New research of Europeans who frequently drive for business shows they spent an average of 23 minutes each month not knowing where they were, adding up to more than four-and-a-half hours spent lost on the road each year.

The survey carried out by Enterprise Rent-A-Car found that more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of business drivers in Europe had been lost while on the road in the past month despite living in an era of satellite navigation. Furthermore, around one in eight respondents said they’d lost their way for more than 45 minutes, while one in 20 estimated they’d gone off track for at least two hours every month.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car said this time spent wandering can lead to extra stress for drivers, missed deadlines, reduced productivity and a potentially poor reputation among customers if getting lost results in being late for meetings.

However, of the 2,000 business drivers across the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Ireland, more than half (51 per cent) said they got lost because they weren’t paying attention. A further 30 per cent chose to ignore their satnav in a bid to beat congestion, 27 per cent were given the wrong directions by a passenger and 24 per cent went the wrong way after taking advice on shortcuts.

Even worse than spending time getting back on the right route, one in ten drivers had run out of petrol while lost (with 43 per cent admitting they didn’t check they had enough fuel before setting off) and 19 per cent were forced to spend the night somewhere unplanned, or even in their car.

Rob Ingram, director of business rental EMEA at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “Our research shows that businesses may need to support drivers to ensure they really do have everything they need. Even with all the technology at our fingertips, getting lost while driving is still an issue for many business drivers, particularly those driving abroad and on roads they’re unfamiliar with.” 

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