Italians are worst drivers in Europe, say Brits

30th Mar 2011
Italians are worst drivers in Europe, say Brits

British holiday makers believe Italians to be the worst drivers in Europe, according to a survey commissioned by leading car hire comparison site  With 34% of the votes for worst Europeans behind the wheel, the Italians topped the table, followed by the French (20%) and the Spanish (8%).

The confident driving style of the Italians, who undergo much stricter driver training than the rest of Europe, could be contributing to our reticence to driving abroad.  This was also highlighted through the same survey of 2000 British adults, which found that 49% of us don’t like driving abroad, with 62% of women in particular admitting to feeling scared or uncomfortable in the driver’s seat when overseas.

However, not all the votes for worst drivers went to our European cousins.  Interestingly, 5% of Britons surveyed by thought we were in fact the most reckless driving nation, putting Britain in fourth position.

With many Brits looking forward to a fly-drive holiday overseas this year, Anel Bruns, Product Manager at leading car rental price comparison site, advises drivers to do their homework before embarking on a journey: “Hiring a car is one of the best and easiest ways to explore new destinations, but before you jump into your rental car, research specific traffic rules and local driving etiquette to help boost your confidence and avoid unpleasant surprises.”

Driving in Italy – Top tips to know before you go!


Here are some top tips for arriving at your destinations safely and on time

* Pay attention – It is very difficult to get a driving licence in Italy, the training is much more complex and Italians are much more confident in their manoeuvres so pay particular attention when you are behind the wheel in this country
* Watch out for the little ones - Did you know that Italian teenagers can ride anything that is 50cc or lower from the age of 14? There are a vast amount of young drivers around Italy on mopeds and Vespa’s, so always double check your blind spots
* Smaller is Better - In many of the historical towns and cities in Italy, the roads were simply not built for cars to travel on so if possible, hire a smaller car so you can get around more easily
* Be wary of different laws - Since 1st January 2003, the motorway and carriageway speed in Italy has been increased to 93mph. Take care, as many cars will be driving faster than you are used to. Also, Italian law dictates that you must always keep your headlights on and dipped when driving on dual carriageways and motorways, even during the day
* Watch the vino - The alcohol consumption limit in Italy for drivers is 0.05%. Anything over this and you could face fines or even imprisonment! So if you are taken in by the beautiful rural vineyards and want to take a pit stop - be careful not to exceed the limit!

For more information on driving regulations at the destination you are travelling to, plus great value car rental, car hire comparison or for more information on car hire destinations or airport car hire, visit

Survey Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2104 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th and 11th October 2010 and was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


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