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Driving Concerns for Staycations

09 August 2021

With Summer holidays across much of the UK now in full swing, many families will be setting off on staycations. However, new research commissioned by Europcar UK has found that the lack of car use over the last 18 months could be cause for concern for some drivers. 

The research found that over half of UK motorists worry that their car is unreliable and will not be able to make the trip. Despite this, 55 per cent admitted they don’t do basic vehicle checks, such as oil levels or tyre pressure before embarking on a long journey, with a worrying one in ten admitting to never doing this.

Over half of Brits also admitted to being on a car journey where the rear or side windows were obstructed – whilst not illegal if you have side mirrors, it is illegal for your vehicle to be over its recommended weight.

What makes you nervous behind the wheel? For 29 per cent of men it’s other drivers, whilst for 30 per cent women it is driving on unfamiliar roads. A similar quantity of men and women, 18 per cent and 16 per cent, agree that driving to a new location is nerve-wracking.


Local Road Sign Confusion


New destinations mean potentially new road signs, and the Europcar research also shows that Brits need to brush up on their highway code. When faced with genuine road signs many drivers did not believe them to be legitimate, including:



  •  Vehicles may pass either side to reach same destination – 39 per cent



  • Soft Verges – 25 per cent



  • Warning – migratory crossing – 69 per cent



Upkeep and the Rental Alternative


“Many families will have forgone foreign travels this summer, instead opting for a holiday in the UK”, explained Evelyn Tourish, Customer Experience Manager, Europcar UK. “But our research reveals many drivers have little faith in the reliability of their car and don’t check simple things like tyre pressure and oil levels.

"The last thing a family needs is to break down on a busy motorway because their car wasn’t up to the journey. If you doubt the reliability of your car or just want a bit more space to stretch out or accommodate luggage, Europcar provides a range of vehicle types to help the trip go as smoothly as possible.”

Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy & Research at IAM Roadsmart added: “We firmly believe in education and re-education, to build confidence, improve drivers’ and riders’ skills and promote road safety and whilst it is concerning to read the survey results, they confirm our own findings. We are aware of anxieties leading to lack of confidence, due to an extended absence of road use, and the surge in staycations and day trips planned for this summer.

“We know, through our own research, that drivers sometimes need to top up skills. Similarly, keeping up to date with the Highway Code, road signs and avoiding myths is key to safety. We would also encourage all drivers and riders to ensure they themselves along with their vehicles are roadworthy before setting out as well as taking regular breaks and paying attention to signs of tiredness which affects concentration, observation and response time.”


Key Data Charts


The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB. All surveys were conducted between 13th July 2021 and 16th July 2021 with a respondent sample comprised of 2,005 UK drivers. Below are the percentages of recorded responses to the survey, illustrated in graphs.


  • Do you worry that your car will not be able to do long journeys?



  • What makes you the most nervous about driving this summer?



  • Do you check your car before going on a long journey i.e. the oil levels and tyre pressure etc?



Picture: a family packing their car for a staycation.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 09 August 2021


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