Man in Mercedes car about to start the engine.

Road Traffic Accidents

Survey finds luxury car owners to be ‘worst drivers’ on the roads

A survey has found that BMW owners, among other luxury car owners, are believed to be the ‘worst drivers’ by other car owners.

18 March 2024

It’s been a long-standing joke in the UK that BMW and other luxury car owners are bad drivers. Now, thanks to a survey from national law firm, Slater and Gordon where more than 1,300 car owners were interviewed, we can see that belief is still going strong today.

The survey found that across the board, BMW owners are the most unpopular with other motorists, scoring the lowest rating across almost all demographics such as gender, across all age groups, with a 48% in agreement. The overall areas that expressed their distaste for the BMW owners the most were the Midlands, Scotland and the Southeast.

Just after BMW’s are Lamborghini owners with more than a third of people (34%) deeming them bad drivers. However, unlike BMW owners, it was the younger motorists, aged between 17-24, who were most likely (39%) to believe Lamborghini owners were bad drivers.

Following BMW and Lamborghini, a further nine car manufacturers were ranked.

Below is the full list with what percentage of people deem each vehicle owner to be a “bad driver” from best (at the top) to worst.

Richard Crabtree, principal lawyer in the serious injury department, says from the data, it’s obvious that luxury car owners have a reputation with BMW’s, Lamborghini’s, Audi’s and Land Rover and Mercedes being voted into the bottom five for driver safety. Crabtree added: “We’ve all seen the videos of BMW drivers not using signals or speeding.

“However, cars are not bulletproof. Damages are expected to happen at some point. Some reports from car industry insurance experts suggest that every driver will claim on their insurance only once every 18-or-so years. In 2023, the car insurance industry was valued at £19.1 billion – an increase from 2022, with private motor insurance is expected to account for 80% of the total industry revenue.

“At Slater and Gordon, we continuously see cases where whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, negligent driving can cause life-changing injuries. It’s important to know that anyone has three years from the date of the accident or from the date the injury was discovered to commence a road traffic accident claim so you shouldn’t delay in seeking legal advice from a specialist lawyer.”

According to the UK’s Department for Transport, there were over 100,000 reported road traffic accidents in 2022 alone between England (98,564), Wales (3,315) and Scotland (4,125). However, a report from carVertical, a company that looks at automotive data, showed that in 2023, BMWs were at the top of the list for most damaged cars in Europe. It found that 67.4% of all BMWs checked on carVertical by its users had minor or major damages.

In fact, BMW was the most damaged car brand across most European countries. Only Lithuania and Slovakia were the exceptions, where Subaru and Hyundai took the top spots. In both countries, BMW then ranked second among the most damaged cars. carVertical also proposed that older BMWs are especially popular among young and inexperienced drivers wanting to show off, possibly being the cause of the high number of damages. It added, even insurance companies agree that BMW owners may take more risks than other drivers, therefore ensuring a BMW isn’t the cheapest either.

Worryingly, the same Slater and Gordon survey asked car owners if they were competent in the highway code changes made in 2022, with only 45% saying yes. The changes had significant benefits for vulnerable road users such cyclists and pedestrians. This includes the introduction of the Hierarchy of Road Users which gives greater priority to the most vulnerable road users.

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