black motorcycle over a black car on a white background as meaning that all motor vehicles are prohibited.
Over the Easter weekend the most common day people plan to drive on is Thursday 13 April, with a quarter of respondents (24%) saying that they would drive 1-10 miles, and 1 in 10 (13%) saying they would drive 11-30 miles.
When asked where they were likely to be driving over the Easter weekend, two-fifths (44%) said that they were visiting friends or relatives for the day.
- When asked to rate the condition of the road surface on various types of road near where they live, respondents were generally most positive towards motorways, giving the highest average
rating of 7.33 out of 10.
- Trunk roads scored the second highest on condition of road surface roads, with an average rating of 6.12 out of 10.
- Residential roads received the lowest average score of just 4.63 out of 10 with 6% of all respondents giving a score of 0 out of 10.
- The roads receiving the lowest average ratings regarding their markings were main roads (5.90) followed by residential roads (5.20).
Low emission vehicles
- Respondents were shown a series of abbreviations which may be used to describe a type of car or van with low environmental impact. Respondents were then asked to type in their
understanding of the relevant words or phrases it represents.
- The abbreviations with the highest level of correct recognition were EV and LEV, with a quarter of respondents (26%) getting these correct.
- Almost two-thirds of all respondents (63%) got none of the abbreviations correct.
LEV = Low Emission Vehicle
ULEV = Ultra low Emission Vehicle
ZEV = Zero Emission Vehicle
EV = Electric Vehicle
PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle
- When asked about a series of statements regarding the possible impacts of Brexit upon motoring related costs 6 in 10 (61%) agreed with the statement ‘I expect that the cost of driving holidays in mainland Europe will increase because of Brexit’.
- Other statements which saw the majority of all respondents agreeing were ‘I expect that Brexit will push up new car prices’ (58%) and ‘I expect that Brexit will push up fuel prices’ (57%).
- When asked to describe the street lights in the local area they live in, just under half (45%) of all respondents said that the street lights in their area are as bright as they’ve ever been.
- 34% of all respondents said that street lights in their local area had been dimmed or switched off.
- 35% said they feel less safe when out after dark.
- When asked which words they most associate with Be & Breakfast establishments in the UK, the most commonly chosen word was ‘traditional’ with almost a quarter (23%) of all respondents selecting this word.
- The least common word, with less than 1% selecting it was ‘funky/unique’.
Rising fuel prices
- Among those respondents who drive, around a quarter (24%) have made a conscious decision to travel by car less due to the higher cost of petrol and diesel.
- Around six in ten (62%) of panel members claim to have made some kind of change to their driving behaviour in the past year as a result of rising fuel prices.
- When those who drive were asked to what extent a range of issues would concern them in the event of a breakdown the issue of highest concern was the possible cost of repairs at a garage with 87% of panel members saying this concerned them.
- The second biggest concern was the immediate logistics of how to continue the journey with just under six in seven panel members stating they would be concerned by this.
Replacing older diesel cars
- When asked about a new government scheme aimed at scrapping older, more polluting diesel cars and replacing them with new, cleaner petrol, diesel or hybrid/electric vehicles almost seven in ten (68%) panel members were in support of this with around two fifths (39%) claiming they would strongly support the scheme.
Fuel duty and car tax
- When presented with the idea of replacing fuel duty and car tax with a system based on when, where and how far you travel, just under half (46%) of panel members claimed they would support this idea whereas a third (33%) would not.
- Respondents were then asked whether or not they would trust the government to deliver if promises were made to reduce fuel duty and car tax on the introduction of road pricing. Three quarters (75%) said they would not trust the government to deliver their promise.
- When asked about the possibility of Highways England traffic officers being given limited police power to extend their role to dealing with some common motoring offences such as speeding and using hand-held mobile phones just over half (56%) agreed that this would be a cost effective way of supplementing limited police resources.
