HUGGING a loved one, enjoying nature and taking in the sea breeze are among life's best freebies, research has revealed.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults found 91 per cent love the surprise of getting something for free. 

Three quarters (74 per cent) said it provides a nice mental health boost, while two thirds (68 per cent) will go out of their way to take advantage of a free offer. 

The best free experience is spending time with family, followed by taking in nature and getting a hug from a loved one. 

Making up the top five were a good night’s sleep and a random act of kindness, according to research by Volkswagen. 

Other top ‘freebies’ in life include the joy of feeling fit and healthy, taking in the sea breeze, meeting friends, helping someone, and getting smiled at. 

Overall, two thirds (66 per cent) think the best things in life are free. 



Volkswagen carried out the research after taking the unusual step of launching a new TV advert which highlights its commitment to helping the customers – of its rivals. 

As part of its partnership with Tesco and Pod Point, owners of any electric car can top up their vehicle for free at nearly 400 stores across the UK. 

The new ad, titled ‘Sheets’, is broadcast on TV for the first time this weekend and features the Volkswagen ID.3 being driven past dozens of other cars which have been covered to conceal their brand identity.  

It ends with the ID.3 charging its battery alongside an ID.4 – while the owner of a rival EV tries to charge their concealed vehicle. 

Top 25 ‘free experiences’ in life:

1.           Spending time with family 

2.           Being in nature 

3.           Hug from a loved one 

4.           A good night's sleep 

5.           Random acts of kindness 

6.           Feeling fit and healthy 

7.           Enjoying a sea breeze 

8.           Meeting friends 

9.           Helping someone 

10.         Being smiled at 

11.         Hearing your partner say I love you 

12.         Finding cash in an old coat pocket 

13.         Making someone laugh 

14.         Getting a surprise discount

15.         Hearing songbird 

16.         Receiving gifts 

17.         Being proud of your children for something they’ve done

18.         Opening the curtains to sunshine 

19.         Pets making you laugh

20.         The smell of freshly baked goods

21.         Smell of freshly cut grass

22.         Having someone cook you a meal

23.         Taking a relaxing bath

24.         The smell of flowers 

25.         A perfect cup of tea

Andrew Savvas, director of Volkswagen said: “They say the best things in life are free and there is no doubt that it’s hard to think of anything better than spending time with loved ones.

“We get a boost knowing things so simple and enjoyable don’t cost anything. It’s also encouraging how so many people love the freebies given to us by nature. 

“Volkswagen is committed to protecting the environment and we’re delighted to be working with Tesco and Pod Point to provide free, carbon-neutral charging for drivers of all electric vehicles, even the ones without a Volkswagen logo. Every kilowatt helps.”

Eight in 10 (84 per cent) think it is important that companies do their best to help customers be sustainable.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed how much Brits love a good scent – with the smell of freshly cut grass, flowers and baked goods all making the top 25.

And it’s Londoners who are most likely to think the best things in life are free. 

When it comes to being handed a ‘freebie’, 56 per cent of people are likely to go somewhere if they can get something for nothing, with 68 per cent admitting they love looking for offers.

The result of receiving a freebie leaves people with a positive feeling for around one-and-a-half days on average.

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