1 in 6 drivers have hung up their car keys since lockdown

Drivers hang up car keys

Have your car keys been gathering dust during lockdown? New research reveals how the Coronavirus has changed our approach to travel.

A study of more than 19,500 drivers by AA Driving School found that one in six motorists have not been behind the wheel since lockdown began back in March.

Drivers in England are now permitted to drive to other destinations for work or exercise after the government eased lockdown measures on 10th May.

Driving trends

According to data, more than two-fifths of people now only use their cars once a week.

Over 65s are among those who were most likely to hang up their keys, with almost a quarter of older motorists choosing to leave their car on the drive during the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, 70% of drivers are continuing to use their vehicles in some way, including driving to the shops.

A quarter of people say they use their car a couple of times a week in order to help out friends and family in self-isolation.

Edmund King, AA President, said: “This study shows just how dramatically our travel patterns have changed in the last few weeks.

“The big question will be what lasting effects these new patterns will have. It is likely that some drivers may realise that they don’t need their cars every day and that it is relatively easy to walk or cycle instead of drive for those short journeys.”

The study revealed that just 5% of drivers have continued to use their cars as much as normal, with frontline workers such as nurses, carers and plumbers most likely to be behind the wheel.

Lockdown eased

A review of UK lockdown measures1 now permits drivers in England to make journeys of a significant distance from their homes, but only to travel to work or for the purpose of exercise.  

Changes in lockdown restrictions now allow some non-essential workers in England to return to work where they cannot work from home.

The prime minister has encouraged people to avoid public transport, travelling to work by car if it’s too far to walk or cycle.

However, relaxed measures have not been welcomed by the whole of the UK. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, governments continue to enforce “stay at home” messaging, meaning people can only travel when it’s absolutely necessary.

Travel between England, Wales and Scotland is also currently prohibited.

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  1. https://www.chorley-guardian.co.uk/lifestyle/cars/driving-during-coronavirus-lockdown-what-changes-guidelines-mean-around-uk-2515842

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