Axa car insurance asked hundreds of overseas drivers what they thought of Brits behind the wheel and found only one in five believe they are careful drivers and only a few more (25%) think they understand driving laws in their countries.
Foreign drivers complain British drivers either drive too fast or too slow, get confused over which side of the road to drive on and are perplexed about how to negotiate roundabouts and junctions.
Their worst fears seem justified as data collected by car insurance firms shows 2 million British drivers have had road accidents while on European roads.
It’s not all bad for British drivers. Overall they were ranked seventh best out of 11 European nations. Germans came out best, with three times more votes than any other nation, while Greece came lastBritish drivers did themselves no favours by confessing they did not know whether a GB sticker was needed when taking a car overseas, while 21% wrongly answered they did not need one.
Even worse, 66% of British drivers believed their UK car insurance gave them the same cover overseas as at home – it doesn’t.
Many British drivers failed to understand European road signs and half did not know they had to change the beams on headlights for countries that drive on the right
Unfortunately, one in four drivers believes jumping red lights in Italy is OK, while 28% think tooting the horn on Sunday was illegal in Spain. Neither is correct.
Robin Reames, claims director at AXA said: “While the UK has one of best records for road safety in the world, it seems that when we go on holiday many of us forget to pack our road sense.
“It really is important if you are driving abroad to understand local driving laws and to stick to them, as well as making sure you drive safely all the time. Failure to do so could mean some potentially tragic and expensive holiday souvenirs.”