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Blog: Do you enjoy driving?

New research shows that only a minority of motorists relish their time behind the wheel these days. Where has the thrill of driving gone?

Frustrated driver at the wheel

When did the enjoyment disappear from driving?

That's the question raised by new research which has found that little more than a quarter of motorists describe their car as their favourite mode of transport.

Almost two-thirds of drivers - 63% - see their vehicle purely as a workhorse, according to a study carried out by Halfords Autocentres.

However, this latest figure is admittedly an improvement on the 84% who had this negative view in 2012.

Longer commutes

Halfords' findings give one possible explanation why Brits have fallen out of love with motoring: almost half of us now drive for more than an hour every day, up from 42% two years ago.

In most cases this is likely to be down to increasingly long commuter journeys - and there is nothing more certain to take the fun out of driving than rush-hour traffic and congestion.

But what are the other reasons so many of us no longer relish getting behind the wheel?

Canvassing opinions

We talked to some of our colleagues here at Confused.com to find out what they think about driving and whether they still enjoy it, or have ever done so.

One of the most interesting responses was from Adam Bate, 25, multimedia assistant, who has yet to pass his driving test.

He says: "I have taken driving lessons and I enjoy driving, although it is admittedly still a new and novel experience to me at this point.

"There's a level of independence and possibly sophistication associated with driving that does seem appealing to me.

"Plus, the sheer convenience of being able to go anywhere at any time is a bonus."

Reality bites

Motorway trafficMost motorists will recognise this description of the theoretical appeal of having your own car.

But unfortunately the reality can be quite different, as Adam's colleague, content writer Adam Jolley, points out.

"I love driving on the motorway as, when there's no traffic, you feel like you're making real progress and it's actually pretty easy," he says.

"But it's when driving into town that motoring becomes a real chore: having to deal with pedestrians, cyclists and traffic lights only to finish up trawling around a car park looking for a space.

"I'd prefer to walk, or even get the bus."

The menace of other drivers

Other drivers are as much of an issue, says Naphtalia Loderick, Confused.com's content editor.

She explains: "I now find driving, even on the open road, very stressful: watching out for stupid drivers who don’t indicate, cut you up, change lanes on a whim and so on.”

Naphtalia says she now prefers taking the train or coach for long journeys.

Let the train take the strain

"I can then have a relaxing journey with snacks, drinks, music and books to hand."

Perhaps another issue is that public transport is more enjoyable these days.

This is thanks to new technology which allows passengers to watch TV programmes they've missed or catch up on social media, for example.

As Adam Bate says: "As long as my bus is on time in the mornings, the length of my commute takes is not a problem, especially as I can use my phone for music, games and videos."

What do you think?

Do you enjoy driving?

We want to hear from you! You can share your views on our message board below.

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Chris Torney

Chris Torney

Chris is personal finance editor at the Daily Express. He's been a journalist for more than 10 years and contributes to a wide range of finance and business titles.Read more from Chris


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