With an average of 7 h 12 minutes per week spent in transport, the French are below the European average. The car is the most widely used means of transport everywhere.

The French sometimes complain about too much time spent on transport each day. A large study carried out by Ipsos and the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), published Wednesday April 26, clarifies things on a European scale.

On average, the French spend 7:12 a.m. in transport from Monday to Friday. In fact, this is more than two hours less time than the average weekly trip (9:35) of Europeans (1) concerned by this survey.

In fact, France is even the country where the duration of this weekly transport is the least important. At the other end of the prism of mobility, we find the Greeks… with more than 13 hours.

“ We did not expect such differences, ” explains Romain de Laubier, associate director at BCG, who recognizes that the explanations are not obvious. “However, we can think that the state of the infrastructure is in question, ” he adds.

In fact, Greece is one of the countries where citizens are the least satisfied with the road network. just like Italy or Slovakia for example, two countries where weekly transport times exceed 10 hours.

Indispensable car

Europeans favor the car, which remains the essential means of transport for all daily trips. Excluding weekends, Europeans spend 3 hours 42 minutes by car (including 28 minutes by carpooling and carsharing) per week and only 1 hour 48 minutes by public transport. Note the nearly 4 hours of walking.

Work or study, big food shopping, transport of children to school or leisure, administrative procedures or medical examination … The automobile is the first means of transport for all these activities. It is all the more considered essential that Europeans live in rural areas (70%) or on the outskirts of a city (67%) but only 54% in cities.

In France, the car comes first, whether it is to go to work or study (67% against 65% for the European average), to go shopping for important groceries (86% against 73%) or even take their children for their daily activities (69% vs. 56%).

For the French, the importance given to the car is explained in particular by the fact that it is sometimes difficult to use public transport nearby (43% against 35% for the European average). The network of the territory is considered insufficient and the stops too far from homes.

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Social integration

The survey reveals that the feeling of social inclusion of Europeans is strongly correlated with the quality of the transport offer, in France in particular. More than one in four French people have the feeling of being “a little too far from everything” (27% against 26% for the European average). And even 46% for the French in rural areas.

Among this quarter of the French population, 40% think that where they live, the public authorities do rather less than elsewhere for the well-being of the inhabitants.

Ready for change

Expectations are very high in France to improve travel conditions with more intermodality for more mobility. And if the necessary investments were made, the French say they are ready to change their behavior in terms of mobility… but less than the Europeans.


The study also shows that France is more convinced that innovations in the field of vehicles and new technologies will disrupt their journeys . They consider that in 15 years, they will be able to drive electric vehicles over long distances without any autonomy problem (83% against 73% for all Europeans), that they will leave their car at the entrance to the city and will only use public transport accessible from their parking lot (75% compared to 70% overall).

They are also mostly convinced that they will be able to drive without any risk of breakdown or accident thanks to new digital technologies (55% against 57% overall), that electric cars will charge while driving (61% against 55% in the overall) or that we can drive in autonomous cars on reserved lanes on the motorway (58% against 52% overall), or even on all roads (52% against 46% overall).

For the vast majority of them, there is no doubt: these innovations will have positive consequences on their everyday life. But only 72% of French people think so against 77% in Europe.