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 per cent 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 per cent) of people, whilst a similar number said texting at the wheel left 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. Almost a quarter said they found a dirty car unappealing.

Top 10 first date turn-offs:

  • Rudeness (81%)
  • Bad personal hygiene (80%)
  • No sense of humour (70%)
  • Being self-obsessed (69%)
  • Road rage (46%)
  • Texting whilst driving (45%)
  • Talking on a mobile whilst driving (44%)
  • Bad dress sense (40%)
  • Sweaty palms (25%)
  • Dirty car (23%)

Top 10 first date turn-ons:

  • Sense of humour (81%)
  • Politeness (77%)
  • Good personal hygiene (69%)
  • Good dress sense (50%)
  • Looks (44%)
  • Confidence (44%)
  • Generosity (29%)
  • Good driving skills (11%)
  • Great shoes (9%)
  • Nice car (7%)

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 people’s 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.