If you’re a middle-aged female software engineer with a red Honda, you might just be one of the best drivers in the UK.
That’s according to Admiral Car Insurance, whose staff analysed readouts from thousands of its ‘LittleBox’ telematics systems fitted to cars nationwide.
The technology measures smoothness of acceleration, braking and steering, as well as adherence to the speed limit, ultimately coming up with an overall percentage score.
Combining the best results from all categories created the ideal ‘best driver’ in the shape of a female software engineer aged 46-50.
Women scored 58% on average, beating men’s 53%. East Anglians are on the ball with an overall average of 59%, but even they can’t beat Liverpudlians, whose 61% tops the charts among cities.
The UK’s worst driver profile, according to the study, but more specifically the least smooth, is a man in his early 20s driving a white Audi. He has no kids yet and works as a project manager.
Among car brands, it’s Chevrolet drivers who take the honours, with a 64% score. Skoda, Volvo, Kia and Honda drivers are closely matched for second to fifth places.
Least impressive are Audi drivers with 44%, but in a surprise result, Smart drivers came a close second-worst with 45%.
By age, the youngest drivers actually scored higher than those in their early 40s, early 50s and throughout their 20s. Those in their late 50s were the clear winners on 64%, while people in their 30s and late 40s tied for second place with 59%.
The study does not measure observational skills or technical car control in an emergency manoeuvre, for example, so cannot be considered an accurate measure of how ‘good’ a driver is, but it does offer an insight into driving styles among different demographics.
:: New fuel efficiency tests designed to reflect real-world conditions have revealed the most economical small car in the country.
The Suzuki Celerio 1.0 Dualjet has won the small petrol car class award in 2015’s What Car? True MPG awards, achieving 62.9mpg in the consumer magazine’s tests.
It beat the second-placed car by over 5mpg. The Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid, which has the benefit of a full hybrid system that allows the car to run on electric power for short distances, reached 57.8mpg.
In third for 2015 was the Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95 Bluemotion, which achieved 56.5mpg.
Summarising the Celerio’s performance, What Car? said: “Suzuki’s five-door, five-seat city car is the most economical small petrol car our technicians have tested. Impressive economy aside, it’s also well equipped and comes with a versatile interior, making it a decent buy.”
A second Suzuki placed ninth in the small petrol cars list. The Swift 1.2 hit 51.7mpg, putting it in between the 1.0-litre Seat Ibiza and the 1.5-litre Mazda 2.
Dale Wyatt, sales and marketing director at Suzuki GB PLC, said: “The very encouraging results from the recent What Car? tests prove the exceptional value for money that the Suzuki model range provides to today’s motorists, and the impressive return on investment that they receive for every gallon of fuel that they purchase.”
:: Christmas has come late for patriotic sports car buyers, with news that Jaguar is going to build an F-Type British Design Edition.
Yours in hard or soft-top body styles, the special model will have a choice of four paint colours including red, white and blue, a 375bhp V6 engine, the popular Exterior Sport Design Pack, upgraded brakes and edition-specific black leather seats with contrasting piping in the same Union Jack-derived colours as the paint.
There will be British Design Edition badges to the front and rear of the bodywork, as well as ‘unique branding’ on the headrests, tread plates and centre console trim.
The car will be automatic-only, and four-wheel drive will be standard. Top speed is reportedly 171mph, with the 0-60mph sprint devoured in 4.9 seconds.
Audiophiles will appreciate the 380W Meridian sound system upgrade, and that can be improved again with a 12-speaker surround sound setup with 770W of power.
Built as part of the new model year, repackaging of the rear components sees a modest eight-litre increase in boot capacity, as well as the latest InControl Touch Pro interface, which now comes with Apple Watch compatibility.
Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar, said: “The F-Type is a sports car that excites the senses, with a visual drama that is both individual and very British. Creating the British Design Edition gave us the opportunity to subtly enhance the way the F-Type looks - inside and out.”