Britain's company car drivers find the Brightside of three years behind the wheel

  • How much time do you spend behind the wheel
  • Up to three years of working life inside the car
  • How do drivers pass the time when commuting?

Driving as a career, or merely to get between home and work locations, Skoda's latest research reveals company car drivers spend, on average, almost three years of their working life in the car.

Surveying 1,000 company car drivers between the ages of 25 and 65, Skoda found the average distance covered in a week is 235 miles, with four hours of that driving time spent in a traffic jam. In total, they'll cover over 451,000 miles and have driven the equivalent of circumnavigating the Earth 18 times.

A company car driver, yesterday

Underlining the importance of comfort and technology over outright handling prowess, this latest statistic is probably no surprise to those who spend three to four hours merely commuting, the bookends to an eight-hour working day - drivers who work professionally for their cars face an even larger share of time served.

Why do drivers choose sports suspension?

You'd think that with this amount of time spent driving for pleasure, not work - such a remarkable period driving equates to a mere 2.6 hours a day, five days a week, assuming four weeks' holiday - soft, squishy cars like the Citroen C4 Cactus would be the norm. Even Skoda's company car favourites tend to come with SportLine trim and lowered suspension on the most competitive deals.

It's a preference at odds with the potholed, congested roads of Britain's major commuter routes, and with fewer opportunities to enjoy a spirited drive out of the suburbs, there must surely be a trend towards smaller wheels and softer riding cars in the near future.

A clue, however, to the preference may lie in the statistics Skoda has compiled - of the top habits of company car drivers, 'losing their temper' and 'swearing at another driver' are in the top ten.

Habits of company car drivers

  Habit Frequency
1 Rely on Sat Nav
8.1 times a week
2 Sing at the top of your voice   
7.8 times a week
3 Make a hands-free call to the boss 7.4 times a week
4 Eat a sweet
7.4 times a week
5 Make a call to your partner
7.3 times a week
6 Swear at another driver
7.1 times a week
7 Drink a coffee
6.8 times a week
8 Have to pull over to send a text or email
6.5 times a week
9 Lose your temper 6.4 times a week
10 Drink a tea 6.0 times a week
11 Eat a sandwich
5.8 times a week
12 Eat a packet of crisps
5.8 times a week
13 End up getting lost
5.4 times a week
14 Clinch a deal
5.4 times a week

It's not all eating and anger, though; a fifth of drivers look forward to the personal space and isolation of the car, providing space for reflection, expression and contemplation. Of those surveyed, four in ten have made life-changing decisions while behind the wheel, and over the course of a typical career on average four such significant choices are made in the car.

Company car driver stats from Skoda

Perhaps the most revealing aspect of life inside the company car is readiness with which drivers will sing and enjoy music - the importance of infotainment and features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto providing ready access to playlists and music collections allowing plenty of variety in the 15,000 songs the average company car driver will hear in their career.

It also provides crucial motivation - an in-car singalong might seem unlikely in the executive confines of the M1, yet singing at full volume is second only to reliance on sat nav.

A third of drivers choose loud music to inspire them before meetings, and far from The Darkness those traffic jams could create - Britain's roads are populated with company car users who see the (Mr.) Brightside, the Killers' upbeat track being the most popular motivational song.

It may be time served behind the wheel; but Skoda's survey suggests it's still a life lived and not on hold for company car drivers.