A Third Of Brits Avoid Driving Abroad Due To Fear

  • 32 per cent of Brits avoid driving abroad completely, and 71 per cent say driving abroad would make them nervous*


  • Not understanding the language (38 per cent) tops the list of what puts us off driving abroad, followed by rules and regulations (37 per cent), driving on the wrong hand side (30 per cent) and local drivers (23 per cent)**


  • Breaking down in a foreign country and not speaking the language makes more of us (83 per cent) anxious than missing a flight (82 per cent) or going for a job interview (78 per cent)


  • Green Flag is encouraging drivers to embrace European road trips this summer to ensure they don’t miss out on sights including Les Corniches in France and Troll Route in Norway


New research released today by breakdown cover provider Green Flag reveals that, a whopping third (32 per cent) of Brits are avoiding driving abroad. Following the fuel strikes this half term in France, naturally there is fear of running out of fuel***.  However, this aside language barriers (38 per cent), local drivers (23 per cent) and reading road signs (22 per cent) also puts us off driving in foreign countries.

Brits’ fear of driving abroad is serious – with a massive 83 per cent of us saying that breaking down in a foreign country where we can’t speak the language makes us nervous. That’s more people than get anxious when missing a flight (82 per cent), going for a job interview (78 per cent), presenting in front of over 50 people (76 per cent) and meeting the in-laws (54 per cent).

Green Flag is encouraging Brits to embrace driving abroad so as to not miss out on European sights this year. The breakdown cover provider, which offers 24/7 English-speaking assistance as part of its European cover, has highlighted the most beautiful European locations to inspire Brits to drive to this summer:

  1. Les Corniches – This French route offers three different drives at three different altitudes, with three different scenic tours of the region. Drivers can see the beautiful French countryside and wind up in Monaco
  2. Autobahn – Germany’s famous highway system winds through the beautiful German countryside, offering views with a lack of speed limit
  3. Trollstigen – Norway’s beautiful mountain pass road, known as the Troll Route, is famous for being one of the most beautiful drives in Europe. Laced with mountains and waterfalls, drivers will be able to enjoy the true beauty of Norway
  4. Stelvio Pass – This scenic (and daring) drive is located high in the Eastern Alps, Italy. It features incredible mountain views, with tight curves to test any driver’s skill. If you’re an auto-enthusiast – this is one for you
  5. La Route des Grandes Alpes – This route of the French High Alps, takes drivers through the mountains of France – including four national parks and 16 mountain passes. This built-for-tourists drive allows you to take advantage of the beautiful Geneva Lake views


Nick Reid, Head of Transformation at Green Flag, commented: “Europe is such a beautiful holiday destination, it is a shame to see how many of us are avoiding taking road trips on the continent.

“It seems that most Brits are worried about language barriers and the problems they could pose – but that shouldn’t put people off. At Green Flag we offer 24/7 English speaking assistance – whether you’re on the Trollstigen of Stelvio Pass – so you can be rest assured that we’ll get to you, no matter what.”

For more information, visit https://www.greenflag.com/driving-in-europe


How do you feel about driving abroad?
Quality Percentage
I avoid driving abroad 32.10%
I’m less confident about driving abroad as I don’t know the laws 29.20%
When driving abroad I drive slower and follow other drivers 20.50%
I don’t know all the road laws of foreign countries but wouldn’t tell passengers in my car that 7.60%
I drive more dangerously abroad because I get nervous 4.70%
When driving abroad I drive faster 2.60%



Would the following situations make you anxious?
Reason Percentage
Breaking down abroad and not speaking the language 82.7%
Missing a flight 82.00%
Going for a job interview 78.80%
Getting lost in a foreign country 76.00%
Presenting in front of 50+ people 75.7%
Losing my phone 74.6%
Moving house 67.80%
Being late for work 59.20%
Meeting the in-laws 54.00%
Going out and leaving my phone at home 43.5%



Green Flag’s European Driving Destination Recommendations
Les Corniches, France
Autobahn, Germany
Trollstigen, Norway
Stelvio Pass, Italy
La Route des Grandes Alpes, France
DN7C, Romania
Estoril Coast Drive, Portugal
Route Napoleon, France
Furka Pass – Switzerland
Route 500 – Germany


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