The south-east of England is the country’s middle-lane hogging hotspot, and the M4 near Slough has the incidence of hogging.

That’s according to analysis from insurer Direct Line which studied traffic data from nearly 6500 sites on UK motorways and compared the amount of time on each motorway that occupancy in the middle lane exceeded the inside line.

Furthermore, the M25 appears five times in the list, which entirely consists of motorways in London or the south-east.

Further analysis by the insurance company shows that 78% of 2034 motorists surveyed know the law dictates drivers should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear, and more than half of drivers know that middle-lane hogging is illegal.

Despite this, 59% of drivers admitted to lane hogging, with 9% saying they do it regularly or all the time.

It is the easiest way to drive on motorways as it saves changing lanes according to 43% of motorists when asked why they middle-lane hog, while 32% claim they does it without realising.

“Lane hogging causes congestion, reduces the capacity of the roads, and most crucially, can be dangerous,” said Rob Miles, director of motoring at Direct Line.

“It is also illegal which means drivers could face a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on their license if caught,” continued Miles.

“Motorists are risking their own safety and the safety of other road users through their actions so we’d urge them to be aware of the other lanes and drivers around them when on the road,” said Miles.

Rank Location Nearest location Region Percentage
1 M4 J5-J6 Westbound (Lane 2) Slough SE 27%
2 M1 J4-J5 Southbound (Lane 2) Watford SE 26%
3 M4 J7-J8/9 Eastbound (Lane 2) Slough SE 24%
4 M25 J4-J5 Clockwise (Lane 2) Sevenoaks, Kent SE 22%
5 M25 J12-J13 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Cheshunt SE 21%
6 M4 J2-J3 Westbound (Lane 2) Brentford London 19%
7 M25 J18-J19 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Watford SE 19%
8 M25 J16-J17 Clockwise (Lane 3) Gerrards Cross, Bucks SE 17%
9 M4 J5-J6 Eastbound (Lane 2) Heathrow London 16%
10 M25 J16-J17 Anti-Clockwise (Lane 3) Gerrards Cross, Bucks SE 12%
Reasons for middle lane hogging Total %
It is an easier way to drive on the motorway because it saves me changing lanes 43%
I only do this when the road is quiet 38%
I do it without realising 32%
It is a safer way to drive on the motorway 24%
It is a driving habit 18%


In a separate AA Populus survey, 29% of drivers have said they have modified their driving as a result of fines brought in to tackle careless driving.
Changes, introduced a year ago, allow the police to issue a fixed penalty notice for less serious examples of careless driving, such as tailgating and middle-lane hogging.
The results are based on 16,606 responses from AA members to its online poll between in July.
One in 10 drivers say they see fewer examples of tailgating (12%) and lane-hogging (11%) now than they did a year ago.
The majority of AA members (82%) share the view that a greater visible police presence will make the new law more effective.
Neil Greig, IAM Director of policy and research, said: “These fines were introduced to change the behaviour of drivers, which clearly has not happened in large numbers just yet.
“However, it was never going to happen overnight – so the jury is still out on careless driving as a fixed penalty offence. Research shows that visible policing is the most valuable deterrent against careless driving.”