Press Release
School’s Out – But Europeans Urged To Do Their Homework Before Driving Abroad This Summer

• 38% are unaware of emergency service number
• 33% drive in countries without knowing all speed limits
• One in five (21%) not sure if speed signs are in mph or kph
• Many driving abroad for the first time won’t prepare in advance
• 13% have had a car accident abroad – and 35% have been penalised for a motoring offence

LONDON (Aug. 21, 2016) – With school holidays underway across Europe, it has been revealed that many Europeans planning to drive abroad this summer have a worryingly low understanding of foreign driving laws. However, a third of people (34%) still refuse to do any preparation before they drive.

According to new research from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, part of the world’s largest car rental company, Enterprise Holdings, 38% of drivers who say they will be driving abroad this summer don’t know the emergency services number for the country they plan to drive in. And this rises to more than three quarters (77%) of people planning to drive in France – the most popular destination for Europeans driving outside their home country. The research was undertaken among 4,534 drivers in Germany, France, UK, Spain and Ireland who are planning to drive abroad this summer.

A third (33%) admitted they don’t know the various speed limits for the countries they plan to drive in and nearly one in three (32%) don’t know the rules on drink driving. Perhaps most surprisingly, the research showed that Europeans are almost as likely to check that they have their favourite pair of sunglasses to hand (52%) as they are to check the local driving regulations (55%).

Focus on first time drivers
The research found a particularly worrying lack of understanding and preparation for those driving abroad for the first time, accounting for nearly one in five (19%) of all adults driving abroad this summer across the five countries. Among these, one in five say they don’t prepare prior to their holiday drive despite the fact that over a quarter (28%) admit they don’t even know if speed limits are displayed in mph or kph in the country they intend to drive in.

When asked why they won’t prepare for their first drive abroad, one in five (22%) say they feel there is ‘nothing to prepare for’ while 20% say they believe driving abroad is ‘much the same as driving at home’. Almost two out of five people (37%) who had previous experience of driving abroad said they don’t prepare.

Very real consequences
The research found that the consequences of not preparing for a drive abroad are very real. Over a third of Europeans interviewed (35%) admit they have been penalised for a traffic offence overseas - and a third of those (35%) said it was for something that they didn’t even realise was an offence in that country.

In addition, 13% say they have had an accident while abroad. And the consequences could have been even worse as 13% also admit to driving on the wrong side of the road while in a foreign country, putting themselves and other road users in potential danger.

Ben Lawson, vice president of rental for Europe, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, says: “The findings are concerning. It seems that many Europeans are displaying a very casual attitude to driving in other countries which often have very different driving regulations to those they are used to. The lack of preparation by many first time drivers is a cause for concern, as is the number of drivers we surveyed who have driven abroad previously but still don’t seem familiar with many of the rules.”

“The message is simple really – make sure you read up on the local laws for the countries you’ll be driving in so you don’t put yourself and your passengers in unnecessary danger or expose yourself to a fine. When you do get it right, driving abroad can give you a real freedom to explore when you’re on holiday.”

Notes to editors: Research conducted in April 2016 by market research data collection organization Research Now for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Research conducted among 4,534 drivers in Germany, France, UK, Spain and Ireland who are planning to drive abroad this summer.  

About Enterprise Rent-A-Car

In the UK, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a specialist in providing replacement vehicles and courtesy cars, which are relied upon in the event of an accident. Enterprise, with more than 7,200 offices in the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, the United States and Canada, also offers daily and weekend rental for private or business use.

St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental service provider in the world, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand through its regional subsidiaries. Enterprise started in the UK in 1994 and has rapidly expanded. It operates more than 420 locations across the UK where it has over 4,500 employees.

For more information about Enterprise, visit www.enterprise.co.uk. For more information about Enterprise’s environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.drivingfutures.co.uk.  

In the UK, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a specialist in providing replacement vehicles and courtesy cars, which are relied upon in the event of an accident. Enterprise, with more than 7,200 offices in the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, the United States and Canada, also offers daily and weekend rental for private or business use.

St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental service provider in the world, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand through its regional subsidiaries. Enterprise started in the UK in 1994 and has rapidly expanded. It operates more than 420 locations across the UK where it has over 4,500 employees.

For more information about Enterprise, visit www.enterprise.co.uk. For more information about Enterprise’s environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.drivingfutures.co.uk.  

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About Research Now

Research Now Group, Inc. is the global leader in digital data collection to power analytics and insights. It enables data-driven decision making for its 3,500 market research, consulting, media, and corporate clients through its permission-based access to millions of deeply-profiled consumers using online, mobile, social media and behavioural data collection technology platforms. The company operates in more than 35 countries, from 21 offices around the globe, and is recognized as the quality, scale and customer satisfaction leader in its industry. For more information, go to www.researchnow.com.

Research Now Group, Inc. is the global leader in digital data collection to power analytics and insights. It enables data-driven decision making for its 3,500 market research, consulting, media, and corporate clients through its permission-based access to millions of deeply-profiled consumers using online, mobile, social media and behavioural data collection technology platforms. The company operates in more than 35 countries, from 21 offices around the globe, and is recognized as the quality, scale and customer satisfaction leader in its industry. For more information, go to www.researchnow.com.

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