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LONDON — What’s in your go-to driving playlist when you just feel like belting out a tune? A new survey finds “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, and “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi top the charts of the favorite car sing-along songs.

The poll of 2,000 motorists in the United Kingdom finds that 78 percent sing in the car, although only 21 percent of those who enjoy belting out tunes think they’re any good. Other four-wheel-friendly anthems include “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “Bat Out of Hell” by Meat Loaf, and “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac.

Fittingly, the tune synonymous with Formula 1, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, also made the top 40, although Gary Numan’s “Cars” narrowly missed out.

More than four in 10 (42%) who enjoy crooning in the car claim singing is essential to their driving experience, while 51 percent say it just makes them happy. However, 37 percent have been forced to listen to tone-deaf passengers or drivers while on the road, likely making their journeys slightly less enjoyable.

Fiat, who commissioned the research, partnered with “The X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent” vocal coach Annabel Williams to provide top tips for becoming pitch-perfect behind the wheel.

“In partnership with Fiat, we’ve revealed what Brits really get up to when it comes to singing in the car. There is just something about singing along in the car that brings people a lot of joy – perhaps because you can just go for it, and no one can hear you. I love being able to sing in the car without judgment (unless you have passengers, of course!). Ultimately, though, singing should be something enjoyed by everyone, no matter what their level. Singing is therapeutic and always makes people feel better. Whatever your ability, I’ve put together five top tips to help you become pitch-perfect behind the wheel in the new all-electric Fiat 500,” Williams says in a statement.

music sitting in car
(Credit: Igor Starkov on Unsplash)

The study also reveals that 16 percent of motorists have been asked to stop singing in the car, while 11 percent have been left embarrassed after being caught crooning. As a result, 18 percent have considered taking singing lessons.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe music is essential for the optimum driving experience, with 62 percent claiming that singing along makes long journeys go quicker. However, over half (54%) find driving less enjoyable if they’re forced to listen to music they don’t like, while 65 percent have had arguments over the choice of tunes during a car journey.

Conducted through OnePoll, the survey finds motorists’ favorite genre of music to sing along to in the car is pop (34%), followed by rock (20%), and R&B (4%).

“Our research highlights the joy that singing in a car brings to drivers. Clearly, the private sanctuary of a car gives drivers the confidence to hit the high notes, even if people don’t think they can actually sing,” a spokesperson for Fiat says.

Top 40 Songs to Sing Along to in the Car:

  1. Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
  2. Abba – Dancing Queen
  3. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
  4. Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
  5. Meatloaf – Bat out of Hell
  6. Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
  7. The Killers – Mr Brightside
  8. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
  9. Pharrell Williams – Happy
  10. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
  11. Spandau Ballet – Gold
  12. The Beatles – Hey Jude
  13. Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
  14. The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
  15. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
  16. Rod Stewart – Maggie May
  17. Dire Straits – Money for Nothing
  18. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
  19. Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild
  20. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
  21. Take That – Never Forget
  22. Bryan Adams – Run to You
  23. Petula Clark – Downtown
  24. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
  25. David Bowie – Let’s Dance
  26. David Bowie – Heroes
  27. Lady GaGa – Poker Face
  28. Rihanna – Umbrella
  29. Beyoncé – Single Ladies
  30. Duran Duran – Rio
  31. Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon
  32. Alanis Morissette – Ironic
  33. Frank Sinatra – My Way
  34. Katy Perry – Roar
  35. Harry Styles – As It Was
  36. Madonna – Holiday
  37. Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
  38. Demi Lovato – Let It Go (from “Frozen”)
  39. Madonna – Like a Virgin
  40. Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough

Annabel Williams’ Top 5 In-car Singing Tips:

  • WARM UP: It’s important to warm up your voice so you can go for those big notes in the car safely and without straining.
  • STAY HYDRATED: Your vocal cords love to be lubricated and will work a lot better and for longer if you’ve watered them regularly. So, make sure to keep a bottle of water handy in your cup holder.
  • BREATHE: Breathing is the first thing to learn when learning to sing. It makes everything easier and helps you support big notes (even sitting down in the car!). Winding down the window can help by letting some fresh air in.
  • SONG CHOICE: Make sure you pick songs that suit you and are in your range. We want to show off what you CAN do not what you CAN’T at this stage!
  • SINGING IN TUNE: Make sure you listen to the instruments in the backing track or song you’re singing along to, it can really help sort the good notes from the bad! Adjusting your car’s stereo for bass and treble can help you pick up on different instruments.

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South West News Service writer Robert Knight contributed to this report.

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