Lockdown restrictions have broken motorists’ ‘car dependency’ and change may be permanent

Lockdown restrictions have broken motorists’ ‘car dependency’ and change may be permanent

Transport habits could dramatically change for many drivers as owners “realise what their car is costing them”. Motorists could find they could save up to £500 by not running their vehicle which could help those trying to “reduce household spending” after the crisis.  

Richard Falconer, Managing director of car share company Co-Wheels Car Club said many drivers were starting to realise they do not need to depend on their cars day-to-day. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Lockdown has suddenly made people realise what their car is costing them, especially if they are trying to reduce household spending. 

“They could be paying around £500 a month on loans or leases, insurance, tax and garage bills for something that they have probably not used.”

He added: “Now that lockdown has broken the car dependency habit we think there are signs this change will be permanent for some users. 

READ MORE: AA says lockdown will have ‘major changes’ to road use

AA President Edmund King has predicted “major changes” to the way people travel post-lockdown as he warned “driving patterns” would be different. 

Mr King said many people would remain dependent on their cars but a reduction in journeys would “reduce congestion” and bring environmental benefits.  

He said: “More than one in five say they will drive less after restrictions are lifted. It is also likely that at least one in ten will work from home more often. 

“There will still be a demand for new and used cars but people may just use them slightly less which will reduce congestion and bring environmental benefits.”

The AA President warned there could be a rise in car use in some areas where members of the public are unsure about using public transport. 

Transport consultants SYSTRA found public transport in UK cities could be 20 percent lower than normal after lockdown. 

Rail use could drop by 27 percent while passenger numbers on buses and tubes in London could fall by 40 percent compared to pre-lockdown levels. 

Mr Falconer said vehicles could be competing with cycles once restrictions are lifted as “born again cyclists” will feel more confident to cycle to work. 

This could encourage people to sell their vehicles once and for all with drivers using “shared cars” for occasional journeys. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “As soon as lockdown took place we saw traffic levels in the UK drop to what they were in the 1950s as only essential journeys were allowed. 

“Sales of bikes reached Christmas levels as people suddenly walked and cycled more and found it was a lot safer and less polluted with fewer cars on the road.”

He added: “We have been saying for the past decade that you don’t need to own a car – if you can walk, cycle or take public transport to work then just use a shared car for those trips when you really need one. 

“You can not only save money but it’s healthier for you and the environment.”

Published at Thu, 07 May 2020 07:41:00 +0000