The genesis of the song dates back to 1973 and a demo tape recorded for a French record label by singer/guitarist Paul Roberts for the band Ashes of Moon. However, that band broke up and, at the suggestion of drummer Luigi Salvoni, Roberts reformed it as Sniff 'n' the Tears with guitarists Laurence "Loz" Netto and Nick Dyche and bassist Nick South. They shopped the demo tape and signed with the small Chiswick label in 1977. One of the key decisions made during the recording of Driver's Seat was to start the song with Roberts' acoustic guitar and drums and gradually fade in other instruments.
Driver's Seat reached #15 on Billboard Magazine's American singles chart in the fall of 1979, and charted strongly throughout Europe, including The Netherlands. As a testament to the song's durability, it reappeared at #1 on the Dutch singles chart thirteen years later as a result of use of the song in a Volkswagen commercial.
The song was featured in the film Boogie Nights and snippets of the song were frequently used by Art Bell as "bumper music" during Coast to Coast AM broadcasts. It was also used in the 2008 documentary Carrier.
In 2005, Belgian dance duo D.H.T. covered this song for their first full-length album "Listen to Your Heart".