Diamond

Deciding who does the driving causes a row for many British couples

24/02/2011

New research suggests that a pleasant evening out often causes friction between couples with nearly one in six of them admitting they frequently argue about who should do the driving.

Women's car insurance specialist Diamond surveyed 3,000 men and women to find out who drives when they go out for the evening and how they decide who has the car keys. On average, British couples have three evenings out a month where someone has to drive. Nearly half of the men surveyed said they usually drive, just over a quarter of women said they usually drive and the other quarter said they split the job evenly.

However it's not always as straightforward as that, 16% of those surveyed said they often argue with their partner about who's going to drive, and nearly one in ten say they have had an evening spoilt because they argued about it.

It would seem the need to drink when out for the evening is the main cause of problems when it comes to driving home after an evening out. One in eight of those surveyed said their partner sometimes offers to drive, but then has a drink so they can't. Worryingly 30% of men and 15% of women said they have driven home after an evening out despite having a couple of alcoholic drinks. While a quarter of all motorists said they've had to abandon the car because both they and their partner have ended up drinking.

Elwyn Gedrych, managing director of Diamond, said, "I think it's something most couples can relate to; the discussion about who will drive when both partners want to have a drink. It's clear from our research that for thousands of couples it causes arguments.

"While it's obviously better to abandon your car where you parked it if both partners end up having a drink than to end up drink driving, 29% of the people we surveyed said they book a taxi in advance to prevent an argument in the first place. This sounds like a far more sensible solution.”

The reason male and female motorists give when deciding who is going to drive depends on gender. The number one reason the women Diamond surveyed gave for why they prefer to drive is that they don't drink, whereas the main reason they gave for why they prefer their partner to drive is because they think he is a better driver.

While for men, the main reason they prefer to drive is because they would rather do the driving on a night out and the main reason they prefer their partner to drive is because they want to have a drink when they are out.

But not all hope is lost for the country's couples. Diamond also asked those surveyed if their partner picks them up when they are out with their own friends for the evening. 84% of women and 66% of men said their partner picks them up at the end of the evening.

For most couples, this generosity extends to very late into the night. 39% said their partner is willing to pick them up at midnight or later while a further 38% said their partner is willing to do it at any time of night. However it seems this too can cause a rift with 11% of women and 17% of men saying their partner complains when they have to pick them up at the end of the evening.

Elwyn Gedrych, commented, "Couples argue about a lot of things to do with driving, but it's good to see so many are kind enough to pick their partner up when they're out without them.”

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