The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Average Car Journeys in the UK

Ever wonder how long the typical car journey is in the UK? Or how many times a day Brits drive their cars? We've analysed data from the Department for Transport to find out. Here's what we found.

Average Car Journey Distance UK

Using data from 2019, the average car journey distance in the UK is 8.4 miles. Trips where there are passengers in the car tend to be longer (9.1 miles) than trips where the driver is travelling alone (7.7 miles).

Chart showing the average car journey length in the UK

These results are not surprising. Quick trips to the shops are more likely to involve a driver only, reducing the trip lengths for drivers travelling alone. Similarly, those going on a long journey (say a UK-based holiday, long weekend away or day trip) are more likely to travel with friends or family than alone.

Note, those figures reflect 2019 data. Below we also display data for 2020, but this is skewed because of atypical driving patterns during the pandemic; in our view, 2019 data presents a more reliable picture.

Average Car Journey Distance in the UK20192020
Driver travelling alone7.7 miles7.0 miles
Car ride with a driver and passengers9.1 miles8.9 miles
Average car trip length8.4 miles7.9 miles

Car Trip Lengths By Region

The region of the UK where people travel the longest distances on each car ride is the East Midlands, where the average car ride was 9.1 miles in 2019. At the other end of the spectrum, car rides were shortest in London, where the average car journey was 6.9 miles long in 2019.

Chart showing the average car journey length in the UK

As in the previous section, we include the data for 2020 in the table here, but that data is not indicative of normal driving trends due to the pandemic.

Car Trip Distances by Region2018/192020
London6.98.7
North West7.67.1
Yorkshire and The Humber7.77.7
North East8.06.9
West Midlands8.27.2
East of England8.68.3
South East8.88.5
South West8.98.3
East Midlands9.18.0
England excluding London8.47.8
England8.37.9

Number of Car Trips Per Person, Per Year in the UK

Drivers in the East Midlands not only take the longest average trips (9.1 miles), they also take the highest number of trips per year. In 2019, East Midlands drivers got behind the wheel 451.3 times per year (1.2 times per day on average). In contrast, Londoners only drove 171.8 times per year (0.5 times per day, or once every two days).

Number of Car Trips by Region2018/192020
London171.8142.0
West Midlands385.8310.9
North West409.8317.0
Yorkshire and The Humber416.1313.9
East of England442.0295.6
North East442.0361.4
South East443.3325.3
South West443.8335.9
East Midlands451.3367.7
England excluding London428.4324.6
England387.4295.3

Average Car Trip Journey Time in the UK

The average car journey time in the UK is 21.5 minutes. Trips using public transportation are around 1.6X to 2.4X as long, depending on your mode of transport. For example, trips using a local bus take around 35.9 minutes (37.5 minutes in London), while the average London Underground trip takes 49.7 minutes. This data reflects a person's main mode of transportation and uses 2019 figures (but we show the 2020 figures in the table below as well as the 2019 figures).

Chart showing the average car journey time in the UK

People spend 16.8 minutes walking on average when they complete a trip mostly on foot. Those heading on longer walks tend to stay out for 31.3 minutes.

Average Trip Journey Time in the UK (minutes)20192020
Walk16.819.5
Taxi / minicab19.616.5
Car21.519.9
Bicycle22.929.6
Motorcycle24.021.6
Long walks (over a mile)31.332.7
Other local bus35.939.4
London bus37.534.9
London Underground49.753.9
Rail82.468.4
All modes of transport23.321.9

Average Number of Car Journeys

In a year, the average person drives solo 180 times and travels in a car where there are multiple people (as either driver or passenger) 200 times. This means that the typical Brit takes a car ride alone where they're the driver every other day, and a car ride with other people slightly more frequently.

Number of Car Journeys per Person in the UKper yearper day
Driver travelling alone179.80.5
Car ride with a driver and passengers200.10.6
Number of car journeys per person3801.1

On average then, each person takes 1.1 car rides a day (roughly split evenly between them being a solo driver and driving with other people).

Chart showing the average car journey length in the UK

Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Motor Insurance Reviews

NimbleFins Newsletter

Get deals, tips, news, and more!