The most popular road trip playlists around the world

Looking for the perfect road trip playlist? This report by has analysed hundreds of playlists on Spotify to reveal the ultimate road trip tracks worldwide.

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After analysing 999 of Spotify’s top road trip playlists from around the world, the study found the following 27 tracks are featured the most. They include some of the biggest artists of all time, such as Fleetwood Mac, through to modern-day hits from artists such as Harry Styles.

The most popular road trip song around the world is Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, appearing on 121 of the playlists analysed. Released in 1974, this track was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s highest-charting single (reaching 8th position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1974).

Despite being one of the most recognised tracks out there, Sweet Home Alabama never reached number 1 in the charts. Out of the 15 countries analysed, Sweet Home Alabama featured on 8 of the top 10 tracklists, proving the song is a hit with drivers worldwide.

Popular prom and wedding song, Mr Brightside by The Killers comes in second featuring in 114 playlists. Mr Brightside was one of the first full songs The Killers ever wrote. Initially released in 2003, it became most popular when re-released in 2004, peaking at number 10 in both the US and the UK.

The only other song appearing in over 100 global road trip playlists is Riptide by Vance Joy, which comes in third place. This coming-of-age love story was released in 2013 and peaked at number 10 in the UK. In 2015 it was the second longest charting single on the US Billboard Hot 100, appearing for 43 weeks.

1Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd121
2Mr BrightsideThe Killers114
3RiptideVance Joy112
4Don’t Stop Believin’Journey88
6Life is a HighwayRascal Flatts78
7Pumped Up KicksFoster The People73
8Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles72
9Little TalksOf Monsters and Men71
10Hey, Soul SisterTrain70
10ShotgunGeorge Ezra70
12Dreams – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac68
13Shut Up and DanceWalk The Moon67
15Dancing in the MoonlightToploader66
16I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)The Proclaimers65
16Stacy’s MomFountains Of Wayne65
16All StarSmash Mouth65
19As It WasHarry Styles60
19Party in the U.S.A.Miley Cyrus60
21Sweet CarolineNeil Diamond58
21High HopesPanic! At The Disco58
23American PieDon McLean56
24Watermelon SugarHarry Styles54
24Don’t Stop Me Now – Remastered 2011Queen54
24Go Your Own Way – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac54
24Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)Kate Bush54

The most popular road trip song in the UK is I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Scottish duo the Proclaimers, appearing in 13 playlists. Fittingly, it was written by Craig Reid while preparing himself for a road trip to Aberdeen for a football match.

This is followed by 2 songs that appeared on 12 playlists each: London Calling and Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)The Proclaimers13
2London Calling – RemasteredThe Clash12
2Everybody Wants to Rule the WorldTears For Fears12
4Life is a HighwayTom Cochrane11
4Friday I’m in LoveThe Cure11
4Don’t Stop Me Now – Remastered 2011Queen11
7There She GoesThe La’s10
7Go Your Own Way – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac10
7The Chain – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac10
7Song 2 – 2012 RemasterBlur10
7I Bet You Look Good on the DancefloorArctic Monkeys10

It may not come as a surprise, but Scottish duo The Proclaimers reached the top spot for Scotland’s most popular road trip song with their hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Data shows that 139 Scottish road trip playlists feature this track.

In second place is Mr Brightside by The Killers, featuring on 60 playlists. This is followed by Go Your Own Way – 2004 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac, appearing on 39 playlists.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)The Proclaimers139
2Mr BrightsideThe Killers60
3Go Your Own Way – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac39
4Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd33
4I’m on My WayThe Proclaimers33
4As It WasHarry Styles33
7ShotgunGeorge Ezra32
8Don’t Stop Believin’Journey30
8RiptideVance Joy30
8Dreams – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac30

Ireland’s harbour city of Galway is a namesake for Ireland’s most popular road trip track.

Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran appears in 42 different Irish road trip playlists, with the song being heavily influenced by traditional Irish music.

The songs in second and third don’t have any clear links to the Emerald Isle, with Riptide by Vance Joy in 23 playlists and Sweet Home Alabama in 22.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Galway GirlEd Sheeran42
2RiptideVance Joy23
3Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd22
4N17The Saw Doctors20
5Brown Eyed GirlVan Morrison19
5The Boys Are Back in TownThin Lizzy19
7Don’t Stop Believin’Journey18
7LingerThe Cranberries18
7Dirty Old TownThe Pogues18
10Whiskey in the JarThe Dubliners17

The United States sees the largest search volume for road trips on Google and also the biggest number of USA related road trip playlists. In total, there are 1,481 of these playlists on Spotify.