- Three quarters (75%) of respondents agreed that we need more traffic police and less reliance on cameras in order to deal with speeding, mobile phone use and other driving offences more effectively.
Buying a used car
- When asked about the process of buying a used car, just under two fifths (38%) of panel members to whom it was relevant said they enjoy the whole process of choosing, finding and buying a used car.
- One in seven (14%) said they thought visiting car dealers was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
- Of those who have a glovebox, and keep something in it, the most common item stored is the vehicle handbook (77%). This was followed by a vehicle service history (49%) and a locking wheel nut adaptor (49%).
- When asked about performing checks on their vehicle, 96% have ever checked their tyre pressure with 41% having done so within the last two weeks.
- Similarly 96% have ever checked their screenwash level, with 56% having done so within the last two weeks.
- Around a third (32%) of panel members have experienced some kind of damage to their vehicle caused by a pothole in the last two years.
- Half of respondents (51%) have seen bad potholes locally but not reported them. Only 17% have reported a pothole in the past.
- Two fifths (40%) said they would report potholes if they had more information about how to do it and only around one fifth (18%) said they currently know how to report a pothole if they came across one in a road near to where they live.
There were 17,575 responses to the January poll between 17 and 24 January 2017.
Paying for roads
- When asked about the possibility of fuel duty being abolished in the future, almost a quarter of respondents (23%) felt that switching all fuel duty revenue onto car tax/VED so that all drivers pay a much bigger charge to access the road network, was the best alternative.
- Respondents were asked whether they thought they were most at risk of an accident from either texting while driving, or drink-driving. The overwhelming majority (71%) chose texting while you’re driving.
Buying a used hybrid or electric car
- When considering buying a hybrid, electric or plug-in-hybrid vehicle that was outside the manufacturer warranty period, 8 in 10 respondents (83%) said that they would be
worried about the capacity and remaining life of the traction battery pack.
- In general, respondents felt that it was more essential to get electric and hybrid vehicles checked over thoroughly (electric, 83%; plug-in-hybrid 83%; hybrid 81%) by an independent expert before buying, than it was to check over petrol (46%) and diesel (47%) vehicles before buying them.
Learner drivers on motorways
- When asked about recent Government proposals to allow learner drivers to take lessons on motorways, almost half (48%) of respondents felt it was a good idea and that motorway lessons should be compulsory rather than optional.
- Besides fuel, sweets or chocolates were the most commonly bought item in a petrol station within the last 12 months, with almost half (49%) of respondents having done so.
Reasons for driving tired
- When asked about driving whilst tired, the most common reason for being tired was due to a long day at work, with 4 in 10 (39%) of respondents selecting this reason.
- Late night driving was a reason selected by over a quarter of all respondents (27%).
Car tax changes
- When asked about changes to car tax coming in from April of this year, over half of all respondents (51%) said that they had no idea car tax was changing.
- 27% of all respondents said that they were aware of the changing rules but have no idea of the details.
Breakdowns on motorways
- When thinking about driving on a motorway with a continuous hard shoulder 84% of all respondents said they felt safe (a score of 8-10 out of 10).
- Only 4 in 10 respondents (40%) felt safe when thinking about driving on a motorway with no hard shoulder but with emergency refuge areas about one and half miles apart.
When given the scenario in which their car suffered a front wheel puncture while driving in lane 2 of a quiet motorway without a hard shoulder, respondents were asked how far they would be prepared to drive on (to an emergency refuge area or exit indicated by signs) rather than stop in lane one or two.
- A third (32%) of respondents said they would drive up to 0.25 miles
- A quarter of respondents (23%) said they would drive 0.5 miles, and
- One fifth of all respondents (20%) said that they would drive on for a mile.
House swaps and renting
- When asked about swapping homes for holidays, or sharing/letting part of their homes from time to time, the majority (85%) of all respondents said that they hadn’t done this
- 14% of respondents say they have had people staying rent-free (e.g. son or daughter’s girlfriend/boyfriend).