Looking for a book loving, brainy guy who runs his own business? Meet the wise van man

Article date: 14 September 2010

Van drivers are the smartest, sexiest and most successful drivers on the road, a study by the UK’s biggest insurer has shown, coming top in most of the fields studied. 

Out of all the drivers questioned, van drivers were discovered to be regular bookworms, the most interested in politics and keeping trim, in addition to being the best person to fix your boiler if it breaks. Just don’t ask them about wine, you’re better off speaking to a biker.

Despite the fact they were the least likely to have a degree, half of all van drivers were the boss of their own business, as compared to 83% of sports car drivers who work for someone else.

Other findings from the research dispelled the myth held by many middle aged men; that those who flirt from the seat of their sports car are the most likely to secure a date. In-fact, more than a third (35%) of van drivers felt their van was an asset when speaking to a member of the opposite sex.

Over 70% of van drivers said they were interested in politics - the highest percentage – and half were proud to reveal that they are always reading a book compared with one in 10 sports car owners and the majority of bikers that admitted they "hated" politics and "never" read.

Nigel Bartram, motoring expert at Aviva, who carried out the survey, said: “It’s great to prove what we already knew - van drivers are switched on and enterprising! Gone are the days of the traditional white van man stereotype. What our research shows is that van drivers are entrepreneurial and responsible.  This is why we have tailored direct motor insurance to cater for the 21st century van driver.”

After a hard day’s work, the van driver is more likely to catch a news bulletin or documentary than anything else on the box and, out of all drivers questioned, is the least likely to watch reality TV.

With half of van drivers opting to fix household appliances when they break rather than ask for help, they are also the handiest to have at home. 

But don’t let them near a wine list; a quarter of van drivers admit they just about "know the difference between red and white" while the bikers have the sharpest palate with one in 10 describing themselves as "practically an expert".

For more information about van insurance direct from Aviva please visit www.aviva.co.uk/van-insurance/


For further information please contact:
Lizzie Earl, Frank PR on 0207 693 6999 or lizzieearl@frankpr.it or Adam Cracknell in Aviva’s UK Insurance press office on 01603 684916/ 07800 699 517 adam.cracknell@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:                                            

All research commissioned by Aviva and carried out by OnePoll who surveyed 3000 motorists between the 25 and 27 August 2010.

  • Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific
  • Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009
  • We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe
  • Aviva’s life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 9.8%** and a leading position in its key markets of savings, protection and annuities
  • Aviva UK Health is one of the largest providers of income protection, group risk and private medical insurance in the UK covering over 2.8m customers. We also provide occupational health solutions and services to a wide range of industry sectors.
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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009
** Source: ABI data released May 2010

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