Two in five drivers unwittingly break the rules while travelling with their furry friends

With many Brits set to take their pooches away with them this summer, new research of 2,000 dog owners has revealed more than two thirds of drivers aren’t aware of the current rules surrounding car travel with dogs.

To mark the launch of CarStore’s partnership with leading animal welfare charity, Battersea, a new study suggests that over half of us are happiest while out driving with our dogs – yappy days! What’s more, 42% proclaim to treasure them as part of the family, so it’s troubling to find that despite this, two in five drivers are unknowingly breaking the rules when out travelling with their dogs.

While one in five don’t have a designated zone for their pooch, only 54% keep their dog restrained while out travelling and just 5% are aware of the severity of the repercussions of driving without due care and attention can entail (up to £5,000 and nine points on your driving licence), it’s clear there is a lot of confusion surrounding the rules of the road when out driving with our four-legged friends.

As one of the first used car brands in the UK to partner with a national animal charity, CarStore is delivering on its commitment to flex to the needs of contemporary car-seekers via the partnership. Battersea will be hosting training sessions for CarStore Personal Advisors, educating them on how to manage experience centre visits from dog-owning customers and create a more dog friendly environment.

Personal Advisors will also be informed about the legal requirements surrounding car travel with dogs, and the equipment available to meet these requirements. Alongside this training, CarStore and Battersea will co-create useful advice and content to help improve customer understanding of the rules and requirements for travelling with their furry friends.

Kim Costello, Chief Marketing Officer at CarStore, said: “We know there has been a huge surge in pet ownership over the past 12-18 months and as a result, a likely need for individuals and families to purchase a new car to accommodate their new furry friends. This new alliance between CarStore and Battersea aims to help as many of the nation’s dog owners as possible find the right car for them.

Specially trained by Battersea experts, our Personal Advisors will be equipped to support dog-owning customers with the car-buying process. Whether they’re looking for a car to accommodate a large German Shepherd, or something smaller to seat a Cockapoo and a small carrier, our Personal Advisors will be on hand to support and help customers find their perfect car.”

The survey suggested that many do not believe their car is currently practical for travelling with a dog, with almost half (49%) wishing they could do more to dog proof it. However, 10% confirmed they do not know where to source correct and accurate guidance, with many admitting to checking social media (18%) or forums online (18%) rather than reputable sources.

Rob Bays, Canine Behaviour and Training Manager at Battersea, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with CarStore to further help dog owners travel safely and wisely with their pets. With the good weather returning, many families may be looking to travel with their dogs during their staycations and Battersea wants to ensure dog owners have the right knowledge before embarking on a car journey with their pets.

When in the car with your dog, it’s important that they are comfortable in their environment to reduce stress and anxiety, so familiarising your pet with your vehicle before embarking on a long journey will help them get used to travelling. It’s also important to ensure they are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you’re driving or injure you, or themselves, if you need to stop suddenly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, pet crate or guard are all suitable ways to travel safely with your pet.”

Find out more about the partnership and access the content hub here.

For tips on how to get your dog used to travelling in a vehicle, visit Battersea’s website for useful advice, videos and downloadable guides.