Queen, Abba and the Proclaimers make up Britain’s essential road trip playlist

Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now has been named the best driving song of all time, reveals new research1 from Direct Line Essentials Insurance, with 39 per cent of Brits stating that the 1979 hit is an essential part of their road trips. The classic anthem beat off strong challenges from Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi (33 per cent), Dancing Queen by ABBA (29 per cent), I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers (28 per cent) and Fleetwood Mac’s, Go Your Own Way (26 per cent).

Even though the list is dominated by old school tunes such as Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (22 percent), River Deep - Mountain High, by Tina Turner (19 percent) and Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners (20 percent), there was also space for some new songs such as Ed Sheeran’s 2017 smash Castle On The Hill (20 percent), Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 (18 percent) and Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon (24 percent).

The research found over half (51 per cent) of people have a dedicated playlist for road trips, each containing an average of 51 songs. Nine in ten (89 per cent) confessed that when on their own in the car, they love belting their favourite song at the top of their voice, with two fifths (39 percent) going so far as to say they have a great singing voice. Partners (41 percent), children (34 percent), best friends (22 percent) and pets (10 percent) are the best companions to sing along with in the car.

Britain really is a nation of driving lovers with two thirds (69 per cent) disclosing that that being behind the wheel is one of their favourite places to be, while over half (51 per cent) enjoy the freedom the open road brings. According to the research, 85 per cent see their car as a sanctuary, a place that they can escape to for some much-needed peace and quiet. Two thirds (69 percent) love the stunning scenery (69 percent) and cosy little pubs (57 percent), while over half relish finding quaint villages (57 percent), beaches (52 percent) and castles and ruins (48 percent).

Driving provides great bonding time for families, 80 per cent of people   think there is nothing better than heading off on a family road trip, with 87 percent agreeing that the UK is one of the best places to head out on the open road.

Lorraine Price, Head of Motor Insurance at Direct Line, comments: “The open road and great music are the perfect combination, a soundtrack of classic tunes makes the driving experience even better. While people have different taste in music its great to see so many people agreeing on what makes an essential driving tune, Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now has truly stood the test of time as the nation’s favourite driving anthem.” 

Modern life has seen a shift away from the more traditional aspects of road trips with 86 per cent admitting that their family road trips had changed over the years. Two fifths (40 per cent) say that they now rarely use Ordnance Survey maps to help them find their way and over a third lament the dying out of well-loved driving games like i-spy. Three quarters (76 per cent) confess that they think road trips were more fun back in the day when people used to sing along to the radio and children didn’t have tablets and phones.  


1.      Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen – 39%

2.      Livin’ On A Prayer, Bon Jovi – 33%

3.      Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams – 32%

4.      Dancing Queen, ABBA – 29%

5.      I’m Gonna Be (500 miles), The Proclaimers – 28%

6.      Hotel California, The Eagles – 28%

7.      Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac – 26%

8.      Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey – 25%

9.      I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Whitney Houston – 24%

10.   Sex On Fire, Kings of Leon – 24%

11.   Highway To Hell, ACDC – 23%

12.   Africa, Toto – 22%

13.   9-5, Dolly Parton – 22%

14.   American Pie, Don Mclean – 22%

15.   Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd – 22%

16.   I Would Do Anything For Love, Meatloaf – 21%

17.   The Chain, Fleetwood Mac – 21%

18.   Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen – 20%

19.   In The Air Tonight, Phil Collins – 20%

20.   Come On Eileen, Dexys Midnight Runners – 20%

21.   Paradise City, Guns ‘n’ Roses – 20%

22.   Castle on the Hill, Ed Sheeran – 20%

23.   River Deep - Mountain High, Tina Turner – 19%

24.   Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 – 18%

25.   Town Called Malice, The Jam – 18%

26.   Tiny Dancer, Elton John – 17%

27.   Shut up and Drive, Rihanna – 17%

28.   Hey Ya, Outkast – 17%

29.   Life on Mars?, David Bowie – 17%

30.   I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, Arctic Monkeys – 17%  



Notes to Editors

1.       This data was collected by Perspectus Global of a sample size of 2,008 British people in September 2023


Direct Line Group

Ewan Robertson

Head of News and Issues

Email: [email protected]  


Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting https://www.directline.com/car-cover