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Almost a quarter of Brits confess their darkest secrets to taxi drivers according to new research

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

From the making (and breaking) of a relationships, to the spilling of family secrets, taxi drivers have seen and heard it all - with almost a quarter of Brits confessing their secrets to a cabbie, according to new research from ride-hailing app, FREE NOW.

The nationwide survey found that Brits are prone to pouring their hearts out to taxi drivers, with the most common confessions being affairs, secret health diagnoses, financial issues, and pulling a sickie from work.

FREE NOW’s survey of its drivers uncovered some equally outrageous secrets. Three quarters of drivers said that they have had a customer confess to having an affair, whilst a third have had a passenger say they’ve lied to their boss or work colleague. A quarter have heard about their customers’ financial difficulties, and the same number have been told about a secret office relationship. In fact, workplace secrets prove a popular topic of conversation in taxis, as a quarter of drivers revealed their passenger has pulled a sickie from work.

One respondent witnessed a marriage proposal in the back of his cab, whilst multiple drivers have had a woman go into labour during a journey.

Conversely, a sixth had been told by their customer that they don’t love their partner.

So why is it that these vehicles have become modern-day confessionals? The biggest reasons include people knowing they were unlikely to see their driver again, finding ease in confiding in a stranger and feeling trust in their driver. When asked why they would tell all to a taxi driver, one person confessed: “Because of the intimacy created by being in a small space, with someone without making eye contact – it’s like [the] feeling of being in a confessional box.”

It may come as no surprise to learn that millennials are the most likely age group to air their dirty laundry in the backseat - with almost half confessing to having a huge argument in the back of a taxi, breaking up with someone and having a cry.

Londoners are most likely to confess a secret, ranking the highest regionally, followed by the West Midlands, with Northern Ireland ranking the lowest. As regular ride-hailers, Londoners are also the most likely to get up to no-good most frequently, with the highest rates across the board - whether that be falling asleep, snogging, arguing, being sick or crying.

Interestingly, the FREE NOW research also showed that men were more likely to have ‘fessed up’ to their driver than women. The most common confession among men is that they’ve had an affair, whilst for women, it’s skiving off work or admitting they are in love with someone that’s unavailable.

Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager at FREE NOW, said: “These “cab confessions” shows how taxi drivers are probably one of the few professions where people feel able to open up more about their personal lives. Being a driver puts you in such a unique position to hear and see things from others in a way that most people don’t. It also highlights how safe passengers feel with taxi drivers that they are able to trust them with secrets they usually feel unable to share with anyone else.”


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