Seventy per cent of AA members admit to having had a romantic encounter in a car, according to a survey of 22,827 drivers.

On Valentine’s Day the AA reckons the chances of AA patrols coming across romantic in-car liaisons will increase. In the past an AA patrol has been called out to a ‘breakdown’ only to find a naked couple hiding behind bushes as they were locked out of their car.

Two-in-five of those surveyed (39%) have gone for a romantic drive, 3% have proposed marriage or been proposed to in the car, and 7% (rising to 11% of 25-44 year olds) have flirted with other drivers - a third (34%) in the last year.

Half (51%) admit to a kiss and cuddle, a third (32%) have had intimate contact and over a quarter (28%) admitted to having had a full sexual encounter in a car.

Males (34%) are more likely to claim a full sexual encounter in the car compared to females (17%).

Those aged 18-24 are less likely to have gone all the way (22%) and those aged 35-54 (31%) are most likely to have done it.

Drivers in Wales (33%) and the North East (32%) are most likely to have done it, with those in London are least likely to have gone all the way (23%).

Edmund King, AA president, said: “We were surprised by these Valentine findings. The vision of car romance has tended to be a Californian concept of teenage drive-ins and ‘On the Road’ flirtations along Route 66. This survey shows that road romance has replaced road rage for many UK drivers.

“Close encounters of a sexual kind appear to be a fairly common occurrence on the highways and byways of Britain. While car flirting is relatively rare, one quarter of daring drivers have gone all the way.

“As long as road romance doesn’t compromise road safety and public decency then the perpetrators can probably stay outside the long arm of the law.”