The top tracks feature classic American hits from the likes of the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, and John Denver. Sweet Home Alabama ranks as the USA’s favourite road trip track, with Hotel California – 2013 Remaster and American Pie filling the second and third place spots respectively.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd489
2Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles352
3American PieDon McLean296
4Born in the U.S.A.Bruce Springsteen276
5Take It Easy – 2013 RemasterEagles227
6Life is a HighwayRascal Flatts187
6Don’t Stop Believin’Journey182
8CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers170
9Take Me Home, Country RoadsJohn Denver168
10Born to Be WildSteppenwolf159

Italy’s favourite road trip tracks are Dreams – 2004 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac and As It Was by Harry Styles, both featuring on 26 playlists. Harry Styles has 2 songs in Italy’s top 10, showing how popular he is in the country. Classics from the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac also feature in the top 10 most popular songs.

L’Italiano by Toto Cutugno features in 25 of Italy’s top road trip playlists, ranking as the third favourite track. Released in 1983 L’Italiano was Toto Cutugno’s biggest international success. The track hit number 1 in Italy, France, Portugal, and Switzerland.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Dreams – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac26
1As It WasHarry Styles26
3L’ItalianoToto Cutugno25
4Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles18
4FelicitàAl Bano And Romina Power18
6Here Comes the Sun – Remastered 2009The Beatles17
7Mystery of LoveSufjan Stevens16
9Late Night TalkingHarry Styles15
9Love in PortofinoDalida15

Canada sticks to some of the most famous road trip songs, heavily influenced by American classics. Sweet Home Alabama ranks first, with Life is a Highway and Free Fallin’ following in second and third place respectively.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd40
2Life is a HighwayTom Cochrane38
3Free Fallin’Tom Petty31
4Mr BrightsideThe Killers27
5I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)The Proclaimers27
6Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles25
7American PieDon McLean25
8Life is a HighwayRascal Flatts25
9Summer of ’69Bryan Adams25
10Don’t Stop Believin’Journey24

An Aussie ‘80s classic unsurprisingly hits the number 1 spot for Australia. Down Under by the rock band Men at Work was a worldwide phenomenon for years after its release in 1980. Down Under is followed by American classics American Pie and Sweet Home Alabama.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Down UnderMen at Work35
2American PieDon McLean28
3Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd27
3You Shook Me All Night LongAC/DC27
5Highway to HellAC/DC24
5The HorsesDaryl Braithwaite24
5RiptideVance Joy24
8How to FlySticky Fingers23
10Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles20

Latin tracks prove to be very popular in the top 10 road trip songs in Spain. Artists such as Juanes, with his track La Camisa Negra in first place, are joined by artists such as Shakira and Marc Anthony. Anthony’s Vivir Mi Vida comes in second place, followed by Caraluna by Bacilos.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1La Camisa NegraJuanes18
2Vivir Mi VidaMarc Anthony17
4Don’t Stop Believin’Journey12
4Hips Don’t Lie (feat. Wyclef Jean)Shakira12
4Oye Mi AmorManá12
4Colgando en Tus Manos (con Marta Sánchez)Carlos Baute12

The list for New Zealand is largely made up of local artists, with Auckland’s Dave Dobbyn taking the top spot.

His song Slice of Heaven appears in 17 different playlists. While it’s not as well known outside Australasia, it’s considered one of New Zealand’s most popular songs after appearing in tourism ads in the 80s and 90s.

Two more songs by Kiwi artists are in joint second: Bliss by Th’ Dudes and April Sun in Cuba by Dragon.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Slice of HeavenDave Dobbyn17
2BlissTh’ Dudes16
2April Sun in CubaDragon16
4Always on My MindTiki Taane13
4Weather with YouCrowded House13
4Why Does Love Do This to MeThe Exponents13
7In the AirL.A.B.12
7Gutter BlackHello Sailor12
9Go Your Own Way – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac11
9Misty FrequenciesChé-Fu11
9Sitting Inside My HeadSupergroove11

France enjoys some classic road trip songs that are popular across the world. France’s top track is Mr Brightside by The Killers, which features on 38 French road trip playlists. Harry Styles’ As It Was ranks second with Elton John’s global hit Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) taking third spot.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Mr BrightsideThe Killers38
2As It WasHarry Styles35
3Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)Elton John33
4Don’t Stop Believin’Journey31
5ShotgunGeorge Ezra30
6Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd29
8Watermelon SugarHarry Styles27
8Here Comes the Sun – Remastered 2009The Beatles27
10Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)Kate Bush25

Portugal’s road trip playlists favour some old school American rock tracks. American Pie, Sweet Home Alabama, and Dreams – 2004 Remaster make up the top 3 most featured road trip tracks in Portugal.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1American PieDon McLean13
2Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd12
3Dreams – 2004 RemasterFleetwood Mac11
5Hotel California – 2013 RemasterEagles9
5Don’t Stop Me Now – Remastered 2011Queen9
7RiptideVance Joy8
7good 4 uOlivia Rodrigo8
7Escape (The Pina Colada Song)Rupert Holmes8
10Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)Kate Bush7
10Cold Heart – PNAU RemixElton John7
10CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers7
10Mrs. Robinson – From “The Graduate” SoundtrackSimon & Garfunkel7
10Mr BrightsideThe Killers7
10Do I Wanna Know?Arctic Monkeys7
10Do You No Wrong – Single VersionRichie Campbell7

India’s favourite road trip track is Dil Dhadakne Do by Joi Barua, in a list dominated by Indian artists.

