Your opinions are important to help us develop campaigns
Road pricing, fuel prices, traffic congestion, road condition and road safety including young driver safety are just some of the issues that we must face up to as motorists.
We're keen to hear what you think, so the AA is working with leading market research company Populus* to get your views. We have established the biggest dedicated motoring opinion panel in Europe to help us understand AA Members' thoughts and opinions on the big transport issues as well as on some lighter topics.
Your opinions are the key to help us develop polices and campaigns on important transport issues.
Make your views on motoring count
This is your chance to join our AA-Populus Motoring Panel and help us to communicate your issues of concern to Government, parliament, local authorities and the media.
Every month we will send you a short online survey that shouldn't take more than 5 minutes or so to complete. Responses will be treated in confidence and we will publish an outline summary of the results every month on our website.
If you complete a survey you will automatically be entered into that month's prize draw to win £500.
We launched the AA-Populus Motoring Panel in 2008, since when more than 180,000 AA members have signed up to take part. Around 20,000 Members complete a survey every month making this the largest dedicated motoring opinion panel in Europe.
Surveys have covered a wide range of subjects - many of which we revisit from time to time to gauge how opinions change - from road pricing, young drivers, speed cameras and drink driving to parking, potholes, fuel prices and congestion.
We've asked the panel for campaign ideas and priorites too.
"I hope you can spare ten minutes or so each month to respond to the online survey. Your views will help the AA to understand what you see as the crucial transport issues and help us to communicate those concerns to government." Edmund King, AA President
Make your views on motoring count
*Populus (www.populus.co.uk) is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules
The results of our monthly AA-Populus Motoring Panel surveys frequently make the news on television, radio and in the press, both nationally and at a regional/local level.
Every month we publish a high level summary of the latest results so that those who take part can quickly see how their own views compare with the majority.
Below is a selection of AA press releases from previous years that featured survey results from the AA-Populus Motoring Panel.
Find more recent AA press releases featuring the results of AA-Populus Motoring Panel Surveys in the AA Newsroom.
Only 29% of AA members support congestion charging in cities »
81% say road condition has got worse in last three years »
(23 February 2011)
Driving songs - AA members choose 'bat out of hell' »
(11 February 2011)
fuel prices - only 7% consider writing to MP »
(31 January 2011)
2/3 resolved to park legally more often in 2011»
(26 January 2011)
Two-thirds expect to get 'ripped off' by garages »
(7 January 2011)
44% have done nothing to prepare for winter weather »
(16 December 2010)
The Greatest Inventions - flushing toilet and the car »
(15 December 2010)
'It's only down the road' - most popular drink driving excuse »
(4 November 2010)
Shock increase in support for speed cameras »
(4 November 2010)
1 in 5 AA members car shares regularly »
(4 October 2010)
A quarter have had shoe problems while driving »
(1 October 2010)
Supervising learner drivers »
(2 August 2010)
Should the government sell off the roads? »
(4 June 2010)
Make your views count
There were 16,606 responses to the motoring panel survey between 15 and 24 July 2014.
More than two-fifths (42%) of AA members think that the biggest road safety issue is poor driving standards (excessive speed, tailgating etc.).
If their car broke down abroad, the thing AA members would be most concerned about is the chance of being ripped off by a garage (80%).
Almost half (48%) think that sensing and automatic braking to prevent a low speed crash in a city will be available as standard by 2020.
When thinking about the use of CCTV cameras to enforce general parking restrictions and moving traffic offences, more than four-fifths (83%) are concerned that cameras cannot judge mitigating circumstances in the same way a policeman or a parking attendant can do.
Overall respondents seem fairly satisfied with the number of dedicated traffic police officers on UK roads.
63% also say that they would be happy for their prospective insurer to have online access to their driving licence information.
Thinking about the school holidays, 46% say that they have plenty of ideas for days out but they are so expensive that they have to limit the number of trips they take.
For days out in the UK over two-thirds(63%) search the internet for ideas, 53% get recommendations from friends and family, and 36% look at adverts or travel articles in newspapers, magazines and online.
7 in 10 (72%) say that drivers generally seem to be in a hurry are not considerate enough to each other.
46% of AA members agree that road users who are held up by excessive roadwork or incident related congestion on strategic roads should be compensated in a similar way to delayed rail travellers.
There were 18,026 responses to the motoring panel survey between 10 and 19 June 2014.
Half (50%) agree that road collisions should be treated very seriously and in order to show this, it is necessary to arrest drivers in situations where there has been a fatality.
The majority of members agree that the following offences constituted dangerous, as opposed to careless, driving offences in the event of a fatal collision:
Almost two thirds (65%) of members say that speaking on a hands-free mobile should result in the less serious offence of causing death by careless driving.
Of those who have been distracted, had a near miss or caused a crash the most common reason for this was due to adult passengers (47%).
Other more common reasons for being distracted, having a near miss or having a crash were due to operating the radio controls (42%), children in the car (37%), and using a sat-nav (33%).
87% agree (68% strongly) that it is the driver’s sole responsibility to ensure that ‘infotainment’ technology systems in their car do not result in them interacting with it and being distracted whilst driving.
7 in 10 (69%) members have taken advantage of supermarket money-off fuel vouchers this year.
More than half (55%) say that they are still careful about car use and fuel spend because of the big increase in gas and electricity prices last winter.
Two fifths (40%) say that drainage is no better now than it was during the winter storms and pools of water/big puddles remain a threat to drivers and other road users.
3 in 10 (29%) think that drainage has got better
78% believe it should be possible for drivers to be identified and prosecuted for illegally using a mobile telephone while driving abroad. 73% say the same for failing to stop at a red traffic light, and 70% for speeding while driving abroad.
Over a third (37%) ranked road surface as most important when managing and maintaining motorways and trunk roads.
