Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
4:00 AM 28th August 2021

Dining à La Car? Brits Eating Habits Revealed In New Research

New study reveals over half of UK drivers eat regularly in their vehicles
Sandwiches, burgers and fish & chips are the most preferred food to eat in a car
‘Car eating’ made more popular due to COVID-19 and the British weather

In 2020, a TikTok by @marialenopara went viral when she showcased her “hack” for eating fast food takeaways, such as McDonalds, in the car.

Since the pandemic, the restrictions placed on dining inside and the British weather have led to many people eating more regularly in their vehicles. Asda Money has surveyed 2,000 UK drivers to find out how often people stop to eat in their vehicles, which professions eat in their vehicle the most, as well as what they typically eat.

Over 60 per cent admit to eating in their vehicle (when parked up), with 42 per cent eating in their vehicle at least once a week and 11 per cent doing this daily. Lunch is the most common meal to eat in a vehicle (42%) with most drivers most likely to choose takeaway food (43%).

Residents in the city of Glasgow are the most likely to eat in their vehicle, with 75 per cent eating in their car at least once a month. Perhaps this is due to the city having the highest number of drive-through restaurants in the UK - 48 in total!

When it comes to Brits’ jobs, nearly half of electricians (45%) eat in their car at least once a day, followed by one third of plumbers and one quarter of lawyers and recruiters.

Top five food types that people eat in their car, van or lorry:

Sandwich (38%)
Burger (32%)
Fish & chips (15%)
ried chicken (14%)
Pizza (11%)

As well as these top five meals, ‘car picnics’ are also a favourite with seven per cent of the nation who prepare and eat picnics in their vehicle. A timely finding, given that this month (July) is National Picnic Month.

When it comes to reasons for eating in their vehicle, most Brits say that they do it for convenience (34% of those surveyed), as well as between travelling for leisure (30%) or for work (23%). Other reasons given were due to COVID-19 (13%), because it is cheaper than eating inside a restaurant (11%) or because their vehicle is their main place of work (7%).

In the research one driver said,
“there is no staff room at work, so I have my break in my car”, another said that they eat whilst “waiting in supermarket car park when my wife is shopping”.

Alistair Ball, Head of Insurance for Asda Money commented,
“Eating in a vehicle is often a matter of convenience, especially when people are travelling for work or leisure. Interestingly, our research shows that many people are well prepared for this activity, bringing with them items to help them eat comfortably and clean up after themselves.”

“It might not be for everyone, or for every cuisine, but fast food and lunchtime sandwiches are meals which people regularly enjoy in their vehicle.”

Top tips from Brits on (safe!) car eating:

Park next to a bin to get rid of litter quickly and easily
Keep salt and vinegar with you in your vehicle
Balance drinks on the dashboard if you have no spare cupholder
Keep extra cutlery in your car and a bin just incase
Never drive whilst you are eating!

Whilst some people may be concerned about how hygienic it is to eat in your car, most drivers in the UK are well prepared for their car eating habits. With 12 per cent having a car bin, 43 per cent keeping napkins and wipes in their vehicle and nine per cent investing in a car tray that attaches to their steering wheel.

Wherever your journey takes you on the road, make sure you are signed up to a car insurance policy which covers all your needs. Asda Money offers a price guarantee and up to 70% no claims discount, compare quotes online by visiting the website here.