Men rank own driving and parking higher than partners’ - and women agree!

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Auckland, 24 October 2018 – Men have far more faith in their own ability behind the wheel than they do their partners says a recent AA Insurance survey. Interestingly, women tend to agree by consistently rating themselves lower than their significant other – especially when it comes to parking.


The 2018 AA Insurance Drivers Survey, which asked around 1,000 Kiwis to rate their own parking and driving ability, found that 91 per cent of men rated themselves as confident* parkers (vs 75 per cent of women), but only around two thirds of men (69 per cent) rated their partners as confident, while around 9 out of 10 women (91 per cent) rated their partners as confident.


Confidence was a bit higher and more even between the sexes for driving, with around 9 out of 10 of both men (93 per cent) and women (91 per cent) rating themselves as confident. Tellingly, only 18 per cent of men thought their partners were excellent drivers, while women were more generous at 39 per cent.


“Overall, most drivers surveyed thought they were capable parkers (83 per cent) and drivers (92 per cent) regardless of gender,” says Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance. “However, 16 per cent thought that their partners could do with some improvement for driving, and 20 per cent for parking. Fewer thought that they could do with some improvement themselves, at 8 per cent for driving and 15 per cent for parking.” 

For example, one AA Insurance customer was driving her cat to the vet and had it in a cage on the passenger seat. As she looked down to check on the upset animal, she drove up onto the footpath, hit a parked car, was shunted further onto the footpath, hitting a letterbox, and further damaging the front of her car. She caused almost $7,500 worth of damage to both cars and the letterbox.

Another customer was parked on the street to clean up a spill on the driver’s seat, using a hairdryer to dry it out. He was leaning over the seat when he tripped over the dryer’s cord, lost his balance and fell on the gear stick. The stick clicked into neutral and rolled the car forward to hit the back of another parked car, causing $1,600 damage. 


Despite their confidence, male drivers are more likely to have had an accident than women; 73 per cent of men said they’d had an accident while driving, compared to 60 per cent of women.

One customer was making a right hand turn from a side road onto a main road. While making the turn his jacket became stuck in the steering wheel and he drove into the driver’s side of a taxi, which was preparing to turn off the main road. His clothing malfunction caused around $3,000 worth of damage.

“Regardless of your level of confidence behind the wheel, these results show us that accidents can and do happen, and can often be expensive,” continues Amelia. “No matter how careful you are as a driver, you can’t control what other people on the road do, so it pays to have some form of insurance to protect your vehicle, as well as your wallet.”

What to do in the event of an accident:

  • Check that everybody involved in the collision is okay and call the emergency services if necessary

  • Move the vehicle(s) out of traffic if it’s safe to do so

  • Keep a pen and paper in the car for writing down details

  • Take a picture of the damage to both cars with a camera or your phone

  • Be sure to get the other driver’s registration number, name and contact number or address details

  • Contact your insurer and provide as much information as you can

  • Don’t try to settle the claim yourself – leave it to your insurer

Breakdown of statistics from the 2018 AA Insurance Drivers Survey


83% of Kiwis rated themselves as confident in their parking ability (91% men vs 75% women)

69% of men considered their partner’s parking ability as excellent/very good, compared to 91% of women

21% of men rated their partner’s parking ability as excellent, while 57% of women did so

15% of Kiwis thought they could do with some improvement in their parking skills (8% men vs 21% women), but 20% thought their partners could (31% men vs 9% women)

3% of Kiwis avoided some types of car parks altogether such as parallel parks (1% men vs 4% women)


92% of Kiwis rated themselves as confident in their driving ability (93% men vs 91% women)

79% of men rated their partner’s ability as excellent/good, while 90% of women did so

18% of men rated their partner’s ability as excellent, while 39% of women did so

8% of Kiwis thought they could improve their driving skills (7% men vs 9% women), while 16% thought their partners could (20% men vs 11% women)


71% of Kiwis drive every day

21% of Kiwis drive a few times a week (24% in 2017)

2% of Kiwis drive once a week (3% in 2017)

6% of Kiwis drive less frequently (same as 2017)

654 of those interviewed were in relationships (692 in 2017)


67% of Kiwis have had an accident while driving (same as 2017)

73% of men have had an accident (71% in 2017)

60% of women have had an accident (64% in 2017)

Most accidents, across both genders, occurred during the ages of 15-29 years.

*997 Kiwis aged 18+ years were interviewed online. Confidence is based on a driver’s self-rating of ‘excellent’ or ‘pretty good’ for their ability to drive and park a car.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Media Team, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787,