The research by sporty Spanish car maker Seat revealed that 14% of men and 11% of women admit to having embarrassing 'closet' musical tastes that they indulge only in the car.
A surprising 12% of men admitted they will sing along to show tunes like Don't Cry for Me, Argentina if alone, one in four will join in with a Take That tune and 26% can't resist an Abba singalong. And, while unlikely to join in within earshot of their mates, 15% of men say they love Cindy Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, 12% will guiltily sing along to Westlife classics such as Flying without Wings, and 11% like the Village People's YMCA.
Other 'secret' listening statistics include 15% of men humming along to Kylie, 29% to Robbie Williams, 14% to the Spice Girls, 13% to Erasure and 12% to Britney. Women, too, will abandon their traditional love of Robbie Williams or Abba for something much rockier if they are behind the wheel with no-one else on board. Twenty per cent will bellow along to The Clash and 19% to The Jam. The Seat survey even found that ten per cent of lone women drivers will roar out the lyrics of heavy metal groups like AC/DC and Motorhead.
The research was commissioned alongside the launch of reality show Seat Sex Drive which aims once and for all to settle the debate over which of the sexes is better behind the wheel. The show will see competitors put through their paces in a series of gruelling, high-performance and advanced driving tests led by celebrity team captains Jack Osbourne and Emma Willis. The Seat study also shows over half (55%) of UK motorists actually view the car as a much-needed personal sanctuary.
This is hardly surprising when considering that almost a third of men (32%) say they have to listen to what their wife or girlfriend insists on, while one in five (22%) of women say they are forced to listen to the song choices of their children. However, when we're alone in the car, everything changes. More than half (58%) of women and nearly two thirds (61%) of men say they listen to different music when motoring 'solo'. Sixty per cent of men and 54% of women admit to liking music that their friends and family cannot stand. And they don't just listen – an astonishing four out of five (79%) of women and 65% of men own up to singing out loud (and loudly) when driving alone. The survey by Seat also found 39% of female motorists and 30% of males recall the embarrassment of being spotted by other motorists when belting out a ballad.