1 in 6 (17%) ranked junction design and safety in 1st place, while 1 in 8 (13%) say that reducing congestion is the most important thing for the Highways Agency to focus on.
Almost half (48%) of AA members would not be prepared to pass through a red traffic light if their vehicle was blocking the progress of an emergency vehicle with their sirens sounding and beacons flashing.
A third (31%) would not be prepared to exceed the speed limit in such a situation and 1 in 8 (13%) would not be prepared to stop in a yellow box junction.
Almost three fifths (57%) of AA members say that if their vehicle was to breakdown on a normal motorway and the weather was warm/dry, then they would wait outside as far away from the carriageway as possible.
Despite the dangers, 1 in 6 (16%) would wait inside their vehicle if they broke down on the motorway and the weather was cold/wet. Falling to 3% if the weather was warm/dry.
Almost half (48%) say that the risk of death or injury on the roads e.g. mobile phones, drink driving, safe roads is their top motoring concern.
Over a quarter (27%) say that the state of the roads (e.g. congestion, potholes, and signage) is their top concern.
Almost two thirds (64%) say that having more dedicated cycle paths is a top priority for cycling in their area, while over half (56%) say the top priority should be mutual respect on the road between cyclists and other road users.
Regarding the top 3 hazards encountered by cyclists in their local area, over half (52%) say vehicles overtaking too close, and 46% say unsafe road surfaces.
Two fifths (38%) think that cycling is taken seriously by their local council.
Over half (52%) of respondents think that one of British cycling’s top priorities should be to cycle proof roads that accommodate cycling so that it becomes safer, more convenient and more desirable.
Almost half (47%) say that ensuring that all children receive cycle training should be a top priority.
There were 23,085 responses to the May Motoring panel survey between 7 and 15 May 2014.
69% say that they take out travel insurance when they go on holiday to a European country outside of the UK. Older respondents are the most likely to take out a general annual policy, with 38% of those aged 55 and above saying they do.
12% say that they buy the cheapest travel insurance they can find.
Almost half (44%) of those who don’t buy travel insurance say that the reason for this is because their credit card/bank account provides free travel cover.
19% say that the reason they do not buy travel insurance when holidaying in Europe is because they carry their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
When driving on a hot sunny day 42% close all the windows and turn the air-con down a degree or two, while 41% open all the windows and/or sunroof in order to try and keep cool.
One in twenty (5%) like to throw back the convertible roof and enjoy the ‘wind in their hair’ on a hot sunny day.
Only a third (35%) take some form of precaution against sun burn when driving in sunny weather with open windows/sun roof/ convertible roof. 1 in 6 (16%) have been sun burnt in the past whilst driving on either their arms or head.
18% of those who have been in a vehicle in Europe say that they have broken down - 15% had breakdown cover and 3% did not.
Among those who drive in Europe, the top concerns about undertaking a long journey are being involved in an accident (22%), breaking down (17%), and not knowing the language (17%).
For long journeys in the UK the top concerns are congestion (25%), being involved in an accident (17%), and breaking down (14%).
A third (33%) say that they plan to break a long journey with a stop for a meal/snack at a motorway service area.
1 in 7 (14%) will only stop on a long car journey if they need a toilet break or fuel.
Directions are the top thing that AA members say have caused arguments in the car, with two-fifths (39%) saying this.
1 in 6 (16%) say that arguments have been caused by driving too fast and 1 in 8 (13%) say that getting lost but not stopping to ask for directions has caused arguments.
AA members favour more classic songs when driving in the summers. ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles was the most popular summer track that respondents like to drive to.
50% expect to take more day trips or short breaks this summer and two-fifths (38%) say that they expect to drive more in the UK this summer.
Almost a third (30%) of AA members say that they always have a summer holiday in the UK, whatever the weather, and a quarter (26%) say that they will always have a summer holiday abroad.
Given the money and opportunity, one fifth (19%) of members say that they would like to try a narrow boat on the canal as their UK summer holiday, closely followed by 18% saying they would like to try staying in a historic building or castle. More than 1 in 10 would like to have a go at touring the UK in a campervan.
The most popular pet hate of other road users in the summer is throwing rubbish out of the window, with more than a third (34%) of members saying this is what annoys them most.
15% are most annoyed by slow caravans on the road in summer while 1 in 8 (13%) are annoyed by groups of cyclists on the roads.
Over two-fifths say that the UK’s varied and attractive landscape is the best thing about a motoring holiday in the UK.
13% say that the best thing about a motoring holiday in the UK is the familiar rules and regulations.
12% say that the best thing is that you are near home in case anything goes wrong.
There were 21,201 responses to the April motoring panel survey between 15 and 25 April 2014.
The majority of AA members (88%) have a road atlas, and the likelihood of ownership increases with age.
Around one in ten respondents (12%) have a current 2014 road atlas, with 3% admitting to buying a new one each year.
The most common reason for using an atlas is for planning the route of a road journey prior to setting off (54%).
76% of drivers surveyed agree that a road atlas gives a better overview of a journey than a sat-nav, with 65% suggesting that a printed road atlas is still essential to double-check routes.
91% agree that it’s better not to drink at all than relying on self-testing using a breathalyser.
68% admit that the only reason they’d buy a self-test breathalyser is if they were driving to France, where they’d be legally required to carry one.
Eight in ten survey respondents would be more likely to choose a dealer that had all its cars independently mechanically checked (81%), or choose a car that had been individually checked (82%), over one that had not.
70% would be happy to pay more for a used car that had been checked, compared with an identical car that had not.
The majority (51%) say that having official records updated and making sure the DVLA know they’re no longer responsible for the car is the issue that would be most important to them when arranging to scrap an old car.
Of least concern in the event of scrapping a car would be convenience (Someone coming to take the car away) – 13%, and the environment (Knowing that the car was to be de-polluted and recycled responsibly) – 11%.
