Global: Drive less for the sake of the environment, say drivers
September 27th, 2021, Christien Pheby

Global: Drive less for the sake of the environment, say drivers

While much of the conversation about the automotive industry’s future has revolved around transitioning away from fossil fuel cars and towards more environmentally-friendly alternatives, it has also been suggested that the public simply drive their vehicles less.

Data from YouGov Profiles shows that this isn’t an unpopular proposition among motorists. A look at data from Great Britain, Spain, the UAE, the US, and Australia shows that over half of people with a driving license agree with the statement: “We should drive less to save the environment.” This sentiment is strongest in Britain, where two-thirds agree with the statement compared to a fifth who dissent (64% vs. 18%), and Spain – where nearly as many agree (63% vs. 14%). The UAE isn’t far behind (59% vs. 15%). On the other end of the scale, Australians are least likely to think we should put the brakes on our vehicles, but this still amounts to over half of the driving population (53% vs. 16%). Even in the US, where a quarter don’t believe people should drive less to save the environment (27%), three in five still say they ought to (58%).

But, our data also shows that those who believe we ought to drive less are still driving plenty themselves. Among those who agreed with the sentiment in Britain, nearly three in five (57%) are still on the roads at least three times a week – while a fifth (19%) drive every day. It’s a similar story in Spain, the other European market featured in our study (58% drive at least three times a week, 25% drive every day). In Australia, this tendency is even more pronounced: 64% are taking their vehicles out three times a week, while a quarter (26%) are doing so every day. Americans who affirmed this sentiment are less likely to take their cars for a spin every day: 52% said they drove three days a week, while 21% said they did so every day.

Emirati consumers who agreed that we should be driving less were most likely to drive regularly: three-quarters (73%) said they drove three days a week or more, with 45% driving every day of the week.


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

Download YouGov's International Automotive Report 2021 here

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