43% of UK Drivers Have Missed the Freedom of the Open Road

April 26, 2021

Singing like you’re a star in a West End show, heart to hearts & the freedom of the open road - new research reveals what Brits have missed most about driving during lockdown.

As restrictions begin to lift and a nation eases out of lockdown, JET - one of the UK’s leading fuel brands, asked 2000 UK drivers what they’ve missed most about driving, with some intriguing and surprising results!

The open road

Many of us are looking to celebrate new freedoms we’d once taken for granted and getting back on the road is top of the list. Almost half of all UK drivers, 43%, stated that the thing they’d missed most about not being able to drive during lockdown was the sense of freedom with 29% explaining that they’ve also missed the opportunity to drive somewhere new - to escape the same four walls most of us have been staring at for the best part of a year! And for one-in-five drivers - it’s all about adventure. Filling up, grabbing a coffee and driving for the fun and pleasure of, well, driving - seeing where the road takes you.

I want to be alone

However for some, the best driving moments are related to simply being in a private space - taking time out to reflect and treating yourself to some much-needed ‘me time’. 22% of the drivers polled in the survey explained that ‘peace and quiet’ and ‘having time to yourself’ has been a much-missed part of driving. And for others (18%) they are relishing a return to those heart to heart catch-ups we only seem to have while on the road.

Diva Drivers!

There is a famous quote (attributed to Mark Twain, among others) that tells us to ‘dance like no one is watching’ and ‘sing like no one is listening’ - and for many drivers there is no greater pleasure than belting out some classics and being the star of your own playlist while on the road. And according to the poll, more than one-in-ten UK drivers (12%) are happy to admit that they ‘sing like they are the star of a West End show’ while driving!

And it’s a pleasure that is the basis of James Corden’s hugely successful ‘Carpool Karaoke’ - that has some of the world’s biggest music stars singing their hearts out while driving around town. The one with Adele has had 235 million views on YouTube and counting. And then there’s TikTok, where people surprise friends and family by singing in the car for the first time - the brilliant, joyous reactions captured on car cams.

Serving the community

And let’s not forget the joys of dropping by the service station for a coffee or snack. A massive part of our communities, they have stayed open throughout the pandemic - enabling front line workers to stay mobile with many sites adapting their retail offer to meet the needs of their customers. A simple pleasure many drivers have missed.

Top 10 most-missed moments of driving pre-lockdown

· A sense of freedom (43%)

· Driving to somewhere new (beach, countryside, new cities) (29%)

· Peace, quiet and a moment to reflect/having time to yourself (22%)

· A sense of adventure/going on a ride for the fun of it (21%)

· Having heart-to-heart catch-ups and meaningful conversations with family/partners/housemates (18%)

· Blasting out your driving mix with the windows rolled down (17%)

· Tuning into your favourite radio show, audiobook or podcast (12%)

· Singing like you’re the star of your own West-End show (12%)

· Visiting the service station for a quick hot drink and snack (11%)

· Driving on some of the UK’s best roads (9%)