We all like to have a moan about traffic, petrol prices and just about everything else when it comes to driving, but for St. George’s Day, here are some reasons to be thankful that you’re driving in the UK:
- Our cars are smaller
OK, so there are some exceptions to this, but our European love of small hatchbacks and city cars means that we can keep our narrow and winding roads, and we don’t have to give our quaint villages over to car parks. Smaller cars are more economical, as well as being friendlier to the environment, so what’s not to like? You can also squeeze into a much tighter space with a little car.
- We drive on the left
Apparently, everyone drove on the left until the 1700s. This was so that if you passed someone coming the other way that you had a bit of a falling out with, your sword hand was on the right side to see off their attacks. Napoleon was left-handed, so everyone had to drive (their carriages) on the right instead. That makes it a matter of national pride, unless you’d like to hear La Marseillaise in Trafalgar Square!
- We like manual cars
In the US, buying a car with a ‘stick shift’ is marketed as a theft deterrent, because automatic gearboxes are so common. However, manual cars greatly outnumber automatics in the UK. They’re cheaper to buy and service, and are less likely to cause a hefty repair bill when they go wrong. In the past, they’ve also been more fuel efficient, but modern automatics have closed this gap. Manual gearboxes also give greater control to the driver, and are more involved to drive.
They’re everywhere! We might take them for granted, but there are plenty of benefits. They let you make a u-turn without going off the road or disrupting the flow of traffic, and make t-bone collisions (theoretically) a thing of the past. They also lead (on average) to cars moving slowly but constantly, rather than stopping and starting. That’s better for fuel consumption, the environment, noise and the health of your car!
No matter what horror stories we might read, and in spite of the odd exceptions to the rule, we’re a pretty polite bunch on the road! We’re more likely to get annoyed at someone for not indicating or breaking the rules than we are to just throw caution to the wind and drive through all the red lights on the way to work. Obviously, you shouldn’t forget what those funny flashing orange lights are for, but at least it could be worse. It doesn’t take too long for someone to let you in if you’re trying to change lanes or get out of a junction, and queue jumping is seen as the most heinous of crimes.
So, if you’re getting stressed out on the commute, or rattled about over potholes, just remember that it could be worse.
If you’ve had your opinions reversed, and want to get out on the road straight away, have a look at our motoring range.