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Rudeness, poor hygiene & bad driving: Top 10 first date turn-offs that really grind our gears

By Kyle Linsay
Monday, August 17, 2015 - 10:00

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Forget flowers and chocolates, it would appear that the surest way to woo a potential love interest is to grab the L plates and brush up on driving skills as a new survey from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) reveals the UK’s biggest first date turn-offs.

Whilst rudeness scored highest in the list, with 81% of Brits citing bad manners as the worst thing a suitor can do, driving is a three-point turn off as nearly half of the 10 worst offences happen in the car before the date has even begun.

The research found road rage to be the worst first-date faux pas for almost half (46%) of people, whilst a similar number say texting at the wheel leaves them wanting to put the brakes on the date.

Talking on a mobile whilst driving appeared at number seven in the list, grinding the gears of 44 per cent of those questioned. And it’s best to bin those crisp packets as nearly a quarter (23%) finds a dirty car unappealing.

Top 10 first date turn-offs

  1. Rudeness (81%)
  2. Bad personal hygiene (80%)
  3. No sense of humour (70%)
  4. Being self-obsessed (69%)
  5. Road rage (46%)
  6. Texting whilst driving (45%)
  7. Talking on a mobile whilst driving (44%)
  8. Bad dress sense (40%)
  9. Sweaty palms (25%)
  10. Dirty car (23%)

Top 10 first date turn-ons

  1. Sense of humour (81%)
  2. Politeness (77%)
  3. Good personal hygiene (69%)
  4. Good dress sense (50%)
  5. Looks (44%)
  6. Confidence (44%)
  7. Generosity (29%)
  8. Good driving skills (11%)
  9. Great shoes (9%)
  10. Nice car (7%)

A further one in 10 (11%) are irritated by someone who takes 15 minutes to park, whilst an eighth of Brits (13%) find overly cautious drivers who go under the speed limit off-putting.

Other turn-offs include bad personal hygiene, which causes four in five (80%) of us to lose interest, and no sense of humour which shirks nearly three quarters (70%) of singletons. Being self-obsessed (69%) and sweaty palms (25%) also scored highly in the list.

On the flipside, more than one in 10 (11%) Brits say good driving skills get their motors running on a first date – beating a nice car (7%) and great shoes (9%).

The IAM’s chief executive, Sarah Sillars said: “Bad driving not only has an impact on the safety of our roads, but can also affect your chances of romance. Being able to manoeuvre properly and drive carefully should be much higher up on peoples dating priorities.”

The research revealed that Brits pick up on the driving skills of a date – good or bad – within the first 65 seconds of getting in the car, with half picking up on their potential partner’s prowess behind the wheel in just 20 seconds.

Singles can improve their driving skills – and chances of romance – by signing up for a free IAM driving assessment worth £39 at iam.org.uk/lovedriving. See if you can improve your ‘pulling’ power today.

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