Among all AA members who commute to work, travelling by car is the most common form of transport used (77%). 6% walk or get the train, and 3% cycle or get the bus.
The average distance working respondents commute each day is 15 miles each way.
Those people travelling by train to work each day tend to travel the furthest (approximately 28 miles each way).
Among those who commute by car or motorcycle, 17% estimate that they spend more time travelling than this time last year, and nearly a quarter (24%) have changed their daily commute in order to reduce costs, with 7% opting for a car sharing scheme, 4% using a bicycle and 3% moving onto public transport.
Among all respondents, 14% were aware of the upcoming changes to the toll booths at the Dartford River Crossing on the M25, and 12% anticipate being affected by the change.
31% of those in the East of England and 22% living in the South East think they will be affected when the toll booths no longer accept cash from October 2014, as well as 20% of Londoners.
If a red warning light came on in their car whilst they were driving, just over half (53%) would stop as soon as possible and check their vehicle handbook, and 26% think they would stop as soon as possible and call their breakdown provider.
If an amber/orange warning light came on in their car, 3% would continue driving and ignore it, but around half (49%) would stop as soon as they could and consult the handbook.
67% of AA members have their car handbook stored inside their main car and refer to it occasionally.
13% say they frequently refer to their car handbook they keep in the car, but 11% admit to storing their handbook outside of the vehicle.
There were 23,911 responses to the March motoring panel survey between 17 and 24 March 2014
4 out of 5 respondents (80%) believe that you are legally obliged to carry a warning triangle in France, whereas just over half of respondents (55%) think that you need to when driving in Spain.
65% of AA members believe that you are legally obliged to carry a first aid kit in France, and 45% believe the same for the Netherlands.
45% of members think that you need to carry a breathalyser in France, compared to Belgium 15%, Netherlands 13%, and Spain 10%.
Generally there seems to be a lack of awareness that you are required to carry an original copy of your vehicle registration document whenever you travel abroad. Only 48% of AA members believe this to be the case for France, 38% Belgium, 37% Spain, and 36% Netherlands.
The question asked about what is legally required rather than what is recommended.
Almost half (44%) of AA members have taken a vehicle abroad, and 12% do so at least one a year.
The vehicle of choice is most likely to be a car (43%), compared to motorhome (2%), caravan (2%), and motorbike (3%).
Almost 7 in 10 (68%) members agreed that price is the most important factor when considering how to transport their vehicle abroad.
68% agree that the Euro tunnel is more reliable because the service is not so affected by the weather (compared with taking the ferry).
Respondents were on average displeased most with the state of the road surfaces on residential streets close to where they live, with a mean rating of 4.25 out of 10.
Londoners were most satisfied with the condition of road markings on trunk roads close to where they live. The average was 5.73 out of 10, however those in London scored a mean rating of 6.38. Conversely, respondents in the South West were the least satisfied with a mean score of 5.40 out of 10.
Of those respondents who plan to change their car in the next 3 years, 42% are planning to choose a petrol car, and 39% a diesel vehicle.
Almost 1 in 10 (8%) plan to change their car for one with green fuel, the most popular being hybrid (6%), compared to plug-in hybrid (1%), and pure electric (1%). 12% of Londoners are likely to choose a hybrid car as their next car, compared to just 2% of those in Northern Ireland.
Almost one fifth (19%) of AA members have already planned to drive somewhere for a holiday or outing over the Easter weekend (18 April to 21 April).
5% are going somewhere over the Easter weekend, but not planning on driving while over a third (37%) are unsure and will decide last minute but if they do go somewhere they will drive there.
For almost two fifths (38%) of AA members in England and Northern Ireland, motoring issues will be important in determining which party or candidate they decide to vote for in the local elections taking place in May.
There were 24,351 responses to the February motoring panel survey between 21 February and 3 March.
Almost 1 in 10 (8%) of respondents go for ‘sightseeing’ walks or rambles for pleasure every day. This increases among respondents in the South West (10%), particularly in comparison to London where less than 1 in 20 (4%) walk for pleasure each day.
Women favour walks along the coast (35% vs. 30%) and in the countryside (34% vs. 30%). Whereas men prefer hills and mountains (14% vs. 8%).
Most AA motoring panel members are confident in their driving ability with 87% believing it very likely or fairly likely that if they were to re-take their driving test tomorrow they would pass the test.
Women were more likely than men to rely on a car to do the grocery shopping (87% vs. 82%), to visit friends and family (87% vs. 81%) and for social events and hobbies (78% vs. 71%).
Respondents aged 65 and over were the most concerned about giving up their driving license due to health reasons in older age, with almost two thirds (65%) saying that they worry about it.
When waiting in a queue of traffic younger drivers aged 18-24 were the most likely to keep the car in gear and their foot on the brake (23%), and those aged 65 and over were the least likely to (12%).
Over half (54%) of respondents agree that switching off street lights between 12 midnight and 5am sounds like a good initiative to cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions.
There were concerns over safety though, as over half of AA motoring panel members agreed that turning off street lights after midnight will encourage vandalism and bad behaviour (58%) and encourage more serious crimes, such as burglary (59%).
78% agree that local residents should be consulted before lights are switched off between 12 midnight and 5am in their area.
From a resident’s point of view 75% agree that 20mph zones should not include any roads where there are no houses, shops or schools, while almost 7 in 10 (69%) thought that residents should be consulted before a 20mph speed limit is set on their road.
From a driver’s point of view the majority of respondents (78%) said that they would welcome Speed Information Display signs to help them keep their speed down in 20mph zones.
The majority of respondents (81%) said that they would be happy to support a new deal for drivers/cyclists whereby both drivers and cyclists agree to abide by the rules of the road.
Three quarters (75%) of women, and almost three quarters (73%) of men said that they would welcome a campaign to remind drivers to check their mirrors for cycles and motorbikes.
Almost half (45%) of respondents agreed that if there were more dedicated cycle lanes it would encourage them to take up cycling or cycle more.
