Who are the happiest drivers?
What makes you happy about driving? The comforts of your car? Sailing through a perfect run of green lights? Perhaps there’s something deeper about your connection to your wheels?
By quizzing over 2,000 drivers from all over the UK, we have identified several significant factors that are improving happiness behind the wheel.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of these factors. From brand loyalty through to personal modifications, here’s what we think links the UK population with a shared passion for driving today...
Before exploring how the likes of practicality, personalisation and brand loyalty play their part in linking driving with happiness, Zuto asked people what they like about the experience of driving itself - as you can guess, we’d all much rather cruise along the open road in a convertible than battle through a blizzard in a coupe!
Most people (82%) said they enjoy driving and, according to the survey, the optimum conditions for a truly great drive are winding country lanes (54%) in calm weather (51%) with no aim, goal or objective (41%).
Some of the quirkier suggestions said the greatest part of driving was dogs sticking their heads out of car windows, (for 22% of drivers) or the occasional rude number plate (16%).
But for a whopping 48% it was the car's cosy interior during a rainy day that they enjoyed most!
On a practical level, there appears to be a clear link between car ownership and a feeling of independence.
For the majority of people (60%) the convenience of having a set of wheels can be attributed to their overall enjoyment.
On a similar note, 58% of the drivers surveyed said that owning a car gives them a feeling of independence, while a further 50% said owning a car makes them feel free - we’re talkin’ windows down, arm out, freedom baby!
These factors were more important than comfort (25%) and the ability to help out friends and family (17%), perhaps outlining that the luxury of car ownership, and the practicalities associated with it - as opposed to helping out our bus-riding pals from time to time - top the bill when considering the main reasons people choose to own a car
Personalising a car is important to one in five people and can be attributed to greater happiness across the board. With the most popular mod choices being alloy wheels (48%) and bumper stickers (20%), the levels of dedication are impressive – more than two in five people who personalise their cars spend £500 or more doing it!
For many drivers, personalisation doesn't stop at simple modifications or add-ons. One in six people are so attached to their cars that they give them a name – and despite the occasional "Mizzymoo", "Pumpkin" or "Jellybeans" popping up in the survey, it is in fact the much simpler names, such as “Betsy", that lead the way on Britain's roads today. So the next time you’re thinking of beeping your horn, just remember - that car has feelings, man!
To maintain accuracy, datasets with fewer than 50 respondents were ignored. For example, 17% of Saab drivers rated their happiness a 10, a higher proportion than BMW drivers, but there were only 6 Saab-driving respondents overall.