New study claims around three quarters of street addresses never actually take you to the intended property!


It’s happened to many of us, we stick a destination address in our sat nav and still end up driving to the wrong place but why is that?

According to one tech company in the UK, what3words, it may be because the address we enter into our sat navs might not actually take us to the front door of the business or home that we intended it to find.

The mapping company believe that just 26% of street addresses actually lead the driver directly to the right place (this could represent around 46 million people)!

Researchers suggest that the traditional addressing system used in the UK is ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

Has your sat nav ever took you to the wrong place?

New study claims around three quarters of street addresses never actually take you to the front door!


What the company claims is that addresses are sending people to an inexact point on a road or outside a building, with the problem especially bad when trying to find a specific flat in a block, new builds or a property in a rural area.

According to the mapping firm, delivery drivers and customers are struggling to pin-point an exact location on large industrial estates despite using their sat navs which can be either a smart device, a sat nav system or one built into their vehicle and using a postcode seems to be little or no help to some drivers.

Of the sat nav users in Germany, the UK and US when polled, more than a quarter (27%) said even though they’d entered a postcode into their system it had worryingly sent them to completely the wrong place.

The issue seems to be even more of a problem when it comes to directing others to their front door, with around three quarters (74%) of the 1,000 residents in the UK surveyed claiming that visitors, services and deliveries struggle to locate their homes or business premises.

Furthermore, more than half of those taking part (57%) said they have had to take a phone call from taxis, couriers, takeaway food delivery companies who struggle to find their home or work place.

The mapping company have estimated that if a more exact address system was in place last year, it would have saved around £40 billion in delivery costs.

Around one in five claim they have to give out more information when handing out directions to explain to other people how to find them, whilst 9% said they have to draw a map for visitors.

According to the CEO and co-founder of what3words Chris Sheldrick, the UK must act now and change to a more accurate address system in preparation for drone deliveries and driverless car journeys that experts believe will be part of everyday life in a decade’s time.

The company created a mapping system which is specific to a three-metre by three-metre square anywhere in the world and gives this location it’s very own three-word address.

Mr Sheldrick said: “When our current addressing system was first built, it wasn’t designed for a future of drone deliveries and hailing autonomous taxis”.

Around half (48%) from a panel of 2,000 taking part in the survey, said they would reap the benefits of a more accurate addressing system, whilst just over a quarter said they would be willing to try a totally new form of address.

The current postcode system was introduced in the UK back in 1959 but since then the population levels have grown massively, making it harder to find a specific location based on the number and letter combination.

“The humble postcode-based address has become increasingly inadequate, a problem exacerbated by the fact that many UK street names are far from unique,” said what3words.

According to their findings, there’s 34 Victoria Roads just in London!


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