“Why are BMW drivers not required to indicate?” or even “Why are BMW drivers jerks?”* are just two shocking Google searches that are (apparently) commonly associated with the marque when it comes to online searches.

New research has revealed that BMW drivers have the worst reputation amongst UK motorists, with 82% of survey respondents stating that they disliked BMW drivers, 80% said that they expected BMW drivers to be aggressive behind the wheel, and rather randomly, 34% of those questioned also stated that they wouldn’t even consider dating a BMW owner.

And as we’ve already seen, the research reveals more than just the statistical answers to their questions, with the extra insight into search engine requests. Fascinating.

Arrogant Audi

We reported last year that upmarket Audis seem to top the list of recognised speeders, and surprisingly, they’re only third on the list of disliked drivers, with just 50% of respondents disliking them, although 71% said they felt that Audi drivers would be fast drivers.

“Why are Audi drivers so arrogant?” and “Why are Audi drivers so bad?” are two of the popular searches related to the marque, and 14% of those questioned would never go on a date with an Audi driver.

Of course, for the main part, this research is purely subjective; it’s about the perceived perception of different brands, although in the case of the speeding Audis, statistical evidence does back that perception, to a degree.

Toyotas are friendly

If you’re on the lookout for another car, and genuinely pay heed to research such as this, then your choice of vehicle should be Toyota – just 10% of the survey group said they disliked Toyotas, although 60% said that there was an issue with them driving too slowly, and if you’re single the news is good; 85% said they would date someone that owned a Toyota.

Popular Google search? “Why are Toyota drivers so slow?”.

Other brands came out favourably also – Volvo in particular did pretty well in the poll, with 80% claiming that Volvo drivers were safe behind the wheel (although if you’d have asked a motorcyclist, that figure would have probably been much less, rightly or wrongly).

Light-hearted fun

On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of useful information, as already stated, for the main part it’s subjective (although the Google searches do hold a level of accuracy), and knowing whether you’re likely to score a date or not due to your car choice is hardly the stuff of Jane Austen or Lord Byron.

We should also consider that for the brands listed (including BMW, Audi, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo), there is always going to be an element of distaste toward them; they’re all popular car brands, that sell many units every year (Volkswagen sold just under 40,000 vehicles in the single month of March in 2019).

Just by the very nature of the amount sold, you’re going to encompass a vast selection of drivers and driving styles, and it’s highly likely that a percentage of those drivers are going to be … less inclined toward societal benefit.


It seems that potentially, the Google search enquiry information was nothing more than using Google autofill, you can try that yourself – head to Google and type in “Why are XXX drivers (use your favoured, or least favoured marque)” and wait for Google to return the most popular searches in the search bar.

This just lends credence to the fact that the research was aimed more as a light-hearted view into the mind of the UK motorist, rather than anything with scientific or relevant merit.

The reality is that we’re lucky to have the different choices of vehicles and marques; it’s possible to choose from a wide range of cars that can offer us everything from the ability to crawl through a rain forest, to transporting the largest of families, or even just heading out for a sunny Sunday drive when we feel like it.

Of course there will always be an element of being tarred with the same brush (I’m as guilty as the next man for doing that), but that doesn’t matter – why limit your vehicle choice because of what others may think of it? It seems to me that many of the respondents are accounting for the ‘flash’ factor when giving their answer, and honestly … if you’re a petrolhead that’s fallen in love with a specific model or brand, a few naysayers won’t put you off.

* ‘Jerk’ is very much an American colloquialism, so perhaps the problem is wider than anticipated.

What do you think of the study? Do you think it’s accurate? Are BMW drivers the scourge of the UK road network, or is this hype? Let us know in the comments.

Image adjusted with BMW logo and thumbs-down icon superimposed onto foreground © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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