When buying a used car, over a quarter (28%) of respondents think that the most important thing to consider is whether the car has passed a detailed history/ data check.
For over a quarter (27%) of men the most important thing is to make sure that the car comes from a reputable dealer, compared with 23% of women.
Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents said that they were not likely to pay for the optional extra of emergency braking if they were to buy a new car. If the government were to provide a £500 cash incentive this figure reduced to half (50%).
There were 23,700 responses to the January motoring panel survey between 20 and 27 January.
The majority of AA drivers are careful when driving near horses, and are aware of their vulnerabilities on the road. Almost all (96%) agree that they recognise that horse riders are vulnerable and that horses may behave erratically, so claim to always leave them plenty of space.
However, around 1 in 6 (17%) believe that horses just shouldn’t be allowed on roads at all.
Two thirds (66%) of survey respondents have had at least some training in first aid and 43% say they would be confident that they could correctly give first aid if they were required to do so.
If they were the first person to arrive at the scene of a road traffic accident, the majority of respondents (56%) would stop their car and call the emergency services. A further 28% would get out of their car and try to make the scene safe by alerting oncoming traffic or blocking the road.
Half of AA members (52%) believe that reducing speed on motorways will make no difference to air pollution, with two thirds (69%) believing that it’s actually lorries that are a much bigger problem than cars when it comes to air pollution.
When thinking about motoring worries, the issue cited as the most concerning to AA members was the risk of death or injury on the roads due to mobile phones or drink driving (47%).
A further 24% of drivers said their biggest concern was the cost of motoring (e.g. fuel prices, taxes, tolls and parking costs)
62% of respondents are planning to take a holiday during 2014 where they will be driving a car.
The majority of driving holidays will take place in the UK (49%), but 11% of AA members will take a holiday abroad and will drive there from the UK, and 17% will take a fly-drive holiday, hiring a car upon arrival.
7% of respondents will be taking no holidays at all in 2014.
Only 21% of men and 15% of women correctly identified the the national speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads in the UK.
Over half of respondents (59%) say they take pride in their car and like to keep it looking good , and 17% say they’re really proud of their car, and like to talk about it often.
1 in 7 drivers (15%) say they would never wash their car themselves and would always go to a hand carwash or valet facility, and a further 7% would always opt for a car wash machine.
71% report that there are one or two notorious spots where big puddles develop on the roads near where they live, but locals know about them and just put up with it.
Two thirds of drivers (67%) also believe that local councils don’t seem to clear drains as well as they used to.
There were 17,629 responses to the December motoring panel survey between 12 and 17 December 2013.
When asked about how they might offset rising household energy costs during the winter, a higher proportion of respondents say they are likely to make savings in their road fuel and car use than their electricity and gas use (35% vs. 29%).
Over half of respondents agree that the economy may be picking up, but that they’re still feeling the pinch (54%). A fifth (21%) argued that they never really noticed the recession anyway.
A quarter of AA members (25%) have made a conscious decision to travel less by car because of the cost of petrol and diesel in the past two years.
On the whole, AA members feel that their garage always tries to treat them as a valued customer (79% agreement), which may be why 77% always use the same garage.
Nearly 9-in-10 drivers (88%) think that trust and reliability are more important than price when choosing a garage to carry out a routine servicing or an MOT on their car.
AA members appear generally vigilant about checking the condition of their own cars although more than one in ten reported never checking their engine oil (6%) or not having checked it in the past six months (5%). Tyre pressures and tread depth are the most checked items.
93% say that they recognise that cyclists are vulnerable, and therefore always give them space on the road.
However, 91% also admit that it’s sometimes hard to see cyclists whilst driving, and around half have a negative opinion of them – 54% argue that cyclists are inconsiderate road users.
Nearly 8-in-10 drivers (79%) claim to frequently be dazzled by other cars’ headlights, and a further 72% think it’s actually becoming more difficult to drive at night because of the brightness of other vehicles’ lights.
Nearly half of respondents (49%) would make a New Year’s resolution about their driving, with the most popular resolution being to drive more economically (14%).
11% of AA members think they might try and walk more in 2014, and 6% will try to drive less often.
99% of drivers surveyed say that they would adjust their driving if snow started to fall and settle on the road. 80% would slow their driving down a little and increase the distance between their car and other vehicles, and a further 1- in-8 (13%) would slow down a lot.
Almost half (47%) agree that they would leave more space in front if they were following a car being driven by someone elderly, and surprisingly this figure does not differ much between age groups.
A fifth (22%) say they would be more likely to give way to a classic car, and a similar proportion (20%) say they would be less likely to give way to a 4x4 or expensive luxury car.
In light of the government announcement that paper tax disks are to be abolished from October 2014, 65% of AA members are wary that other drivers will simply not renew their tax, and take a chance on being caught. Only 2% admit to be tempted not to renew their own vehicle tax!
Nearly half (47%) are concerned that without a paper tax disk to remind them they will be more likely to forget to renew their vehicle tax on time.
Worringly, 7-in-10 respondents (71%) have experienced the feeling that they can’t recall the last few moments (or longer) of their car journey whilst driving.
There were 21,587 responses to the November Motoring panel survey between 14-21 November 2013.
An ice scraper and de-icer are the most likely items to be carried in the car during the winter(86%).
Just 5% of respondents said that they would carry tyre chains.
Respondents from London were the least likely to take any measures to prepare their car for winter (87%), while those from Scotland were the most likely to (95%).
Less than half of respondents (45%) had heard about a potential Digital Radio Switchover.
Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said that they will ensure that the next car they buy already has a digital radio but that they have no plans to convert their car.
16% of respondents already had digital radio in their car, with the majority of them (90%) being very satisfied with it.
The vast majority of respondents (82%) stated that if there is a transferral of motorway management, there must be a roads ‘watchdog’ which has legal power to ensure road users are protected and get a fair deal.
