Highlights from our 2024 Driver Poll surveys

Working with market research experts Yonder, our Driver Poll is the largest dedicated motoring opinion panel in Europe

January 2024

February 2024

Yonder summary February 2024

We ran our members survey between 12 and 21 February 2024 and we received 12,432 responses.

In this survey

Dazzle from traffic lights

In December, asked a question about drivers being blinded by vehicle head and brake lights (dazzling). Some members contacted us to say that they had been dazzled by traffic lights. So we opened this month’s survey asking panel members and drivers if this has happened to them.

Almost a third (31%) of those polled, said that they had experienced dazzling from traffic lights. Those aged 18-24 and 25-34 in particular, recall having been dazzled by traffic lights with two-fifths having experienced this (40% and 39%, respectively).

Home Insurance status

Next, we asked respondents about their home ownership status. The majority of those surveyed (81%) own their home outright or with a mortgage. We then asked all those who either own their home or who are renting, what kind of home insurance policy they have.

Overall, four in five (81%) have a buildings and contents insurance policy. This is highest amongst those aged 55-64 and 65+ (82% and 85%, respectively) and those who live in Northern Ireland (88%).

In London, the percentage of those with a buildings and contents insurance policy is notably lower compared to other regions, standing at 71%.

One in ten (10%) have a contents-only insurance policy, whilst fewer than this don’t have any type of home insurance (4%).

Automatic to manual driving tests

In the UK there are separate driving tests for automatic and manual cars. Learners who pass in automatics are not allowed to drive a manual car unless they take the whole test again in a manual vehicle (not including the theory). Learners who pass their test in a manual are allowed to drive automatics with no further testing. Electric vehicles have automatic transmissions, therefore anyone who chooses to learn and take their test in an EV takes the automatic driving test by default so cannot drive a manual car.

We asked our members if they thought this system should be updated

Half of those surveyed (50%) agree that learners who pass in an EV/ automatic should still have to take the full manual test if they want to drive a manual car.

Two in five (40%) agree there should be a short “bolt-on” test option to upgrade an automatic licence to a manual one if you pass in an EV.

Only a few respondents think there should be a scheme like “Pass Plus”, which does not have a test at the end but qualifies EV/automatic drivers to drive a manual car (7%).

Road casualty statistics

We asked our panel what they thought were the top three contributing factors for all casualties caused on Great British roads in 2022.

Travelling too fast for the conditions (76%) was the top reason chosen by respondents, followed by drivers using their mobile phones (42%). A driver/rider error or reaction (39%) and drivers behaviour or inexperience (39%) were the third top reasons given for casualties.

In fact, the top three contributory factors for casualties caused on Great British roads in 2022 were:

  • Driver/Rider error or reaction
  • Driver/Rider failed to look properly
  • Behaviour or inexperience
Vehicle repairs and consumer rights

We asked our members if they had a problem with a used car in the first six months after purchase, which reasons, from a given list, would they consider going to the car dealership they bought it from to resolve.

Over half (52%) said they would would always go to the dealer, even for a small fault.

Almost a fifth (19%) said they would only return to the supplying dealer if the fault occurred within the first few months, and 15% of our respondents said they would only go to the dealer if it was a major fault.

Our members were then shown a list of considerations regarding dealerships, and asked which, if any, applied to them.

More than two-fifths (44%) of AA panel members indicated they would feel more confident buying a car from a dealership that is transparent about its complaint procedures. Whereas, over a fifth (22%) wouldn’t even think about a dealership's complaints procedures before purchasing.

Close to a quarter of respondents said they understand their consumer rights regarding issues when purchasing a car.

Driver frustrations

Respondents were then asked what driver behaviours they found to be the most annoying.

Driving with full beam lights on when passing other cars was the most annoying (89%), followed by drivers not pulling over for an emergency vehicle (86%) and then not stopping at pedestrian crossings (85%) and not using their indicators (85%).

We went on to ask what were the most irritating behaviours they encountered from other drivers whilst driving. The results were:

  1. Tailgating (driving too close to the car in front) (34%)
  2. Middle lane hogging (unnecessarily sitting in the middle lane of the motorway) (18%)
  3. Talking on the mobile phone while driving (17%)
Easter travel

We next asked our members about their travel plans over the Easter holiday weekend.

