Car stereo playing Travis Scott

The Most Popular Summer Driving Playlists, According To Spotify

Road trips are synonymous with sing-alongs with friends, and are something that many of us look forward to, with passengers frequently bickering over who has control of the aux lead. The role of road trip DJ isn’t one to be taken on lightly though – the soundtrack needs to be the perfect mix of feel-good vibes, as well as songs that the whole car can sing along to. 

With many people carefully crafting their road trip playlists this summer,  we’ve conducted some research to find out which songs and artists we love to take on our road trips the most. To find this out, we’ve analysed over 133,500 tracks on Spotify which have been added to nearly 1,000 playlists titled “summer driving”.

Whether you’re taking a quick trip to the shops or a longer road trip for a summer holiday, these songs will no doubt bring a summer feeling to any drive. Just remember, it’s against the law to touch your phone while driving, even if just to skip onto the next song! So make sure you’re happy with your track selection before you head off, or assign the role of DJ to a trusted passenger to stay safe on the roads and avoid your vehicle needing to end up on the scrap heap.

The 50 Most Popular Songs For Summer Driving

It was Harry Styles who topped our summer driving charts, with the song ‘As It Was’ – the lead single from his third studio (smash hit) album, Harry’s House – featuring 177 times in summer driving playlists. It’s clear that those heading out on a summer drive are reaching for the critically acclaimed album, with two other tracks from the record also ranking in the top ten most featured songs, with ‘Late Night Talking’ featuring in 5th position with 112 features and ‘Music For a Sushi Restaurant’ in 10th spot with 82 features. In fact, over a quarter – 13 out of the top 50 – of the top summer driving songs are sung by Harry Styles, with the ex-One Direction star from Manchester dominating our summer playlists. 

Following ‘As It Was’ was Grouplove’s ‘Tongue Tied’ which featured 129 times, closely followed by ‘Brazil’ by Declan McKenna with 125 features, to make up the top three most popular summer driving songs.

Older classics including Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ all also feature in the top 50 most popular songs to play while driving in the sun. Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ places in 8th spot, despite being originally released in 1985, thanks to a recent 9,000% spike in streams on Spotify after the track was featured in a recent episode of Netflix’s Stranger Things. 

#TitleArtistNo. of features
1As It WasHarry Styles177
2Tongue TiedGrouplove129
3BrazilDeclan McKenna125
4Heat WavesGlass Animals124
5Late Night TalkingHarry Styles112
6Electric LoveBØRNS106
7Everybody TalksNeon Trees88
8Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)Kate Bush87
9Cruel SummerTaylor Swift83
10Music For a Sushi RestaurantHarry Styles82
11The SpinsMac Miller82
12SummerCalvin Harris79
138TEENKhalid78
14The Less I Know The BetterTame Impala78
15Keep DrivingHarry Styles77
16About Damn TimeLizzo75
17Mr. BrightsideThe Killers75
18Magic In The Hamptons (feat. Lil Yachty)Social House73
19GoldenHarry Styles72
20Feel So Close – Radio EditCalvin Harris61
21Time of Our LivesPitbull59
22LostFrank Ocean58
23DaylightHarry Styles58
24Cigarette DaydreamsCage The Elephant57
25Out of My LeagueFitz and The Tantrums56
26Dreams – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac56
27Kilby GirlThe Backseat Lovers56
28I Ain’t WorriedOneRepublic55
29Can I Call You Tonight?Dayglow54
30SatelliteHarry Styles54
31Watermelon SugarHarry Styles52
32Mr. Blue SkyElectric Light Orchestra51
33Young Dumb & BrokeKhalid51
34Talk Too MuchCOIN50
35ShotgunGeorge Ezra50
36GrapejuiceHarry Styles50
37CinemaHarry Styles48
38Everybody Wants To Rule The WorldTears For Fears48
39ClassicMKTO47
40Bad HabitSteve Lacy47
41good 4 uOlivia Rodrigo46
42Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo)Wallows46
43Adore YouHarry Styles45
44Afraid To FeelLF SYSTEM45
45KidsMGMT44
46See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)Tyler, The Creator44
47The NightsAvicii43
48Sunflower, Vol. 6Harry Styles43
49DaydreamingHarry Styles42
50SunroofNicky Youre42

The 10 Most Popular Artists For Summer Driving

As well as looking at the songs we’re playing on repeat in our cars this summer, we also wanted to find out which artists were topping our summer driving charts. A whopping 16 of Harry Styles’ songs featured in our 100 most popular summer driving songs, leading him to be our most popular artist for a sunny drive. 

Following Styles was country pop icon Taylor Swift, and global rapper and producer Childish Gambino, with each artist having three songs featuring in our 100 most popular rankings. Musicians including Calvin Harris, Khalid and Olivia Rodrigo ranked to complete the top ten most featured artists, with two featuring songs each. 

#ArtistNo. of features
1Harry Styles16
2Taylor Swift3
3Childish Gambino3
4Calvin Harris2
5COIN2
6Dayglow2
7Khalid2
8MGMT2
9Olivia Rodrigo2
10Steve Lacy2

If our research has inspired you to take a summer road trip, ensure you’ve read through our top tips for driving in hot weather before setting off to help you to stay safe on the roads.  

Methodology

Researchers from Scrap Car Comparison used ‘The Playlist Miner’ to analyse the songs included in any ‘summer driving’ playlists created by users of Spotify, and ranked the artists and songs that appear most regularly. Data correct as of July 2022.

 
 

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