Drivers' love for the car

Love for the car grows stronger as majority of drivers enjoy going for a spin

Drivers’ love affair with the car has grown stronger over the last 47 years, according to research from the AA. Even today most drivers love taking the car out just for a spin.

A majority of drivers (55%) have taken the car out just to drive it or look at the view, without even getting out, or without visiting a particular person or location, according to an AA/Populus poll of 20,029 AA members conducted last month.

Almost one quarter (23%) just go for a drive at least once a month including a keen 10% who do it weekly.

Those living in Northern Ireland (72%), Scotland (63%) and the North East (63%) are most likely to have just gone for a drive, whilst those in London (47%) are least likely to have done this.

Males are more likely to have  just driven (60%) than females (47%), as are younger drivers in the 18-24 age group (62%) compared to just 52% in the 45-54 age group. Indeed 13% of younger drivers do it at least once a week, as opposed to an overall 10%.

A majority of London drivers have never just been out for a drive (53%) closely followed by 48% of those living in the South East. Perhaps surprisingly, due to high costs of fuel, semi-skilled or unskilled workers are more likely to just go for a drive than those in higher managerial professions.

Despite cones, congestion, clamping and high costs, drivers’ love affair with the car and driving continues

Edmund King, AA president


Edmund King, AA president said: “Despite cones, congestion, clamping and high costs, drivers’ love affair with the car and driving continues. An AA survey in 1965 found that 80% agreed that ‘driving is a real pleasure to me’. If anything that love for the car has strengthened as an AA/Populus poll in 2008 found that 82% still enjoy driving.

“We hear stories that younger people are more interested in social media than driving but our AA/Populus poll seems to suggest that younger drivers are more likely to drive, just for the sake of it, than other drivers.

“It is perhaps not surprising that London drivers are least likely to take the car out for a spin, whereas those in Northern Ireland, Scotland or the North East seem to enjoy their scenery and the freedom of the road.”


The Motorist Today: some findings of general interest from a survey commissioned by the Automobile Association.   published 1965

AA/Populus Poll, May/June 2008

AA/Populus poll of 20,029 AA members, July 2012

(7 August 2012)