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SOURCE AXA Insurance
LONDON, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
AXA car insurance research reveals which drivers are happiest - and a luxury car doesn't guarantee you a smile.
Drivers of luxury car brands such as BMWs, Aston Martins and Lexus really do enjoy driving more than owners of 'everyday' cars such as Peugeots and Renaults - but not by much, according to AXA's 2012 annual Motoring Census.
In most cases, it seems that money can buy happiness, as most drivers of expensive cars made by BMWs (82 per cent), Aston Martins (78 per cent), were more likely to enjoy driving than drivers of Fords (68 per cent) and Toyota (64 per cent). However, only 59 per cent of Land Rover drivers say they enjoy driving, while a cheerful 73 per cent of Mini drivers are able to have fun on the roads.
The answers from the lucky few who drive Ferraris were surprising though: only 57 per cent of Ferrari drivers questioned said that they enjoyed driving, compared to 68 per cent of Ford drivers and 65 per cent of Vauxhall drivers.
Among 'everyday' cars, Seat fared particularly well with 75 per cent positive about driving, along with 74 per cent of Honda and Renault owners. The most miserable? Just 46 per cent of Volvo owners enjoy driving, while one in five (20 per cent) see driving only as a way of getting from A to B.
Amanda Edwards, from AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, commented: "There's an expectation that when you pay extra for a premium car, you'll enjoy driving it more than you would an everyday one. However, while our research does support this to an extent, there are a few striking anomalies, such as the fact that Peugeot owners enjoy driving more than those who've shelled out for a luxury Mercedes."
On average across all makes of car, 69 per cent of motorists said that they enjoyed driving, with less than one in ten (eight per cent) finding driving to be a chore.
Top 5 car brands for enjoyment:
When asked about external factors affecting their enjoyment of driving, the majority (62 per cent) cited the increasing cost of motoring, which may explain why drivers of luxury cars are able to enjoy the roads more. However, no expensive car will free a motorist from the burden of traffic jams (47 per cent) and too many driving restrictions (18 per cent).
More than three quarters of Honda (78 per cent) and Peugeot (78 per cent) drivers were worried by the rising costs of driving such as petrol prices and road tolls, while Alfa Romeo owners (46 per cent) were the most likely to cite the number of restrictions on roads as a concern. Ford drivers (58 per cent) were most concerned by traffic jams, followed closely by Volvo (54 per cent).
Edwards continued: "Happiness is important for motorists: drivers who are unhappy and stressed might well find it difficult to concentrate while on the road, which can lead to an increased risk of accidents."
Notes to editors
About the research: Research carried out by OnePoll in November 2012 among 2,000 UK motorists.
AXA is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and underwrites a broad range of products for individuals and businesses. AXA Direct Insurance offers car, home and travel insurance through its website http://www.axainsurance.com and is designed to make buying insurance fast, secure, convenient and easy-to-use.
AXA UK is a part of the AXA Group. The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 163,000 employees serving 101 million clients in 57 countries. In 2011, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 86.1 billion and IFRS Underlying Earnings to Euro 3.9 billion. AXA had Euro 1,065 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011.
In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth; AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Lines, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD, and is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance.
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