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Research methodology

'RAC Report on Motoring 2011' is based on a large-scale internet survey carried out by Quadrangle on behalf of RAC.

In total, Quadrangle interviewed 1,002 British motorists (i.e. those who hold a current driving licence and drive at least once a month). The survey was conducted in February and March 2011, with the questionnaire taking around 20 minutes to complete.

The sample was nationally representative of age, gender, socioeconomic groups, all GB regions and new car buyers. The number of company car drivers in the sample was boosted by an additional 11 to provide sufficient numbers for analysis of this group (resulting in a total of 101 company car drivers in the overall sample). The results were then post-weighted to represent national household car ownership.

Statistical reliability

Any figure taken from a sample can never be taken as a precise indication of the actual figures for the total population being sampled. The figures shown are an estimate, within a small margin of error, of the actual figures. The error margin varies with the sample size - the larger the sample is, the lower the error will be. It also varies with the proportions answering so the error is lower for a 90/10 result than for a 50/50 result.

In order to illustrate the use of varying sample sizes and their affect on the statistical significance of results, the table below outlines the degree of statistical error broadly associated with different sample sizes from the car drivers' survey. For example, from a sample of 1,000, if 50% answered in a particular way, we would be 95% confident that the true range is between 47% and 53%.


Sample size   %age error:
   90/10 result    
%age error:
   50/50 result    
2,000    +/-2    +/-3
1,000    +/-2    +/-3
800    +/-2    +/-3
600    +/-2    +/-4
400    +/-3    +/-5
200    +/-4    +/-7
100    +/-5    +/-10


3.0 What is concerning drivers?

2.0 Who is the motorist?