• Luxury Cars not the Fast Track to Happiness

    Published on:  February 18th 2013

    AXA's 2012 annual Motoring Census has revealed some surprising results about just how happy the nation's drivers are with their cars - and the findings may just make you think twice about that dream of upgrading your Ford to a Ferrari.

    According to the census, drivers of luxury cars (perhaps unsurprisingly) enjoy driving more than those with more run-of-the-mill models. The vast majority of BMW owners (82 per cent) were happy campers, whilst the lucky owners of Aston Martins were similarly positive: 78 per cent reported that they enjoy driving.

    At the more affordable end of the scale, however, there were also plenty of upbeat responses, particularly among Seat, Honda and Renault owners, around 75 per cent of whom stated that they enjoy driving.

    It wasn't all cheap and cheerful though, with Volvo bringing up the rear in the happiness stakes for affordable cars - only 46 per cent of Volvo owners felt that they enjoyed driving, comparing unfavourably to 68 per cent of Ford drivers and 65 per cent of Vauxhall owners.

    No doubt those less than enthusiastic Volvo drivers would relish the chance to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari - but it seems that money really can't buy happiness, with only 57 per cent of Ferrari owners reporting that they enjoy driving! A surprisingly low rating for one of the most sought-after brands on the market.

    Overall, the top 5 car brands for driving enjoyment are:

    1. BMW (82 per cent)
    2. Aston Martin (78 per cent)
    3. Lexus (78 per cent)
    4. Seat (76 per cent)
    5. Peugeot (75 per cent)

    One of the most influential factors that drivers reported as putting a dent in their driving enjoyment was cost. 62 per cent said that rising motoring costs made driving less enjoyable - which might just be the reason behind the Ferrari's popularity deficit.

    Amanda Edwards, from AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, commented: 'Happiness is important for motorists: drivers who are unhappy and stressed might well find it difficult to concentrate while on the road, which can lead to an increased risk of accidents.'

    Drivers with less expensive and powerful cars may find that their vehicles also fall into a lower insurance group, which can affect car insurance premiums - potentially giving motorists with more modest cars something else to smile about!