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).
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 UK||2019||2020|
|Driver travelling alone||7.7 miles||7.0 miles|
|Car ride with a driver and passengers||9.1 miles||8.9 miles|
|Average car trip length||8.4 miles||7.9 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.
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 Region||2018/19||2020|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||7.7||7.7|
|East of England||8.6||8.3|
|England excluding London||8.4||7.8|
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 Region||2018/19||2020|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||416.1||313.9|
|East of England||442.0||295.6|
|England excluding London||428.4||324.6|
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).
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)||2019||2020|
|Taxi / minicab||19.6||16.5|
|Long walks (over a mile)||31.3||32.7|
|Other local bus||35.9||39.4|
|All modes of transport||23.3||21.9|
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 UK||per year||per day|
|Driver travelling alone||179.8||0.5|
|Car ride with a driver and passengers||200.1||0.6|
|Number of car journeys per person||380||1.1|
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).