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70 per cent of British drivers are not confident when driving in Europe – study

Recent surveys conducted by the AA found that 30 per cent of drivers avoid driving abroad altogether.

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It has been revealed that nearly 70 per cent of drivers are not confident behind the wheel when driving in Europe, according to a new study carried out by the AA.

Almost 14,000 AA members were approached by polling experts Yonder on behalf of the AA, with the survey quizzing drivers about their perceived confidence when driving abroad.

The study coincides with the fact that the UEFA European Championships, which are being held in Germany, and the Paris Olympics are both taking place this year.

A survey of almost 13,500 people found that only 38 per cent of AA members would be travelling by car to the Euros and 24 per cent to the Olympics. Less than one-third (30 per cent) of drivers questioned felt confident about driving in Europe.

The number of confident continental drivers is also dropping, with just 17 per cent saying they found driving in Europe a pleasure, which is down from 41 per cent from a similar study carried out six years ago.

In addition to this, a quarter (down from half six years ago) said that they found roads in Europe to be in better condition than those in the UK.

Those drivers in the younger category (18-24) were the least confident on European roads, with just 6 per cent saying they were happy driving on the continent – again, the number has dwindled from 20 per cent six years ago.

In the 65 plus category, 33 per cent said they felt confident driving in Europe, which is also down on the 67 per cent figure that was revealed in the previous study,

Slightly more respondents said their confidence improved when driving a hire car vs driving their own vehicle abroad (45 per cent vs 48 per cent), while it may come as no surprise that the survey also showed that men claimed to be more confident than the opposite sex when it came to driving abroad.

Offering his advice for nervous drivers crossing the continent by car, Chris Wood, AA Patrol of the Year, said: ‘Before any long journey it’s important to check your car- it’s always a good idea to get your vehicle serviced before a long journey especially to a foreign country.

‘Check your tyres – many countries have the same minimum tread depth as the UK (1.6mm) but if yours are down to 3mm or less, consider having them changed as they will wear quicker than normal due to the increased distance being travelled.’

He added: ‘Check your route and make sure you know where you’re able to refuel or recharge your vehicle. Also make sure you’re familiar with the driving rules in the country you’re travelling to as they may differ to the one in the UK.’

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