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Noisy motorists

The deep growl of a modified exhaust, the blaring chimes of a car alarm, the screech of rubber tyres on asphalt and the furious honking of horns are all too common sounds in our communities.

Noise from vehicles can be extremely frustrating, especially early in the morning or late at night, but which parts of the country are the worst offenders?

The areas with the most vehicle noise complaints

1. Islington, London - 301 vehicle noise complaints

Taking the dubious honour of having the most vehicle noise complaints in the country in 2020 was the London borough of Islington, with 301 complaints. Islington is located in Inner London, with the south end of the borough encompassing part of the city centre, including the areas around Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations. So, it’s perhaps no wonder that vehicle noise is such a concern for the local residents.

2. Redbridge, London - 290 vehicle noise complaints

Second place also went to a London borough - Redbrige to be exact. In fact, each of the top four locations for vehicle noise complaints were located in the capital. Redbridge recorded 290 complaints throughout 2020, 154 of which related to engine revving and loud vehicle exhausts. A further 62 were a result of car alarms, while 54 were due to loud music blaring from cars in the borough.

3. Kensington & Chelsea, London - 232 vehicle noise complaints

Kensington and Chelsea received a total of 232 vehicle noise complaints throughout 2020, with many of the vehicle noise complaints in the borough being related to noise from supercars.

4. Tower Hamlets, London - 210 vehicle noise complaints

Rounding out the top four local authorities from the capital was Tower Hamlets, with 210 vehicle noise complaints. Tower Hamlets is another borough located in Inner London, specifically in the city’s traditional East End. Here, the majority of complaints referred to noise from cars in the street, with vehicle machinery and equipment and noise from commercial vehicles making up the rest.

5. County Durham, North East - 162 vehicle noise complaints

The area outside of London with the highest number of vehicle noise complaints is County Durham, which, despite being much more rural than the bustling London boroughs previously mentioned, racked up 162 complaints in 2020.

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All data was sourced from Freedom of Information requests sent out to all 381 local councils around the country requesting the total number of vehicle noise complaints received in the 2020 calendar year.

While a small number of councils either refused our request or did not reply in time, 288 did respond allowing us to use their data.

However, please note that councils don’t have a standardised way of categorising ‘vehicle noise’ so results may not necessarily be directly comparable.

These complaints refer to a wide range of issues including traffic noise, engine revving and the like, but also car alarms, noise from delivery vehicles, loud music from cars and more.