From country to country, and even region to region, drivers across the globe have their own bizarre quirks. In Boston, Massachusetts, for example, drivers often nudge other cars to make room when parallel parking – as is the case in other particular areas of the US.
Meanwhile, in Paris, drivers travelling around the Arc de Triomphe adopt an approach to roundabouts that would have Brits spinning with road rage. Instead of giving way to those already on the roundabout, drivers entering it are given precedence.
But what about driving fears which lurk under the surface and aren’t as easy to spot? To uncover those, Vanarama has analysed online searching habits around the world to uncover the aspects of driving that are most feared.
More than half of nations (56%, 28 countries) fear cosmetic damage the most.
UK drivers are four times more scared of parallel parking than they are of car theft.
UK drivers fear breaking down above all else.
Of the 50 countries studied, only three (Italy, Angola and Ethiopia) fear car theft above the other driving aspects.
Only one nation (Zambia) fears reverse bay parking over the other driving aspects analysed.
64% of nations (32 countries) fear parallel parking more than their car being stolen.
More Than Half Of The World’s Drivers Fear Cosmetic Damage Above All Else
Of the 50 countries in our study, a baffling 56% of them (28 countries) are more concerned with cosmetic damage to their cars than they are about much more serious factors like car theft and breaking down. In total, 1.9 million users looked for tips and products to help with bumps and scrapes, while only 471,000 searched for help in preventing car theft.
More Than Four In Ten Drivers Fear Public Parking
Combined, 2.1 million users searched for tips and tutorials on parallel and reverse bay parking – accounting for a huge 41% of the total 5.1 million searches we analysed. And that trend was reflected across all continents, with Brazil, Japan, Poland, Ghana and Canada only a handful of countries searching for parking help more than any other driving aspect.
In all, 64% of the nations included in the study (32 countries) fear parallel parking alone more than their car being stolen.
However, breaking it down by parking type, drivers are three times more fearful of parallel parking than they are of reversing into a space – with 1.6 million searches compared to 502,000. Zambia was the only country searching for help with reverse bay parking more than any other aspect.
In the UK, parallel parking and reverse bay parking searches account for 286,000 of the annual searches, although neither is the most feared driving aspect for our motorists.
UK Motorists Are Most Scared Of Breaking Down
Each year, a huge 419,000 UK drivers search for tips on avoiding and dealing with car breakdowns – making it far and away the most feared driving aspect for Brits. In fact, the UK’s number of searches for help with breakdowns represents 61% of the global total.
The country with the second-most breakdown searches, India, is way down on 51,000 – despite having five times more drivers than the UK (150 million compared to 32.9 million).
Car theft, easily the most severe of the driving aspects we analysed, was the only factor to get less than 100,000 searches in the UK (42,000 searches).
Drivers In The US Are Five Times More Scared Of Parallel Parking Than They Are Of Their Car Being StolenDrivers in the US search 814,000 times a year for help with parallel parking, looking for step-by-step guides and examples. Car theft, in stark contrast, receives only 177,000 searches per year.
Surprisingly, only three countries in the entire study feared car theft above all other aspects – Italy, Angola and Ethiopia.
US motorists are also three times more concerned about cosmetic damage, like minor scrapes and scratches, than they are about their car being robbed – 614,000 drivers look for help with superficial damage each year, while only 177,000 drivers search for anti-theft devices and fully comprehensive insurance products.
Vanarama analysed yearly international search engine volumes using Semrush. Terms and queries related to parallel parking, reverse bay parking, cosmetic damage, car theft and car breakdowns were studied to reveal the most feared aspects of driving around the world.
The 50 most populous countries according to World Population Review are covered, excluding those with no available search data or those with search behaviours impacted by external factors. Research carried out October 2022.