Car showrooms may be reopening across England today after the latest lockdown, but new research suggests that thousands of households are actually thinking about getting rid of their cars rather than buying new ones.
With millions of UK drivers having worked from home for a year now, they have already saved hundreds or even thousands of pounds in motoring costs during the Covid pandemic. Fuel savings, unused servicing and maintenance costs, fewer parking or congestion charge fees and car insurance refunds have all saved motorists large sums of money since the pandemic began last year.
Now a new survey shows that thousands of households are considering getting rid of one car or van from their driveways altogether – because it is simply not being used.
More than a third of all households in Britain own two or more cars or vans, according to the Department for Transport, and many of those households are questioning the need for a second (or third) vehicle.
The findings, from car maker DS Automobiles, reveals that 36% of the people it questioned are considering reducing the size of their household fleet, while 23% admitted they use their cars less often, lessening the need to own more than one.
Home working is here to stay
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a greater number of people working from home, and DS’s research found that 27% of respondents believe they will continue that way between three and five days per week, even after the stay-at-home rules lift, further reducing the need for a second vehicle in the future.
Even before Covid-19, 29% of motorists admitted they would often not drive their second or third vehicle for two to three weeks at a time.
To meet the new way of working, DS has launched a new on-demand car service for its customers called DS+. It allows their drivers to rent a second DS vehicle direct from the brand when they need it.
As well as saving households money, the company thinks it could increase the uptake of electric cars in the UK. It says that 43% of survey respondents would be more inclined to buy an electric car if they knew they had easy access to a petrol or diesel model for longer journeys.
“It’s no secret that mobility needs are rapidly changing and we are anticipating and meeting these new demands,” says Jules Tilstone, managing director of DS Automobiles.
“Our customers can buy the DS model they want and access a second DS vehicle when they need it – making it the ideal service to use when needing an extra vehicle for holidays or for multi-car households who no longer need an additional car all of the time.”