Commuting by Car: What Bothers us Brits About the Daily Drive?

Despite changing working habits brought on by Covid and ongoing campaigns to get people out of their cars, driving to work remains a fact of life for millions of us up and down the country. In fact, since the pandemic, it seems drivers are more likely to use their car, with recent data showing that over 50% of people prefer driving to other modes of transport.

Frustrated woman stuck in traffic

But do we actually enjoy the daily drive? And would we be willing to give it up if there was an alternative?

To find out, we’ve been speaking to drivers from across the UK about their commuting habits, quizzing them on everything from the reasons why they drive, to the biggest concerns they have about using their car every day.

Take a look at what our survey revealed below – we think you’ll be surprised by some of the results.

Why Do So Many of Us Commute by Car?

Traffic jams, speed cameras, road rage – just a handful of what drivers put up with on their way to work. Add to that the rising cost of fuel and growing concerns about the environmental impact of private car use, and it makes you wonder why any of us still choose to commute by car each day rather than using public transport.

When asked why they commute, almost half (46%) of those surveyed said it’s because they have no other way of getting to work. Another fifth said it helps them save time in a morning, while 10% said it’s because they enjoy it.

What’s clear is that the government has a long way to go if it wants to see more people using public transport as opposed to cars. With a half saying driving is the only way to get to work, there are clear shortcomings in the number of viable public transport services available, as well as a general unwillingness to swap the convenience of a car for the potential unreliability of a bus or train.


What Concerns Do Brits Have About Commuting by Car?

A nation of rush-hour drivers we may be, but all that driving isn’t without its shortcomings. Getting to work by car can be stressful at the best of times, and that’s before you get into how much it costs and its environmental impact.

We asked our motorists what worried them most about commuting by car, and though a quarter said they had zero concerns, others did list some issues. For instance, 15% of drivers get stressed out by bad weather, while slightly less (13%) said traffic can be a real issue. The general cost of running a car was also a problem for 14% of people, while around 1 in 10 said they were concerned about the environmental impact of driving to and from work.

Things get more interesting when you look at the cars people drive in relation to their overall concerns. Take a look…


Do Drivers Use Their Car as an Excuse to be Late for Work?

You’re sat in a five-mile tailback on your way to work, panicking about being late. We’ve all been there, and it’s never pleasant. But do we ever use it as an excuse to be tardy to the office? Our survey says yes – and surprisingly often!

Colleagues and Car Sharing

For years now, car sharing has been encouraged as a great way to reduce traffic and curb pollution during the morning and evening rush hour. On paper, sharing a lift to work with colleagues sounds like a great solution – so why are so many of us keen to avoid it?

According to the most up-to-date sources, only 1.4 million drivers car share regularly with a colleague – not great when you consider how many people use their car to get to work. But what is it about travelling with colleagues that’s so unappealing? We put it to the drivers in our survey.

The main reason Brits refuse to car share to work is not trusting colleagues to be on time (31%), while a further 27% said they don’t want the responsibility. Around 8% of people said they’d be worried that colleagues would make a mess in their car, while 5% said it was down to just not being a fan of those they work with.

All in all, just 1 in 5 people said they’d be happy to give their colleagues a lift to work, which seems a little antisocial. Maybe us Brits just aren’t morning people, but there are lots of benefits to car sharing – from cheaper commutes to more social time before and after work – so maybe it’s about time to give it a go.

Car Confessions – Do You Have Weird Commuting Habits?

While we were on the topic of cars and colleagues, we were keen to delve into driving habits and etiquette. What do drivers get up to during the 9 to 5 rush, and do they have any confessions they’d like to share?

Here are a few of our favourite statistics from the survey which reveal A LOT about how us Brits use our cars – for good and bad!

  • 43% of drivers said they often choose to eat lunch in their car alone
  • A quarter admitted to gossiping in their cars at work – discussing co-workers or complaining about the company
  • 9% have held company meetings in their cars
  • 5% have stolen a colleague’s space without permission
  • Only 2% hide in their car to avoid doing work
  • 8% had their car washed for an important meeting
  • 1 in 5 workers wouldn’t tell their colleague if they bumped their car in the car park – while 1 in 10 would only tell the owner if someone saw them

So there you have it, an in-depth look at how us Brits commute by car. However long you spend behind the wheel each week, Simoniz can help you take care of your car mile after mile. For more information and our full range of car care products, visit the homepage today.