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Survey Summary

Car Driving in Australia

Private Fleet has just completed the most comprehensive survey of its kind ever done in Australia giving a fascinating and sometimes shocking insight into the habits of drivers across the country.

2,500 Australian drivers were surveyed and their responses shed some light on many age old driving questions.

Detailed and comprehensive statistics on controversial topics such as women drivers, Holden vs Ford, city or country, P-Platers and Volvo drivers are all available via our interactive survey.

Being an interactive survey, YOU can choose the information YOU want to see. Always suspected elderly Honda drivers were the slowest on the road? Is it true that South Australian Toyota drivers are more aggressive than NSW country drivers? With something like 10,000 possible combinations to explore, you’ll find the answers to your most detailed suspicions.

The results are often surprising and always revealing – a few extracts follow:

  • While young (17-25) Toyota drivers are 40% more likely than the average driver to talk on the phone whilst driving, they are about 30% less likely to drink and drive
  • The best overall statistically reliable segment of drivers are female drives in QLD aged between 41 and 60. The worst drivers are (perhaps unsurprisingly) male P-Platers from NSW
  • Male drivers are worse drivers in all categories except “Text Messaging Whilst Driving” category which female drivers came out tops.

Nearly 1,000 comments and views about the state of Australian driving standards have also been collated. Roundabouts, merging, lane hogs etc have all induced ranting and raving such as:

  • ”Lived in all states Perth are the worst…..cant merge into another lane, just stop and wait like a give way sign and sit in right hand lane ARRRGH. Should do what Vic did 15 years ago and fine people”
  • “I would be willing to bet you can stand at any set of traffic lights in Sydney during rush hour and within 5-10 minutes spot multiple drivers going through on red or talking on their phones. Haven’t the police noticed this? What are they doing about it? Doh!”
  • “My real pet hates are: * 4 wheel drives (suburban attack vehicles, rather than SUV)in the city. * P plate drivers with doof doof music so loud that they couldn’t possibly hear an emergency vehicle’s siren. * difficulty in knowing if it’s a “school zone time” – usually too many signs – should be flashing lights. * not enough marked police cars. * motorway speed limits too low – too easy to lose concentration. I’ve worked in Germany and can confirm that you don’t get drowsy when driving at 180kph”

To view the full results of the survey go to and click on the survey icon. Interested visitors are encouraged to use the filters and interactivity to explore their personal areas of interest.

For more information contact David Lye at Private Fleet on (02) 9411 6777 Ext 236

Summary by Car Type

Overall Holden hold the unenviable title of housing Australia’s worst drivers where as Mazda come out on top as the having the best behaved drivers.

When it comes to talking on the phone (without using a hands-free), VW drivers are the worst offenders with 74% admitting to having committed such an offence whilst only 60% Mazda drivers admit to the same

Sending text messages whilst driving reveals Holden drivers to be the most culpable with 37% saying they have texted whilst on the move. A meagre 21% of BMW drivers own up to sending texts.

A surprise when it comes to ‘leadfoots’, with VW taking out the title as 54% admit to exceeding the speed limit by more than 30kmh. The unhurried Hyundai driver reveals just 32% breaking the limit by more than 30km/hr

BMW drivers may be the best behaved when it comes to text messages but they take out the dubious honour of the worst drink drivers with 42% admitting to having driven after drinking 3 or more standard alcoholic drinks. Honda drivers keep it straight with less than 33% admitting the same.

Similarly, in the aggressive stakes 40% of BMW drivers admit to deliberately intimidating another driver whilst the unflappable Hyundai drivers clock in with just 23% crossing the line.

Summary by State

Overall, South Australia is home to the country’s worst drivers whilst Australian Capital Territory drivers are (comparatively) squeaky clean!

With mobile phones, 21% of SA drivers admit to (often or sometimes) talking on the phone whilst driving whilst just 10% of ACT drivers confess to the same. Similarly South Australian send text messages whilst driving at ten times the rate of their ACT counterparts (10% vs 1%).

Speed freaks head for Tasmania where nearly 50% of drivers say that they have exceeded the speed limit by more than 30 km/hr whilst Victorians take their time as only 39% putting their pedal to the metal.

Drink driving is alive and kicking in WA, it seems with an incredible 51% of drivers reporting that they have driven after having consumed 3 or more standard drinks. NSW perhaps surprisingly comes out as the best behaved with 34% admitting the same.

Intimidation is rife in SA with 32% of drivers having deliberately intimidated another driver while, again, ACT drivers cruise along with only 22% reporting this particular indiscretion.

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