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Executive Summary

Diversion signBritain is a country of over 30 million drivers, many of whom use and depend on their car each and every day. This Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of their attitudes and behaviour in 2011 with regards to today's motoring issues, the vehicles they own, Government transport policy and the behaviour of other drivers. It is based on research from a sample of 1,002 British drivers1.



There are a number of key findings in this year's Report which include:

  • The cost of motoring is the primary concern for drivers in 2011. 32% of drivers say this issue is their primary concern. Drink-driving; the condition and maintenance of the roads; driving without tax or insurance; and mobile phone usage at the wheel complete the top five.
  • Drivers are facing an increasingly tough fight to meet the rising cost of motoring but remain adamant there are few alternatives. This is particularly the case for rural drivers, though urban motorists are also feeling the pain. For many, using the car is seen as a necessity for daily life. For some, the high costs are already restricting their vehicle usage, to the detriment of their lives.
  • Drivers do not believe the 'war on motorists' has ended. More than three quarters still believe they are being treated as a cash cow by the Government. Just 1% believe the 'war' has ended and 8% that the Government is serious about ending the 'war' but has yet to act.
  • There are clear priorities for transport investment given the limited funds available in the current economic climate. 84% of motorists want the maintenance of existing local roads to be prioritised and 71% want targeted improvements to local roads. There is little support for prioritising the expansion of airport capacity or high speed rail.
  • There is strong support for a higher speed limit on motorways, but the appetite for higher limits on other types of road has declined. 75% of drivers want a motorway limit of more than 70mph but just 16% want a higher speed limit on 30mph roads. More police patrols and the introduction of in-car speed limiters are the most popular methods for tackling speeding.
  • Drink-driving continues to be a problem with 16% of motorists knowing or suspecting that they've driven over the limit in the last 12 months. Only 18% of motorists support maintaining the current drink-drive limit of 80mg compared to 24% who want a 50mg limit and 42% who want a zero limit.
  • The illegal use of mobile phones behind the wheel continues to be a problem, particularly amongst younger drivers. 27% of all drivers admit to using a mobile without a hands-free kit rising to 38% of 17-44 year olds. Social media is also a growing issue. 24% of young drivers admit to using email, Facebook or other social networking sites while at the wheel.

1. Further information about the research can be found in the Appendix

Rural versus Urban

Foreword by Quentin Willson