Notably, many of these songs appear in the soundtracks of Bollywood films, including each of the top 3.

Dil Dhadakne Do appeared in the film of the same name, while Masakali was in Delhi-6 and Ik Junoon was written for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Dil Dhadakne DoJoi Barua26
2MasakaliMohit Chauhan20
3Ik Junoon (Paint It Red)Vishal Dadlani18
3Kabhi Kabhi AditiRashid Ali18
3Kal Ho Naa HoShankar-Ehsaan-Loy18
6Dil Chahta HaiShankar Mahadevan17
6Naina Da Kya KasoorAmit Trivedi17
6SenoritaFarhan Akhtar17
6Chand SifarishJatin-Lalit17
10Buddhu Sa MannAmaal Mallik16
10Tere BinaA.R. Rahman16
10Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta HaiRoop Kumar Rathod16

Top tracks in Germany road trip playlists are feel-good rock and pop tracks. Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts is top, featuring on 16 playlists. Blinding Lights from The Weekend and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ come in joint second, both featuring on 12 playlists.

I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE and Beggin’ by Måneskin occupy 2 spots in Germany’s top 10 tracks. Måneskin formed in Rome in 2016 and went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 for Italy with their track Zitti e buoni.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
1Life is a HighwayRascal Flatts16
2Blinding LightsThe Weeknd12
2Don’t Stop Believin’Journey12
4Green Green GrassGeorge Ezra10
7ShiversEd Sheeran8
7One Kiss (with Dua Lipa)Calvin Harris8
7Wake Me UpAvicii8
7On Top of the WorldImagine Dragons8
7Bam Bam (feat. Ed Sheeran)Camila Cabello8

Africa by Toto is the most common track in South African road trip playlists. Since its release in 1980, Africa by Toto has been certified 8 times platinum. Tracks SETE (feat. Young Stunna & Blxckie) by K.O and Nomakanjani by Brenda Fassie follow in second and third place. South Africa’s top 10 tracks are less rock-heavy when compared with other countries, featuring modern rap and pop tracks.

RankTrackArtistNo. Playlists
2SETE (feat. Young Stunna & Blxckie)K.O12
3NomakanjaniBrenda Fassie11
4You’re the OneElaine10
4BanyanaDJ Maphorisa10
6Ngud’ (feat. Cassper Nyovest)Kwesta9
6Drive – Radio EditBlack Coffee9
6Another UniverseArno Carstens9
9Driven to DrinkShotgun Tori8
9In My FeelingsDrake8
9Youngblood5 Seconds of Summer8
9Diamonds on the Soles of Her ShoesPaul Simon8
9SpononoKabza De Small8
9Silver FoyerSold Ash8
9JackNasty C8
9Give Me Something (feat. Rowlene)Sha Sha8
93 in the MorningPrince Kaybee8
9EazyNasty C8

Louise Thomas, car insurance expert at, comments:

“Ever since the invention of the car radio, music and driving have been inextricably linked, and today creating the ultimate playlist is a huge part of the road trip experience. Similarly, having your own playlist ready for a long drive means you won’t get distracted whilst driving, keeping you safer on the road.

“A road trip is recognised as one of the most popular bucket list experiences. However, those who don’t own a car or want to share the driving might be put off by the insurance details. If you’re thinking of borrowing or hiring a car for your road trip there is no need to worry as temporary car insurance is there for these situations! With the right insurance, you will be protected if anything were to happen whilst on the road, enabling you to have a worry-free trip!”


An initial list of 15 countries where road trips are most popular was created using Google Keywords data. Countries searching for road trips the most were where road trips were considered to be the most popular. From this list, 2 sets of playlist data were analysed and combined using Spotify’s Playlist Miner.

These 2 sets were used to reveal the most common songs and artists that appear on playlists that include “[country] road trip” in their title and those with “[nationality] road trip” in their title. For example, “US road trip” and “American road trip”. Countries without at least 50 road trip playlists were removed from the list.

The top tracks for the world were revealed by searching road trip playlists (not country-specific). Playlist miner reveals a maximum of 999 playlists for each search. These are the top 999 playlists on Spotify that include “road trip”. Using these playlists we can identify the top 10 songs for road trips worldwide.

All data was recorded on the 30th of August 2022.

In total 4,560 playlists and 630,000 tracks across 15 countries were analysed to reveal the top 10 for each country. 302,271 tracks from 999 playlists were analysed for global data.

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