Home is where the heart is but Britons increasingly need a Sat Nav to find it

11/30/2012 (press release: OnlinePR)

New research from Halfords reveals that motorists now rely heavily on new technology to navigate their way, even around routes they travel regularly.

Two out of three motorists (68%) admit to using Sat Navs for journeys they do every day, such as commuting to work or going to the shops, while over a third rate the device as a more important in-car feature than the radio.

The degree to which British drivers are losing all sense of direction is highlighted in the Halfords survey which shows over half (52%) are unable to recall any prominent landmark on a journey and almost a third (31%) can’t recall the name of the road they have just travelled on.

Even pedestrians struggle to find their way without new technology. While only 3% use a smart phone as a direction finder in the car, 22% of owners of GPS enabled phones admit to regularly using them to the find an address while walking.

Britons also appear to have lost any sense of judging distances, instead they rely on new technology to tell them how long a journey will take – rather than taking notice of the mileage. In the survey 70% of those questioned said they would use their Sat Nav to predict their arrival time, rather than check how many miles the journey would be.

Just 22% of respondents knew the approximate distance between London from Birmingham*, but 46% knew it would take 2 hours 20 minutes to get there – the average time given by a Sat Nav for a daytime journey.

Geography was another weakness exposed by the survey as motorists are unable to recognise points of the compass. 61% didn’t know Leeds was to the North of Sheffield and 56% failed to say Edinburgh was East of Glasgow.

The Sat Nav and hand held GPS also appear to have increased our reluctance to ask for directions if we are lost. Three in ten said they would wait at least half an hour before stopping for advice while one in six (18%) said they would rather continue driving than ask. Others liked using Sat Navs in urban areas as it’s increasingly difficult to pull over and ask for directions, with bus lanes and urban clearways creating barriers to the motorist.

Jon Oliver, Halfords In Car Technology expert said: “The Survey demonstrates how much we rely on Sat Navs; they have literally changed our lives and drivers now need this technology to navigate effectively. Drivers like Sat Navs because they are so helpful – they take a lot of the anxiety out of driving because you always know where you are, how far you have to go and how long it will take. This leaves motorists free to concentrate on the road and have a less stressful and safer journey.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors:

*Allowing for a five per cent margin of error from 98 to 108 miles

For more information contact:

Simmie Korotane


t:01527 513419

f:01527 504780

e: [email protected]

The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products and through Halfords Autocentres also one of the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operator. Halfords customers shop at more than 460 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from more than 260 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices.

Halfords employs approximately 12,000 staff and sells around 10,000 product lines in stores, increasing to around 16,000 lines online. The product offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycles, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords own brands include the in-store Bikehut department, for cycles and cycling accessories, Apollo and Carrera cycles and exclusive UK distribution rights of the premium ranged Boardman cycles and accessories. In outdoor leisure, we sell a premium range of camping equipment, branded URBAN Escape. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service called “Wefit” for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a “Werepair” service for cycles.

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