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Congestion and breaking down among the biggest fears on long journeys

British motorists have expressed some of their biggest worries on long journeys – can you guess which comes out top?

A survey has revealed the top 10 worries for British motorists who are going on a long journey ahead of the last Bank Holiday weekend before the month Santa visits.

Top of the worries list is ‘traffic and congestion’, followed by ‘breaking down’ – a concern held by 44 per cent of the 2,000 respondents with a car aged six years or over. Having an accident is third, ahead of getting lost.

Fifth place is ‘driving in bad weather’, sixth place ‘driving when tired’ and seventh ‘arriving on time’. Rounding out the list is ‘keeping the kids occupied’, ‘running out of fuel’ and ‘getting back pain’, in eighth, ninth and tenth place, respectively.

The research – carried out on behalf of vehicle hire firm Europcar – found just 12 per cent of motorists think to service their car before a long drive, even though 10 per cent of females admitted to being stranded on the roadside in the past.

Of that portion of the ladies, 59 per cent said they experienced a three-hour wait for the breakdown service to arrive. Just 19 per cent of motorists admitted to owning breakdown cover.

On the subject of gender, 72 per cent of men do the driving while a mere six per cent hand it over to their other half. In stark contrast, 40 per cent of women claim their partner drives and 20 per cent say they share the drive.

Women did better when it came to making sure passengers would be fed and watered during the journey (65 versus 47 per cent), but 15 per cent of men planned an alternative route in case something goes wrong, compared to nine per cent of the fairer sex.

As for the top ten car checks before a long journey, topping up the fuel came is top (82 per cent), followed by checking tyre pressure (65 per cent) and then checking the windscreen washer liquid level (64 per cent).

Checking the oil is the fourth biggest concern, with 63 per cent of votes, despite breaking down being the second biggest fear among those surveyed.

“Just one in five (19%) of the people we surveyed are covered by roadside assistance, which means they could be stuck on the hard shoulder this Bank Holiday weekend,” Europcar UK operations managed Robert Shaw commented.

“And, if government plans to convert the hard shoulder into traffic lanes go ahead, drivers could have even more to worry about,” he added.

Although it may seem like hassle doing a pre-journey car check, it could save you a lot of hassle down the road and potentially a few quid.


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