92% of respondents felt that they would be affected in some manner by losing their car, and 72% of respondents said that it would have a negative impact on their quality of life.
Over a quarter of respondents (27%) would have to give up their job because they wouldn’t be able to get to work.
The days on which respondents were least likely to use their car for a journey of over 20 miles during the festive period were Christmas Day (22% of respondents), 29 December (20%), and New Year’s Day (17%)
Almost half (46%) of respondents aged 25-34 were expecting to use their car for a journey/journeys of over 20 miles on Christmas Eve with the majority of these going to see family or friends (25%).
On average, AA respondents would be prepared to drive 1.5 hours in a single day during the Christmas period to avoid an overnight stay.
The average amount of alcohol respondents thought that they would consume on New Year's eve was 5.63 units.
On average 18-24 year olds thought they would consume the most units (7.41).
The conservative party was identified as the most motorist friendly by AA members with 13% of respondents saying this.
A quarter of all respondents (25%) felt that none of the main political parties were motorist-friendly, and half (50%) of all respondents were unfamiliar with any of the parties’ policies regarding motorists.
Almost half of all respondents (45%) said that they had made a conscious decision to travel less by car because of the cost of petrol/diesel.
46% of respondents claim to be satisfied that the footpaths and roads where they live are kept relatively free of ice and snow.
There were 21,165 responses to the October Motoring Panel survey between 11-17 October 2013.
Three quarters of respondents intended to change their car in the next 5 years, with just over a quarter (27%) anticipated making a switch in the upcoming 12 months.
Most respondents intended to purchase a nearly new car (28%) while 11% wanted to change to a car that was cheaper to run.
85% agree that it's sometimes hard to see motorcyclists while 92% recognise that motorcyclists are vulnerable and always give them space - surprisingly 3% disagree that motorcyclists are vulnerable and 3% admit to not always looking out for motorcyclists.
Respondents were on average displeased most with the general state of pavements in residential areas than anything else, with a mean rating of 5.03/10.
Drivers in Northern Ireland consistently topped the survey for their average ratings of their road surfaces across all road types. They rated the condition of their main roads as 6.10/10, whilst road users in Scotland were least satisfied, scoring just an average of 4.89/10.
Compacted ice and snow were the conditions drivers felt least confident. Women feel the least confident in these conditions, with 11% admitting to feeling terrified.
Overall the majority of respondents (44%) felt that when they would legally be allowed to drive the morning after drinking 12 units of alcohol would largely depend on their body weight, the amount of food they had eaten, their age, etc.
There were 25,064 responses to the AA-Populus Motoring Panel Survey between 16-23 September 2013.
Tailgating is the behaviour found to be most annoying among drivers, with 36% of respondents claiming it’s what irritates them the most. Women are more likely to cite it as an issue than men
79% of respondents deem it acceptable that police are now using cameras to identify speeding vehicles.
Cameras are supported by 87% of women compared with 74% of men. Respondents in Scotland are most
5% of respondents claim that they have been the victim of any type of car crime over the last three years.
There is a wide regional variation of levels of car crime experienced, with 12% of Londoners, and only 3% of those in Scotland and Northern Ireland having been victims in the past three years.
21% of respondents don't always take measures to reduce the risk of theft.
Respondents are more likely to ignore a car alarm if they hear one when away from home than if they hear one ringing on their own street.
Just under half of AA members are aware of the Euro NCAP new car safety rating programme (48%), with roughly an equal split between those who did and did not take Euro NCAP ratings into account when choosing a new car (23% and 25% respectively).
Most respondents claim that listening to music never affects the way they drive (52%).
Of those who state that listening to music whilst driving does affect them, many claim that doing so is likely to make them less attentive on the road; just over a quarter at 26%.
When asked what their immediate response would be to an oncoming car that flashes it’s lights, most respondents would assume they meant for them to slow down as there was danger ahead (58%), compared to just 14% who would assume it meant there was something physically wrong with their vehicle.
36% of AA members surveyed would be at least mildly interested in buying a ‘dash-cam’, while 29% of respondents weren’t aware that such a thing existed at all.
A majority (90%) are aware of ‘flash for cash’ or ‘crash for cash’ scams. Whilst half (50%) do not really think about such scams when driving, four-in-ten (40%) admit to taking special care to avoid becoming victim of such scams.
40% of respondents do not believe there should be any change to the drink drive limit, with more men than women agreeing that it should stay the same (46% and 28% respectively).
59% are unlikely to use a website that would allow them to use other people’s driveways to park their cars at a lower cost, whilst 22% said that they would be likely.
There were 23,824 responses to the August AA-Populus Motoring Panel survey between 8 and 14 August.
Almost a fifth (19%) of AA members plan to drive somewhere over the bank holiday weekend. Just over a quarter (26%) of AA members may decide at the last minute to drive somewhere over this period.
About half (51%) of those who may drive over the bank holiday will be going on a day trip. Over a quarter (27%) will be going away for the weekend.
The coast or seaside is the most popular choice for a driving outing or holiday with 41% of those who may drive saying they are likely to go there.
The top 5 favourite motorways in the UK are the M5 and M40 (5% each), and the M1, M6 (toll) and M6 (with 4% each).
The least favourite motorway in the UK by far is the M25, as mentioned by 30% of AA members.
Just over a third (35%) of AA members use both a sat-nav and map in the car for directions.
Printed road maps remain the most popular type of map with 88% of respondents saying that they use them. Online maps are also popular and are used by 83% of respondents.
Three-quarters (76%) of AA members use the AA route planner.
About two thirds of AA members (64%) have been able to absorb the increases in the price of fuel in the past 18 months.
A fifth (20%) have had their budget close to breaking point at times, while 13% have had to dip into their savings and a tenth (10%) have gone into overdraft at least once.
