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BRITS BAMBOOZLED BY EUROPEAN ROAD SIGNS

Travelling Brits are left baffled when faced with European road signs new research finds.

BRITS BAMBOOZLED BY EUROPEAN ROAD SIGNS featured image
07 / 06 / 2018
  • Driving on the right-hand side of the road, understanding foreign traffic signs and knowing the difference between kilometres and miles per hour stress British holidaymakers out whilst driving abroad
  • The majority (89%) of Brits admit to having little to no understanding of foreign regulations and road signs, and 87% conduct no research into a foreign country’s Highway Code before driving on the roads
  • Over half of Brits (58%) admit to having driven on the wrong side of the road whilst driving on the continent
  • Italian road signs cause the most confusion in Europe, according to almost four-fifths (78%) of British motorists
  • A European road trip is on the bucket list for half (55%) of all Brits and over a third (35%) are planning on driving abroad this Summer
  • Three-quarters of Brits (76%) admit to being at a loss when it comes to identifying road signs at home in the UK
  • The new study has been specially commissioned by easyJet and Europcar ahead of the start of the summer getaway season

Top 10 most confusing European road signs and Infographic: https://www.flickr.com/gp/taylorherringpr/138vR3

Brits are left baffled when driving around the continent, as four in five (80%) struggle to correctly identify foreign road signs whilst driving abroad, according to a new study.

Driving on the right-hand side of the road (59%), identifying foreign traffic signs (44%) and understanding foreign rules and regulations (51%) prove the biggest challenges for British holidaymakers. Knowing the difference between kilometres and miles per hour also stresses a quarter (25%) of Brits out whilst driving abroad.

The majority (89%) of those surveyed admit to having little to no understanding of foreign regulations and road signs, and 87% conduct no research into a foreign country’s Highway Code before driving on the roads.

The research of 2,000 British motorists specially commissioned by easyJet and car hire provider, Europcar, reveals that a European road trip is on the bucket list for half (55%) of all Brits and over a third (35%) are planning on driving abroad this Summer.

easyJet and Europcar worked with Professor Stuart Cole, Professor Emeritus of Transport at University of South Wales to analyse over 800 road signs from across eight European counties to determine which territories left Brits baffled. The research also revealed that Italian road signs cause the most confusion, according to 78% of British motorists, followed by Portugal (69%) and France (68%).

A lack of knowledge discourages Brits to take to the road, as nearly three-quarters (72%) of Brits admit to feeling apprehensive when driving abroad and over half of Brits (58%) admit to have driven on the wrong side of the road. In addition, eight in ten (80%) admitted that they would be unlikely to pass a driving test in another country.

 

Kim McDonnell, Head of Proposition at easyJet says: “Brits are in holiday mode once they’ve boarded a plane, but a car at their arrival destination gives them the freedom to enjoy and create their own holiday.

“Our research shows that whilst fearful of unknown European roads, Britons love the notion of road tripping across Europe because it offers flexibility and spontaneity. With Europcar we offer our customers the best rates on rental services across 33 countries and provide seamless bookings so that customers can focus on planning their trip”.

The new research also revealed some of the obscure and quirky road laws. Of those surveyed, Brits weren’t aware of the following European driving rules and regulations;

  1. Filling your tank while your radio is still on in Spain could lead to a €91 fine (51%)
  2. Legally, you cannot wash your car on a Sunday in Switzerland (43%)
  3. In Romania, you’ll be fined if you’re driving a dirty car (42%)
  4. In Germany, you can legally drive naked as your car is considered a private space (29%)
  5. Drivers in Denmark must check for sleeping children underneath their cars before they set off (27%)

The study also revealed three-quarters of Brits (76%) admit to being at a loss when it comes to identifying road signs at home in the UK. Common driving mistakes due to misinterpreting road signs include taking the wrong turn (57%), breaking the speed limit (28%) and indicating the wrong way (27%).

Gary Smith, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group says: “We’re a nation that loves travelling and there’s nothing more exciting than taking to the road abroad and exploring the landscapes and enjoying the sites en route. We pride ourselves on our car hire service as it allows travellers to relax and enjoy their holiday, in the full knowledge that their mobility needs have been addressed.  

Professor Stuart Cole, Professor Emeritus of Transport at University of South Wales, said: “Unfamiliar roads can be daunting for Brits travelling abroad due to the lack of expertise in foreign regulations and road signs. European laws mean that many rules are similar, however, Brits should take the time to look through the traffic laws and signs of where they’re travelling to give them peace of mind to enjoy their trip”.

To celebrate providing travellers with car rental solutions for 15-years, easyJet and Europcar released the “Fly-Drive” campaign in May 2018, a series of mockumentary films about the ‘World’s First Flying Car for Hire’. It shows how a technical marvel like a flying car could forever change the roles of employees at both companies.

‘Fly-Drive’ follows the stories of an easyJet pilot trainer, ground staff as well as a re-imagined Europcar customer agent, bringing to life how the roles in airlines and car rentals might change in a world where cars can fly.

-ENDS-

For more information contact Frankie Allen or Georgina Vincent

 fa@taylorherring.com/gv@taylorherring.com

Tel: 0208 206 5151

Notes to Editors:

About easyJet:

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.

easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline. easyJet carries over 82 million passengers annually, of which more than 13 million are travelling on business. easyJet flies 298 aircraft on more than 980 routes to 156 airports across 33 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport.

easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people on local contracts in eight countries across Europe in full compliance with national laws and recognising their trade unions. The airline supports a number of local charities and also has a corporate partnership with UNICEF which has raised over £10m for the most vulnerable children since it was established in 2012.

The airline takes sustainability seriously. easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger's carbon footprint is 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.

Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – from our launch over 20 years ago when we changed the way people fly to the present day where we lead the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for our passengers.

 

About Europcar Mobility Group:

Europcar Mobility Group is a major player in mobility markets and listed on Euronext Paris.

The mission of Europcar Mobility Group is to be the preferred “Mobility Service Company” by offering alternative attractive solutions to vehicle ownership, with a wide range of mobility-related services: car-rental, vans and trucks rental, chauffeur services, car-sharing and peer-to-peer.

Customers’ satisfaction is at the heart of the Group’s mission and all of its employees and this commitment fuels the continuous development of new services.

Europcar Mobility Group operates through multi brands meeting every customer specific needs; its 4 major brands being: Europcar® - the European leader in vehicle rental services, Goldcar® - the most important low-cost car-rental company in Europe, InterRent® – ‘mid-tier’ brand focused on leisure and Ubeeqo® – a European company specializing in fleet and mobility solutions for both the business and the end-customers market.

Europcar Mobility Group delivers its mobility solutions worldwide solutions through an extensive network in 133 countries (including 16 wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe, 2 in Australia and New Zealand, franchises and partners).

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