COVID boosted Britain’s love affair with the car

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Car love - Auto Express

Two years on from the UK’s first lockdown, new research has revealed that a third of all drivers appreciate their car more than before the pandemic.

This boost in pro-car sentiment comes even as a total of 76% report that they are driving less for work or leisure than before the crisis hit.

Key to the popularity of car ownership is freedom and independence, which ranked far above factors such as convenience, practicality or even the desire to maintain social distance by avoiding public transport.

The status of having your own car was rated as the least important aspect of car ownership, ranking even below the benefit of greater privacy than on public transport, according to the study by Auto Express – Britain’s most read weekly motoring title.

“The key insight is that we Brits have an enduring emotional connection with our cars,” said Steve Fowler, Auto Express Editor in Chief.

“For example, our research also reveals that an overwhelming 84% of people enjoy driving and that they most value the feelings of freedom and independence when they get behind the wheel, rather than just the convenience and practicality afforded by car ownership.

“Our findings are good news for a motor industry working hard to recover from disruptions to their supply chains and to the lives of their customers. It will be music to their ears to learn that a significant number of people love their cars even more today, even if they use them less.”

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Top 25 things drivers dread most

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto Blog

Travelling in the snow, reversing around a corner and overtaking cyclists are among the most uncomfortable scenarios for motorists, new research has revealed.

A study of 2,000 drivers by flexible car insurance firm Cuvva found one in 10 dislikes or hates driving and nearly a quarter (24%) feel less confident now than they before the pandemic as a result of driving less over the last 18 months, with 16% going as far as to say they have ‘forgotten’ how to drive.

Top 25 things drivers feel most uncomfortable doing

  1. Driving in snowy conditions
  2. Driving in a new town or city
  3. Roads where there are lots of lanes and you need to be in the right one
  4. Driving in the dark
  5. Driving in wet and rainy conditions
  6. Lorries
  7. Overtaking cyclists
  8. Areas where there is lots of traffic
  9. Motorways
  10. Parallel parking
  11. Reverse parking
  12. Areas where there are lots of children (e.g. near schools)
  13. Country roads
  14. Roundabouts generally
  15. Areas where there are lots of pedestrians
  16. Changing lanes
  17. Buses
  18. Turning into a road on the right, and having to cross the traffic
  19. Reversing around a corner
  20. Learner drivers
  21. Giving someone else a lift
  22. Having to turn right at a roundabout
  23. Mini roundabouts
  24. Dual carriageways
  25. Having to do a three-point turn

The study also found 29 per cent of drivers try to avoid travelling outside of their local area to stay away from unfamiliar roads.

And a quarter are reluctant to give other people lifts – even if they are going to the same destination – due to their nerves.

Nearly one in five would take a longer route to avoid busy areas (18%) while 16% would go further than needed to stay away from motorways.

Others would plan their journey to avoid having to parallel park (12%), dual carriageways (7%) and roundabouts (7%).

Almost a fifth of drivers are also nervous about the prospect of long-distance journeys as the nation prepares for a summer of staycations, with 21% even planning their break around the length of the drive.

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