Almost two-thirds (60%) of drivers are now using their cars once a week or less, new research from the RAC suggests.
It also showed that the vast majority of drivers (97%) heeded the Government’s ‘stay at home’ instruction over the warm Easter weekend – 2% of drivers reported they had used a car to drive to an open space for exercise, while 1% chose to see friends or family.
Breakdowns attended by RAC patrols were also down sharply over Easter compared to last year – across the UK there were 50% fewer breakdowns between Good Friday and Easter Monday. However, there was an unexpected spike in breakdowns on Tuesday.
Its review of more than 15,000 daily cars journeys has established a pattern of travel during the lockdown that sees weekday journeys at around 60% lower, falling another 10% on Saturdays and then heading towards the 80% down on Sundays.
The RAC’s Rod Dennis said: “The Government has indicated that food shopping should be done as infrequently as possible, and consequently many people are using their cars to carry heavy bags of groceries.”
Three-quarters (75%) of drivers said they use the car for food shopping, 28% say they use it to get to pharmacies, and a fifth (18%) said they need the car to provide care or help to a vulnerable person. A fifth (20%) also say they use the car to get to work as they are in a role where they can’t work from home.
Furthermore, a third of drivers said having access to a car is more important than ever following the coronavirus outbreak, while one-in-10 have stopped driving completely since the Government began an enforced lockdown.