We surveyed 4,000 UK adults on the most surprising things seen on a drive, most memorable journeys, favourite car names and conversations on the move 1.

Quirky car names

Almost half (45%) of drivers have given a name to their car, with Betsy, Betty and Bessie unearthed as the most popular names for UK vehicles.

Unexpected sights on the road

The majority of drivers have encountered unusual sights on the move. Nearly a quarter of motorists have seen pets in the driver’s seat (24%), 6% of drivers claim to have witnessed naked people at the wheel and one motorist reported seeing a sheep in the passenger seat of a passing vehicle.

The study also highlighted the quirkier things people keep in their cars, including: a mini-toilet, emergency sugar and tomato ketchup, cat litter (to deal with snowy roads in winter), a pair of roller skates, a kettle, a toy wombat and a leprechaun.

Arguments and proposals

Driving is about more than simply getting from A to B: Nearly a quarter of motorists (23%) have thought through a difficult decision while driving and one in eight (13%) have used a trip as an opportunity to have an awkward conversation with another person in the vehicle. Four per cent of drivers have proposed marriage while on a road trip.

When going on a road trip, drivers and passengers look forward to spending time with family and friends, above all else – although 17% of people look forward to snacks to eat in the car.

Scenic routes

The top three most scenic drives in the UK are consider to be: 

  1. Kendal to Keswick (A591, Lake District)
  2. Cheddar Gorge, (B3135, Somerset)
  3. The Coastal Way (Wales)

A drive to remember

But when it comes to memorable drives, it’s all about the occasion. The top three most memorable trips are:

  1. The trip to a holiday destination
  2. The drive home from hospital with a newborn
  3. The journey to a new home

In-car games

The most popular games played on road trips are revealed as:

  1. I spy
  2. The yellow car game
  3. The number plate game

Driving nerves

Nine out of 10 drivers admit some aspects of motoring make them anxious. The most common causes are:

  • Driving on unfamiliar roads (32%)
  • Driving in the dark (31%)
  • Driving in rush hour / busy times (28%)

Head to the Embrace the Unexpected campaign page.

Download the full driving surprises survey