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Changing Lanes

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 August 2007

- Brits make their biggest life decisions in the front seat of the car -

Moving house? Changing jobs? Getting married? Gone are the days of conferences around the kitchen table. Now some of our biggest life-changing decisions are made in the front seat of a car, according to research released today. And it seems that the peace, quiet and lack of distractions that a car offers create the ideal environment for these significant conversations.

The survey by Kia Motors reveals how on long car journeys, nearly half the respondents have agreed to move house (43%), and the same number have discussed important career changes. Nearly a quarter of Brits (23%) have broached the subject of getting married, while one in eight (12%) went one step further and agreed to start trying for a baby – once they had got home of course!

Other life decisions discussed in the front seat of the car included:

· Going on holiday (64%)

· Buying a new car (48%)

· Decorating (41%)

· Ending a relationship (25%)

· Getting a new pet (24%)

· Getting divorced (7%)

But why are Brits using this time to tackle such life-changing decisions? Almost two thirds of those surveyed said that, as time-poor Brits, they valued the time to be able to talk to one another (62%). Interestingly more than a third liked the fact that either party couldn’t walk away from the conversation (38%). Twenty eight per cent enjoyed the intimacy of a car, yet conversely one in five felt it was less confrontational than face to face conversations (21%). A quarter said that it was the best place to avoid distractions (23%).

Renowned life coach, Gladeana McMahon, can understand why couples are taking refuge in the front seat of the car to broach these tough life decisions. "People simply don’t have the time in their busy lives to give these important conversations the space and attention they need. So they need to grab the opportunities they have, which is why long car journeys or hours stuck in traffic jams can be the perfect place to make some important decisions. It may not feel very romantic but it’s more important to give each other the time to talk – and to listen."

The research revealed some interesting differences between the sexes. It seems that men are less keen to discuss anything to do with relationships, be that starting or ending them, while women are less likely to share concerns about their careers.

But what happens when the discussion gets heated? The majority of Brits are most likely to change the subject (44%) or stop the conversation and pick it up at a later date (36%). However, 17% would drown out the other person by putting the radio on and one in ten (10%) would park up so they could really have it out!

Stephen Kitson, Communications Director for Kia Motors (UK), encourages drivers to make the most of time together in the car – but not to let it get too out of hand. "The ‘time out’ that a long car journey can provide is often the perfect place to chew over some of life’s big decisions. But if it starts to get in the way of your concentration on the road then it’s time to put the discussion on hold – or find somewhere safe to pull over."

Other findings include:

· 37% of Brits admit to always or sometimes arguing whilst making life-changing decisions in the car.

· 18-24 year olds are twice as likely to discuss changes to their relationships as those over 45.

· 42% of Scots say that they have never argued whilst making life-changing decisions in the car – the highest in the UK.

· The subject people would most avoid discussing in the car is divorce (50%).

The research was conducted to coincide with Kia Motors’ new ad campaign for the cee’d, that sees a man and woman agreeing to get married, settle down and have kids all during the course of a car journey.

- Ends -