80% of AA members agree that these are important for road safety and 85% think they are important to keep traffic moving or limit congestion.
77% agree that there should be a review of all double yellow lines to ensure restrictions are only applied where necessary.
Less than a third (29%) think that drivers should be permitted to park on double yellow lines for a short period.
Almost half (49%) of AA members think that the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for civil parking offences of £70 maximum for outside London in about right, while 43% think that it is too high.
About half (51%) think that the PCN maximum of £130 for inside London is too high - 71% of Londoners think that this is too high.
The three life milestones most likely to cause one to buy or change cars are passing a driving test (28%), change of job (26%) or retiring (21%).
Overall, AA members felt most prepared for rural driving (81%), rban driving (77%), driving in heavy traffic (72%), and driving with passengers (71%) when they passed their driving tests.
They felt the most unprepared for motorway driving (51%) and driving in poor weather (43%).
The suggestion that drivers should be prevented from carrying younger passengers and restricted to driving at certain times in their first year of licensed driving was generally less well received by younger respondents.
Almost a third of AA members agree that these restrictions would have prevented them from helping their parents with errands (35%), would have adversely affected their social lives (35%), made it more difficult to get to and from work (34%), prevented them from giving lifts to siblings (34%) and from being the designated driver for friends (29%).
However, 12% of respondents think that these restrictions would have helped them to avoid a situation where they crashed their car.
Populus received 19,949 responses from AA members to its online poll between 11th and 18th July 2013.
In the last five years only 4% of members have had a problem related to car servicing/repair that needed intervention via an industry conciliation/ arbitration system.
25% of respondents said that they are aware of the Motor Industry Code of Practice for service and repair, falling to only 12% of 25-34 year olds.
Overall 72% failed to indentify the correct description for lane one of a motorway with over half (49%) incorrectly selecting 'slow lane' and 5% selecting 'lorry lane'.
More than one in 10 (12%) potential 'lane hoggers' incorrectly identified lane 2 as the 'cruising lane'.
Almost 1 in 5 consider lane 3 (nearest the central reservation) to be the 'fast lane' rather than an overtaking lane.
Almost a third of respondents (29%) say that they tend to stay in lane 2 when driving on the motorway in moderate, flowing traffic. This rises to 38% in London and 41% among the 18-24 age group. One in 10 (10%) of those aged 18-34 said that they tend to stay in lane 3!
Over half (51%) of AA members revealed no-one taught them how to drive on the motorway, rising to 61% of respondents aged over 65. 1 in 5 (21%) said that they were taught by a family member or friend while 15% claim at least to have read the Highway Code on the subject.
Nearly a quarter of AA members (23%) had bought a used car which had a mechanical or other fault about which they had been misled at the time of sale.
11% suspected the used car they bought had been involved in an accident, 5% suspected the car had been clocked and 1% suspected the car had finance outstanding.
Opinion on the Government’s recently reaffirmed commitment to the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line is mixed. 34% of AA members support the scheme, 36% oppose the idea and 30% neither support or oppose the idea.
Four-fifths (81%) of AA members agree that ‘it is about time the government invested more’ in the road network after it was revealed that the government will increase the capital budget for the Department of transport. However, one-third (36%) think that road building and repair on such a large scale will cause unacceptable traffic disruption and delay.
Older respondents have the most faith in government to deliver their plans on time, 62% of AA members over 65 agree compared to only 42% of 18-24 year olds.
AA members think a fixed penalty charge (£100) being applied to drivers who stop on a motorway hard shoulder is highly dependent on the circumstance.
Circumstances where members agree the penalty charge should apply include stopping to make a phone call or send a text message (85%) stopping to check a map (77%) and stopping for a toilet break (68%).
Respondents strongly disagree with the £100 penalty charge in circumstances out of the driver’s control, such as a flat tyre, mechanical breakdown or road traffic accident (92%, 94% and 90% respectively.
81% of AA members think the fixed penalty increasing from £200 to £300 for driving an uninsured car is not tough enough, and 71% of AA members think six penalty points is not enough for driving an uninsured car.
95% of respondents agree that a driving ban should be imposed for the most serious offences where an uninsured driver is convicted in court, while 81% agree that the uninsured car should be confiscated.
45% of AA members think fines make no difference and that uninsured drivers should face a prison sentence (54% agree)
Respondents were split over how they would take their holiday money when travelling outside the UK. 28% would take out all the cash they needed in the local currency before they go, and 28% would pay for things using a credit or debit card. Travellers cheques and pre-paid money cards are not particularly popular.
There were 23,450 responses to the June AA-Populus Motoring Panel survey between 11 and 17 June.
On average AA members have crossed the Dartford crossing twice in the past year.
Perhaps not surprisingly it is Eastern region drivers, averaging 4 times in the year, and those in the South East and London who use the crossing the most.
27% of AA members surveyed have had a dispute with a neighbour.
Of those respondents who had been in a dispute with their neighbour, one quarter (23%) had been caused by noise disturbance from people or music, and a further quarter by cars, either blocking access to a property or parked outside (13% and 12%).
Filling up with fuel (90%), checking the windscreen washer fluid (79%) and checking tyre pressures (79%) are the most common preparations AA members make for a long journey in the summer.
AA members make careful plans for their summer car journeys with only 12% saying that they leave home without considering possible road or traffic conditions.
40% said that they choose to travel early to avoid traffic.
The most stressful moment to break down – for all groups – is on the way to the airport (35%).
Breaking down in a rural or isolated area makes it into the top three most stressful experiences for women but not men (32% vs. 28%) and they also worry more about breaking down at night (33% vs. 18%).
Despite 30% of AA members surveyed remembering playing car games such as I spy, pub football and car snooker with their parents, only 14% say that they play these games with their own children or young relatives on long car journeys.
