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.
|#||Title||Artist||No. of features|
|1||As It Was||Harry Styles||177|
|4||Heat Waves||Glass Animals||124|
|5||Late Night Talking||Harry Styles||112|
|7||Everybody Talks||Neon Trees||88|
|8||Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)||Kate Bush||87|
|9||Cruel Summer||Taylor Swift||83|
|10||Music For a Sushi Restaurant||Harry Styles||82|
|11||The Spins||Mac Miller||82|
|14||The Less I Know The Better||Tame Impala||78|
|15||Keep Driving||Harry Styles||77|
|16||About Damn Time||Lizzo||75|
|17||Mr. Brightside||The Killers||75|
|18||Magic In The Hamptons (feat. Lil Yachty)||Social House||73|
|20||Feel So Close – Radio Edit||Calvin Harris||61|
|21||Time of Our Lives||Pitbull||59|
|24||Cigarette Daydreams||Cage The Elephant||57|
|25||Out of My League||Fitz and The Tantrums||56|
|26||Dreams – 2004 Remaster||Fleetwood Mac||56|
|27||Kilby Girl||The Backseat Lovers||56|
|28||I Ain’t Worried||OneRepublic||55|
|29||Can I Call You Tonight?||Dayglow||54|
|31||Watermelon Sugar||Harry Styles||52|
|32||Mr. Blue Sky||Electric Light Orchestra||51|
|33||Young Dumb & Broke||Khalid||51|
|34||Talk Too Much||COIN||50|
|38||Everybody Wants To Rule The World||Tears For Fears||48|
|40||Bad Habit||Steve Lacy||47|
|41||good 4 u||Olivia Rodrigo||46|
|42||Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo)||Wallows||46|
|43||Adore You||Harry Styles||45|
|44||Afraid To Feel||LF SYSTEM||45|
|46||See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)||Tyler, The Creator||44|
|48||Sunflower, Vol. 6||Harry Styles||43|
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.
|#||Artist||No. of features|
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.
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.