About half of those asked (49%) didn't plan to travel on Good Friday. However, a quarter (25%) had plans to drive somewhere but have not decided where, and 13% are planning to drive to visit friends or relatives.

Similarly, on Saturday the 30th of March, two-fifths (44%) said they wouldn't be driving and just over a quarter (26%) will drive somewhere but are undecided and 13% will drive to visit friends or relatives.

On Easter Sunday, half (52%) don’t have any plans to drive. Of those that do, almost a quarter (23%) have not yet decided where they will go and 16% will drive to visit friends or relatives.

On Easter Monday, similar to the above, half wouldn't be driving (52%). More than a quarter (26%) of those who do plan to drive have not yet decided where and 11% will drive to visit friends or relatives.

Local elections

Turnout for local elections is typically 35.9% in England, as opposed to 67.3% in general elections. We asked our members about their local election voting behaviour.

The majority of those surveyed regularly vote in local elections, with almost four in five (78%) doing so.

Only 12% of respondents we asked said they rarely vote and 6% never vote in local elections.

Some local issues such as schools, hospitals and transport may individually have greater influence on local elections in specific areas. We asked those who rarely/never vote in local elections if they would be inspired to vote in a local election by specific issues impacting drivers.

Issues regarding the condition of roads (e.g. potholes) would inspire almost three in four to vote in a local election (69%). And the cost of parking in public car parks would inspire two in five to vote (42%) in a local election.

Residential parking costs

We wrapped up the February survey by presenting some statements about how the amount residents pay for parking permits should be decided, and asked which our members agreed with most.

Three in five (63%) respondents agree that residents' parking charges should only reflect the actual cost of providing and enforcing a Controlled Parking Zone, and more than half think that mileage (56%) and CO2 emissions (55%) should not be the basis on which the cost of a resident's parking permit is decided.

Half of those we surveyed (53%) agree that the cost of multiple parking permits should be the same for each vehicle in households with multiple vehicles.

A similar proportion (53%) think the length of the vehicle should be taken into account when deciding the cost of a parking permit.

A third (32%) agreed that the weight of a vehicle should be taken into account when deciding the cost of a parking permit, however, a similar proportion disagreed with this (33%).


Yonder summary January 2024

We ran our members survey between 11 and 23 January 2024 and we received 11,983 responses.

In this survey

Buying used cars

We started this month's survey by asking AA Panel members and drivers if they knew the definition of a list of words, they might find in a car finance application.

Respondents felt they knew what was meant by deposit (99%), personal loan (98%), credit check (98%), credit score (95%) and hire purchase (94%). Balloon payment (69%), loan to value (57%) and Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA) (52%) were less understood in comparison.

With the prices of electrical vehicles falling up to 13% in 2023, we asked if and how this would affect members decisions to buy a second-hand EV. Almost two-thirds (59%) said they have no intention of buying one.

  • Of those who did, 16% would likely buy a used EV in the next 5 years if this trend continues.
  • Less than one in ten (9%) would hold off buying an EV in case prices continue to fall.
  • A similar proportion would buy a new one instead of a used one if they were to buy an EV (9%).
Moving Home 2024

The majority of those we surveyed (88%) are not planning to move home in 2024. Only 6% revealed that they are planning to move.

A garden (14%), off-street parking (13%), a garage (9%) and local amenities nearby (9%) are considered the top ‘must haves’ for those who are planning to move houses this year.

2024 Holiday Plans

One-third of those we surveyed (34%) said they are planning to have a holiday in the UK and plan to drive. Fewer than this (30%) said they are currently thinking about a trip within the UK but haven’t planned it.

One-fifth (20%) are planning to go somewhere in Europe but will not be driving their own vehicle there, whilst 19% are thinking about a trip to somewhere in Europe, but have nothing planned as yet.

Just over one in ten of those surveyed (13%) said they’re not having a holiday this year.

Helping Distressed Road Users

More people than usual are likely to experience mental health issues at this time of the year. We asked respondents what they would do if they encountered someone in distress at the side of the road.

More than a quarter (26%) would intervene by calling the emergency services and then approach with caution and offer assistance.

One-fifth (20%) said they would approach and offer assistance only and not call emergency services.

Men were more likely than women to not get the emergency services involved (21% vs 17% of women).

A similar proportion (19%) would call the emergency services immediately and wait for assistance to arrive without approaching, whereas, one in ten (10%) would just call the emergency services to alert them and not wait around.

