New research has revealed that when it comes to driving in a different country, it certainly is a man’s world.

The UK research, commissioned by car rental company Avis, analysed holiday driving habits and stresses, revealing that 94% of men would prefer to be in control of driving while on holiday, compared to just 38% of women.


The fear of getting lost came out on top as the main worry for UK drivers abroad and, contrary to popular belief, men and women are equally as likely to lose their way.

62% of both men and women admitted that they had managed to get lost when driving in an unfamiliar country, primarily due to misreading signs, with 36% of men and 38% of women being confused by instructions at the roadside.

In line with the preference amongst men to be in control of driving abroad, they are also the sex to have reported the highest number of accidents, with 10% of men and 3% of women surveyed having had an accident whilst abroad. 12% of both men and women have misunderstood other drivers and alarmingly, 21% of men and 18% of women have driven on the wrong side of the road.

Women have proven to be the most careful when it comes to keeping the tank topped up, with one in 20 men having run out of fuel compared to one in 33 women. However, common sense seems to surpass them when choosing the right fuel to use, with one in 50 women having put the wrong fuel in their hire car.

As part of the survey, all respondents were asked to rank the products they choose to buy or hire when driving abroad in relation to how much stress they believe they are likely to save.

The top products are:

1. Additional insurance cover – 20%

2. Additional driver – 18.4%

3. GPS – 18%

4. Fuel up front – 17%

5. Car seats – 11%

Nick Mountfield, head of UK marketing, Avis, said: “Driving abroad can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to get to grips with the different rules of the road, but there are also concerns about getting lost, making sure you use the correct fuel and having the necessary cover for your trip.

“While the survey has revealed it is men that are most likely to take control of the driving, they don’t have to do it all – one in five people who choose to include an additional driver on their car hire agreement do so because it is more fun and far less tiring to share the driving.

“At Avis, we appreciate that driving in a foreign country can be intimidating, so we wanted to identify what our customers’ concerns are, and show how we can help reduce stress and help them to enjoy their journey.”

To find out more about additional products available when hiring a car from Avis UK, visit

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