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Two thirds of couples give each other the cold shoulder on the hard shoulder

12th February 2010

Two thirds (65 per cent) of couples regularly argue with their partner during long car trips, reveals research by Direct Line, with one in ten bickering couples admitting that their car is the scene of the majority of their squabbles.

  • The car is the most common location for one in ten lovers’ tiffs
  • Getting lost is most common cause of couples’ in-car arguments

While many people are planning to whisk their Valentine away on a long drive this Sunday, this romantic gesture could end up leading to a lovers’ tiff rather than a cupid’s strike.

Two thirds (65 per cent) of couples regularly argue with their partner during long car trips*, reveals research by Direct Line, with one in ten bickering couples admitting that their car is the scene of the majority of their squabbles**.

It seems that Britons blame their partner’s driving and navigational skills for the majority of these lovers’ tiffs, with 55 per cent of couples saying the most common cause of their in-car arguments is due to getting lost. A further third (32 per cent) argue over whether the driver is going too fast or driving too recklessly.

Differences in personal taste are also at the root of many squabbles, with one in five (20 per cent) couples arguing over the choice of radio station or which CD is being played on the car stereo.

However, bigger relationship issues are also aired during long car journeys, with one in ten (10 per cent) saying that disagreements over money are the main cause of their in-car arguments.

Scottish couples are the most tempestuous in the car, with nearly three quarters (73 per cent) admitting they have disagreements with their ‘other half’ while on the road, compared with an average 65 per cent of couples.

Top ten causes of couples giving each other the cold shoulder while on the hard shoulder:

  1. Getting lost (55 per cent)
  2. Driving too fast or dangerously (32 per cent)
  3. The choice of music or radio station (20 per cent)
  4. Forgetting to pack certain items (18 per cent)
  5. Having to stop for a toilet break (14 per cent)
  6. The children’s behaviour (12 per cent)
  7. Having to stop for something to eat (11 per cent)
  8. Money (10 per cent)
  9. Refusing to share the driving duties (6 per cent)
  10. Long-standing relationship issues (5 per cent)

Jennifer Thomas, spokesperson for Direct Line, commented: “A romantic drive might be a Valentine’s Day hit in the movies, but in reality arguments often flare up between couples in the enclosed space of a car. It’s healthy to discuss disagreements in a relationship, but motorists should make sure a lovers’ tiff doesn’t distract them from concentrating on the road.”

For a quote or further details on Direct Line car insurance visit our website today.

For further information, please contact:

Vicky Perry
Direct Line
Tel: 0208 313 5741
Mobile: 077909 57338
Email: Vicky.perry@rbs.co.uk

Notes to editors

*Direct Line research commissioned with Opinium Research in an online poll of 2,006 UK adults from 26th to 29th June 2009.
** Direct Line research commissioned with Opinium Research in an online poll of 1,991 UK adults from 2nd to 5th February 2010.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com