Spare Tyres

Many vehicle manufacturers now include a tyre repair/inflation kit with their vehicles instead of a spare wheel. It seems having a spare wheel is quite important amongst AA panel members and drivers.

Almost half (49%) stated they would pay extra to have a spare wheel if one wasn’t included as standard.

Men were more likely to pay extra for this when compared to women (53% vs 39% of women).

Just over a third (35%) would hesitate to buy a car that didn’t have a spare wheel – men in particular, with 38% saying they would hesitate.

AA members and drivers don’t feel too confident using a tyre repair/inflation kit, with only 18% saying they would feel fine with a tyre inflation kit instead of a spare wheel, compared to 35% who said they wouldn’t feel confident using this type of kit.

Confidence was quite low amongst women, as under half (46%) of the women surveyed revealed they wouldn’t feel confident in using a tyre repair/inflation kit.

We then asked respondents if their vehicle has any tools to help them repair a punctured tyre. A third (32%) said they had a full-size spare in their car, 29% said they had a repair/inflation kit and 27% said they have a space saver wheel.

Driving Through Floods

As the UK has seen an increase in heavy flooding, we asked drivers what they would do if the road ahead was completely covered by standing flood water.

  • A third (34%) said they are most likely to turn around and go another way.
  • One-fifth (19%) said they would drive through only if the kerbs were still visible.
  • Less than a fifth, (17%) would check the depth and drive through if less than 10cm deep.
  • Whilst one in ten (11%) would wait and see if anyone else drives through first and follow them.
Insurance Premium Tax

In the budget planned for 6th March, the Chancellor may announce an increase in the standard rate of insurance premium tax (IPT). The standard rate of IPT is currently 12%.

We asked respondents which statements they think are true or false:

The majority thought (96%) thought ‘IPT is currently levied on car insurance’ to be true. Just under nine in ten (88%) also thought 'IPT is currently levied on home insurance or travel insurance' (86%) to be true.

Half (55%) thought IPT being currently levied on breakdown cover to be false and about a third thought it being levied on life insurance was also false.

More than three quarters (78%) of respondents agreed that increasing the cost of essential insurance is unfair. 80% agreed that it would encourage more people to drive uninsured.

More than half (56%) think IPT should be cut in the budget, and more than a third (36%) believe IPT should not be applied for newly qualified drivers for the first two years of driving to make insurance more affordable for them.

General Election 2024

We then asked respondents to what extent transport and motoring-related policies influence them when considering voting in a general election.

Almost half (46%) of AA Panel members and drivers don’t consider transport motoring policies when deciding who to vote for.

However, a quarter (24%) said transport and motoring policies are in their top ten of issues.

Almost a third (31%) of those surveyed thought increased spending on local road maintenance (e.g. fewer potholes and better markings within residential areas) should be the government's top priority when it comes to motoring, followed by maintenance of major roads (22%).

With a general election to happen this year, more than two-thirds (69%) are concerned that motoring taxes (VED, fuel duty) will increase. The same proportion (69%) are concerned that motoring costs (road pricing, tolls, fuel, parking) will also increase following the election result.

And lastly, given that there is a lot of concern amongst drivers about increases in costs, we asked them which ideas affecting drivers would they consider to be good or bad.

Good ideas according to AA panel members and drivers are:

  • Installing more Emergency Areas to motorways without hard shoulders (86%)
  • Tougher sentences for offences such as causing death by dangerous driving (84%)
  • Scrap existing All Lane Running smart motorways and reintroduce the hard shoulder (81%)
  • Compulsory eyesight tests for drivers over 70 applying to renew a driving licence (76%)
  • Introducing a graduated driving licence for newly qualified drivers (e.g. limiting the number of passengers for a certain period once they pass their test) (72%)
  • Tougher penalties for traffic offences (e.g. speeding, drink driving) (68%)
  • More traffic police (67%)

Bad ideas according to AA panel members and drivers included:

  • Increased taxation on petrol and diesel vehicles (87%)
  • Allowing the use of fully autonomous cars on public roads (driverless cars) (76%)
  • Expanding the use of partially autonomous cars on public roads (66%)
  • Charge drivers for using older/ more polluting vehicles in urban areas (57%)
  • Prioritise rail and bus services over road improvements (50%)