Two-thirds of AA members (67%) think that hotels in motorway service areas should be allowed to serve alcohol either for take away or to drink on the premises, but a similar number do not think bars in the service area should serve alcohol at all (68%).
Half of respondents (48%) agree that there are more temptations to drink and drive in the summer than the winter.
If faced with a designated driver who had had one too many, most AA members (68%) will confiscate their keys and call a cab.
Two-thirds of AA members surveyed (65%) enjoy driving far too much to ever want a driverless car, and 56% wouldn't trust manufacturer or government assurances that driverless cars were safe.
12% of respondents can’t wait for the day when they can buy a car that will drive itself, and almost a third (31%) would like UK laws to be changed so that trials can happen on our roads. This could be problematic because over half of AA members (57%) would want driverless cars to be segregated and drive only on dedicated roads or lanes.
There were 22,194 responses to the May AA-Populus Motoring Panel survey between 23 and 28 May.
Of those respondents who have a mobile phone and drive for work, 81% say that their employer actively encourages safe and legal use of mobile phones at the wheel.
Nevertheless, 15% admit to feeling under pressure to answer their hands-free work mobile phone while driving and 7% say they feel pressured to pick-up their hand-held work mobile while driving.
96% believe using a mobile phone to send or receive text messages while driving reduces their ability to react to hazards, while 7% think it is a fundamentally safe activity to make or take calls while driving.
70% of AA members surveyed have ever driven abroad; 47% in their own car and 52% in a hire car.
Of those who have driven abroad, only two-thirds (66%) are confident driving their own car and 72% are confident driving a hire car.
Almost one-in-five (17%) avoid driving abroad.
62% admit to always doing lots of research before purchasing a car and 63% believe it is safer to buy from a main dealer or trusted brand.
A third (32%) say that buying a car is an enjoyable experience while 38% think it is always risky.
Buying a car that turns out to be mechanically unreliable is, on average, the biggest fear for respondents when buying a used car.
The vast majority of respondents, whether their employer pays for all, some or none of their fuel or whether they use motorways regularly or occasionally, do not buy fuel at motorway service areas or only do so in an emergency.
There were 21,510 responses to the April AA-Populus motoring panel survey between 15 and 19 April 2013.
More than a third (36%) had suffered windscreen damage in the past two years with the most likely damage being a stone chip. One in ten (11%) had had a stone chip repaired and one in twenty (5%) had had a windscreen renewed as a result of a stone chip.
Nearly one-fifth (19%) of young drivers between 18 and 24 forgo regular car servicing, choosing instead to get faults fixed only when they occur. This compares with only 4% of motorists over 65.
Overall almost one in ten have stretched service intervals a little (5%) or a lot (4%) to save a bit of cash. 3% have missed a service completely.
Overall, panel members seem to recognise and allow for the challenges associated with driving a heavy goods vehicle on Britain's roads with 89% agreeing that lorry drivers are not always able to see all other road users in their vicinity and 65% agreeing that it is the responsibility of other road users to keep out of the way when a lorry is manoeuvring - 86% say they hang back or allow extra room when there's a lorry nearby.
A lane change on a motorway or dual carriageway is the manoeuvre where most panel members have been involved in or seen an incident involving an HGV where the lorry driver could have been to blame (42%) or the car driver/other road user could have been to blame (33%).
As a result of rises in the price of petrol and diesel since 2007, almost one-third (30%) have made the conscious decision to travel less by car.
Over two-thirds (69%) of interviewees claimed that they have made general financial cutbacks, with 49% reducing spending on eating out, and 42% on entertainment.
Almost two-thirds (64%) indicated that they would be more likely to support an annual charge to use motorways if the Government Guaranteed that every pound raised through the charge would be fully offset by a pound reduction in motoring tax.
60% would be more likely to support an annual access charge if you wouldn't have to pay the charge if you didn't use the motorway network.
Almost all interviewees (92%) agreed that having no hard shoulder on a stretch of motorway will make it more difficult to deal with incidents.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) would be more nervous driving on a motorway without a hard shoulder.
Over a third (35%) of those surveyed were aged 17 or 18 when they got their first car, with nearly one in five (19%) describing their first car as 'an old banger with a bit of MOT and tax left on it'.
Nearly half (44%) kept their first car for 1-2 years, and were most likely(47%) to get rid of it simply because they wanted to upgrade to a better one.
There were 21,874 responses to the March 2013 AA-Populus motoring panel survey between 15 and 26 March 2013.
To mark the fifth anniversary of our partnership with Populus the March 2013 survey was bigger than normal to incorporate a comprehensive segmented snapshot of drivers’ attitudes and behaviours towards driving and motoring issues. The results will be published separately in a joint AA/Populus report later in the year.
A quarter of AA members surveyed (26%) plan to drive somewhere, for a holiday or an outing, over the East weekend (29 March to 1 April).
5% are going somewhere over the weekend but are not planning on driving.
A third (32%) are not sure whether they will go on a holiday or an outing over Easter weekend but if they do so expect to drive.
Just over a third (36%) do not plan to travel this Easter, rising to 43% among over 64s and 42% among Scottish respondents.
The vast majority of AA members surveyed (94%) do not plan to go abroad over the Easter weekend. 1% plan to go abroad by car and 3% plan to go abroad but not by car.
A quarter of respondents (24%) use motorways for at least a few journeys every week; 5% every day, 5% every workday and 14% for a few journeys every week.
A further 36% use motorways for a few journeys every month, while 37% use them only for a few trips every year.
2% never use motorways.
Only 14% of AA members surveyed have reported a pothole in the past, falling to 9% among 18 to 35s.
61% of respondents have seen bad potholes locally but not reported them.
22% say they would know how to report a pothole if they came across one in a road near to where they live, and 13% say they have seen information from their local authority describing their policy and approach to repairing potholes.
Nevertheless, 46% state they would report potholes if they had more information about how to do so.
There were 19,859 responses to the February 2013 AA-Populus Motoring panel survey between 14 and 22 February.
