British Women Too Scared to Drive Abroad?

A survey says British women are too scared to drive on the Continent. Really?

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As a survey says British women are too scared to drive abroad, the high powered in every sense 2014 Cash&Rocket Tour departs Venice for London. Photo @VeuveCliquotIT from last year's event.

As a survey says British women are too scared to drive abroad, the high powered in every sense 2014 Cash&Rocket Tour departs Venice for London. Photo @VeuveCliquotIT from last year’s event.

Nearly three quarters of British women have never driven abroad. Nearly half say they never will.

A widely reported recent survey from TravelSupermarket painted a gloomy picture of women’s willingness to get behind the wheel on holiday.

But looked at another way it means a quarter of women want to drive but haven’t had the opportunity, and a majority would give it a go.

The latter interpretation fits much better with what we’ve heard recently.

Today is day one of the Cash&Rocket Tour. Seventy women in thirty five high powered cars – Astons, Maseratis, Porsches, Ferraris – set off from Venice this morning. They arrive back in London on Sunday via Geneva and Paris after 1000 miles.

C&R is organised by Julie Brangstrup, co-founder of the Gumball3000. Along for the ride is model Jodie Kidd, a member of the Jaguar squad at last month’s Mille Miglia who lead the team home and beat the company’s legendary test driver in the process.

Meanwhile we’ve been highly amused recently by the antics of Sara Nase (@GetPalmd) from Ultimate Drive. She’s just back from a solo week in Tuscany driving a Toyota GT86 on the old San Remo gravel stages, moaning about the road works on the Gotthard Pass and drumming her fingers metaphorically after a two way drive on San Bernardino.

But it’s not just Amelia Earhart-style adventurers taking to Europe’s roads. As well numerous all-female teams on this week’s Monte Carlo or Bust Rally, and next month’s Travel Trade Crusade, a special hat tip is reserved for Andrea from RearViewMirror.

The Australian native – so brought up with driving on the left hand side – is pretty much on the move permanently. In London at the moment, after a transcontinental drive from Albania to Copenhagen, she’s no petrolhead or speed freak – far from it, she drives a Fiat 500 – she just recognises the car as the best way to get around.

So don’t be put off by silly newspaper headlines. Apart from only 17% of women who have driven in Europe saying it was more difficult that driving in the UK, the other interesting statistic thrown up by the Travelsupermarket survey is that 53% of British men haven’t driven in Europe either. You’re not that far behind.

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