Italy most stressful country to drive in according to Irish motorists

Damian Moran


Damian Moran

Irish holidaymakers are heading to the continent in droves this summer, with many taking to the highways and byways to soak up the scenery and sunshine abroad.

Research conducted by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, part of the world’s largest vehicle rental company, reveals Irish attitudes to driving in foreign countries with over one fifth (21%) of respondents citing Italy as the least enjoyable country to drive in. The research also found that 45% of respondents believe Italian motorists to be the worst drivers. France came in second, with 16% of those surveyed citing it as an unenjoyable country to drive in.

The research revealed that Irish motorists consider neighbouring UK to be the most enjoyable country to drive in with 40% having had a pleasant driving experience within the British Isles. Other countries Irish holidaymakers enjoy driving in include:

·         Spain – 28%

·         United States – 22%

·         Germany-15%

 More than half (59%) of those surveyed see other nationalities as better drivers than Irish motorists – and over one third of respondents (35%) state that they believe German motorists to be the most careful of drivers.

When questioned about their ideal country for a road trip, two in five (41%) stated that the US would come top of mind,  while France surprisingly took second place (27%) despite being cited by some respondents as an unenjoyable country to drive in.

The Enterprise research further revealed that many Irish dream about taking a road trip on the world renowned Route 66 in the US with 37% declaring it to be their preferred choice of scenic drives worldwide.

 Other international driving routes that ranked high on respondents’ wish list include:

·         Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland (26%)

·         Amalfi Coast, Italy (23%)

·         Great Ocean Road, Australia (22%)

 “The research revealed some interesting nuggets on Irish attitudes to stressful driving routes abroad. The fact that Italy came out on top may reflect Irish drivers’ concerns about driving on the other side of the road and competing with local drivers who are more familiar with driving in busy urban areas, said George O’Connor, Managing Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland.

 “On the other hand, the UK was identified as one of the most enjoyable driving routes which indicates the similarity between UK and Irish rules of the road and driving etiquette. What’s more, Irish drivers in the UK do not have the extra challenge of deciphering road signs and markings in a foreign language”.

 “Our advice to all those driving abroad in the coming weeks is to plan your route in advance, become familiar with the local rules of the road and take your time particularly on smaller secondary routes which some might find challenging to navigate. For anyone with concerns about driving abroad, Enterprise has produced handy driving tips which are available online, and include some of the top local driving rules,” concluded Mr. O’Connor.