Thinking about the snow and ice in January, two fifths (40%) said that the road on which they lived was ‘like an ice rink’.
Half of respondents living in Scotland had their road gritted/cleared by their local authority. Whereas, a quarter (24%) of AA members from the South West of England said their local authority cleared their roads.
Only 4% said that the residents of their road worked together to help clear the road from ice and snow.
Only 2% said that their car was the most important factor determining their current quality of life while just under half (46%) ranked their relationship as the most important factor.
However, half (50%) said that without their car, their life would be boring and 67% agreed they would be devastated if they lost their car.
Half of respondents were concerned about violent crime in their life, whereas 39% were concerned about pollution in the environment, a third (35%) about road traffic accidents and 29% about traffic congestion.
Almost two-thirds (63%) said a total ban on drinking and driving would reduce road traffic accidents and under half (43%) believed reducing the speed limit in residential and shopping areas to 20mph would be most effective.
83% agreed that stronger discipline in the training of drivers and young pedestrians was a sensible measure to ensure road safety while half (51%) were against the instalment of road humps to slow vehicles.
Two-thirds (68%) were in favour more stringent driving tests.
Less than half (43%) agreed that drivers should be retested after the age of 65.
A third (35%) agreed drugs posed the greatest risk to the safety of teenagers as opposed to drinking (28%) and driving (15%).
Over half (55%) of drivers said that they always checked that their passengers had their seatbelts fastened and 88% stated that they never left their own seatbelt unfastened for short journeys.
8% said that they ride a motorbike, with men being more likely to do so (10% compared to 3% for women).
Out of those who said they ride a motorbike, more than two-thirds (71%) of those that ride said they do so for pleasure, whereas 13% said they regularly use their motorbike for commuting to work.
Of those who had bought a used car in the last 3 years, 65% said that it was a completely trouble free experience and just under half (46%) said they would recommend the dealer to others.
There were 22,827 responses to the January 2013 AA-Populus Motoring panel survey between 21 and 25 January.
The vast majority of the AA members interviewed (92%) think that the national speed limit for cars and car derived vans on UK motorways is 70 mph. Respondents are less confident about the national speed limit on single and dual carriageway roads - only three in five (61%) believe the speed limit on a single carriageway is 60mph.
Most (96%) would assume the speed limit to be 30mph if driving in a ‘built-up’ residential area or on a city centre road with street lamps
Half (49%) of motorists say the risk of death or injury on roads is their greatest motoring concern and a third (31%) worry most about the cost of motoring.
Few are concerned by the environmental impact of motoring; only 3% cite this as their greatest concern and 58% say it is the motoring issue they are least concerned about.
Over half (53%) of the AA members surveyed oppose congestion charging schemes in large conurbations and cities and a third (33%) strongly oppose these schemes.
A quarter (26%) would support a congestion charging scheme in their nearest large conurbation if they were given the chance to take part in a referendum.
Three-in-five (62%) are aware that winter tyres are specifically designed to perform when temperatures are below 7C.
A quarter (27%) of respondents are not interested in fitting winter tyres while 4% have been using winter tyres for several years.
Over half (54%) of the AA members interviewed have a full-size spare wheel in the boot of their car and 29% carry a skinny or temporary use spare wheel in their car. One-in-ten (9%) have tyre sealant or an inflation kit in the boot of their car.
46% of respondents support the abolition of the paper tax disc in principle; half of whom strongly support it (22%).
Half (50%) think the average fuel consumption is about the same as what they expected when they bought their car but 14% say that it is better.
A quarter (25%) think that the average fuel consumption of their car is worse than what they were told when they purchased the car.
On average, respondents rate the condition of the roads close to where they live as 4.65 on a scale of 0 to 10, (where 0 is terrible and 10 is excellent).
Half (50%) of the respondents think the roads close to where they live are worse, in terms of surfaces and potholes, compared to this time last year.
A third (rising to 44% of motorists in Scotland) have experienced damage to their vehicle caused by a pothole.
One-in-ten (10%) say a pothole caused damage to their wheel, tyre and tracking in the last two years.
The majority of respondents (91%) have no points on their driving license but 8% admit to currently having 3 points.
Almost three quarters (70%) of the AA members surveyed have had a romantic encounter in a car. Two-in-five (39%) have gone for a romantic drive and 3% have proposed or been proposed to in a car.
Three quarters (72%) of respondents think that making road and junction improvements to remove accident black spots would do the most to make our roads safer.
There were 17,883 responses to the December 2012 survey which was open from 14 to 20 December 2012.
This is only a very brief summary of the results from the latest AA-Populus Motoring Panel survey. Look out for more detailed results in the news.
42% of members say they won't be changing their car in the next 12 months. Of those who will be, half will be looking for a more fuel efficient model.
Speed and style were much less important in buyer’s minds.
Nine out of ten thought it a good idea for insurance companies to check DVLA’s driving licence record when a customer makes an insurance application if it cuts down fraud.
22% object to insurance companies being given driving licence details and two thirds are worried about their data being used for other purposes.
84% thought greater transparency of driving licence records was necessary because some people give false information to insurance companies.
There is a very high level of support for seatbelt wearing with 95% of members thinking that front seat belt legislation has been effective at reducing UK road deaths.
50% very rarely see other drivers not wearing a seat belt.
The survey asked members to highlight aspects of the driving test they would expect to struggle with if they had to re-take their test. Reverse parking was the most common with one in five members naming this as the hardest.
Half actually think that no aspects of the practical driving test would pose a problem.
More than 80% of members are 'generally happy'.
For a quarter of members, the cost of motoring is most likely to make them unhappy in their day to day life, while another quarter say traffic congestion is the most likely day-to-day problem to make them unhappy.
Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
If you have comment or question relating directly to AA campaigns and motoring policy then feel free to email the motoring policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org