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Cardiff's motorists politest in Britain

Press release: 23/08/2013

  • Motorists in Cardiff are the most polite in Britain
  • On average, drivers in Cardiff scored 97% of the maximum marks available for politeness, compared to an overall average of 78% across 15 cities
  • Women drivers are more likely to give way at a junction, indicate at a roundabout, and stop for pedestrians at a crossing
  • Almost a quarter (23%) of luxury[1] car drivers will ignore someone waiting to cross at a pedestrian crossing

Drivers in Cardiff are the politest in Britain, according to an observational study. Birmingham, Sheffield, Coventry and Glasgow closely follow Cardiff as the top five cities with the politest drivers.

The findings from LV= car insurance, were uncovered through a covert observational study of motorists’ behaviour across 15 of the UK’s biggest cities. Researchers found drivers in Cardiff, Birmingham and Sheffield were the most likely to perform better at junctions, roundabouts and pedestrian crossings. Overall, drivers in Cardiff scored 97% of the maximum marks available for politeness, compared to 96% in Birmingham and 89% in Sheffield. The average across all 15 cities was 78%.

The research found that drivers in the Welsh capital behaved consistently better than others in a range of situations. They had a greater tendency to thank other road users, stop for pedestrians at crossings and give way to other drivers at junctions. On average 94% of the drivers that were observed in Cardiff stopped and waited for a person to cross at a pedestrian crossing, compared to 68% on average, across the 15 cities. Likewise, nine in 10 (89%) motorists in Cardiff will indicate at a roundabout when turning right, compared to a national average of 76%.

Researchers concealed themselves in 15 of the largest cities across the country and watched over 24,000 drivers to see whether they stopped and waited their turn before driving on. Whenever a car arrived at a junction, roundabout or pedestrian crossing, the analysts rated the driver’s politeness and made a note of the type of car and gender of the driver.

The observers found that female drivers were 5%[2] more likely to indicate at a roundabout when turning right, 6% more likely to give way at a junction and 14%[3] more likely to wait for a pedestrian to fully cross the road before driving on.

Drivers of small to medium[4] cars were most likely to stop and wait at a pedestrian crossing (74% and 71%), especially compared to van drivers (51%). At the same time, those in the most prestigious[5] cars drove on regardless of pedestrians waiting at the crossing 23% of the time on average.

Only a minority (4%) of drivers displayed signs of anti-social behaviour during the observations. Close to one in 10 (9%) drivers in Bristol and 6% of drivers in Newcastle were playing music at an excessive volume, while 7% of drivers in Edinburgh and 5% of drivers in London were observed tailgating.

Driving in a safe and courteous manner involves more than learning the basics of operating a car and learning the rules of the road. Safe driving also requires good judgement, patience and common sense. Driving isn’t always a pleasurable experience for everyone so it is great to see just how courteous motorists are every day in the UK.

Selwyn Fernandes, Managing Director of LV= car insurance


Politeness score











  1. Defined as cars with significant high performance features e.g. convertibles
  2. 80% of women will indicate when turning right at a roundabout compared to 75% of men
  3. 76% of women will stop and wait for someone to fully cross the road at a pedestrian crossing compared to 62% of men
  4. Small cars are usually 457.2cm in length and wheelbase less than 266.7cm e.g. Ford Focus. Medium cars are usually 457.3cm – 495.3cm and wheelbase between 266.8-279.4cm e.g. Ford Fusion
  5. Defined as cars with significant high performance features e.g. convertibles.

Note to editors:

The research was conducted by PCP research. PCP observed 24,621 drivers between 29 July – 12 August 2013 in the 15 biggest UK cities: London, Birmingham, Leeds Sheffield, Glasgow, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle.

Observers looked at the behaviour of drivers at a pedestrian crossing, mini roundabout and junction as well as signs of obvious anti-social behaviour e.g. tailgating or playing music at an excessive volume (across all three locations).

For further information please contact:

Vanessa Chance,, 0208 256 6996/ 07947 380074


LV= employs 5700 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.