As the world of work changes rapidly and many people find they no longer have to commute 5 days a week, millions of car drivers are obviously using their cars a great deal less. It means things like PAYG, or Pay-Per-Mile insurance may well be a better fit for some car owners. Plus you don’t have to spend as much on servicing and repairs, especially with an MoT extension.
Money savvy drivers are also lowering their annual mileage estimates, which can sometimes save you another £20-£30 from your car insurance. However, the big savings on car insurance are generally had by dropping the Commuting cover option altogether, although if you do that, and then decide to go back to the office one day a week, you may invalidate your policy.
Is the net result of lockdown and the MoT extension a glut of unsafe cars on the road, or just unused cars sitting on driveways? Aviva has been digging;
More than a quarter (28%) of drivers have not performed any checks on their vehicles at all throughout lockdown, according to new analysis by Aviva. Aviva’s research into motorists’ attitudes to driving post-lockdown reveals there could be an increase in the number of potentially dangerous vehicles on roads, with many motorists forgoing vehicle safety checks in recent months.
More than two thirds of drivers have not checked their tyre treads (68%) or engine oil levels (68%). In addition, six out of 10 (60%) haven’t tested their tyre pressures and two thirds (67%) haven’t looked at their lights.
In contrast, almost half of drivers (43%) have ensured their vehicles have looked the part by cleaning them during this time.
The number of unsafe vehicles may be exacerbated by the extension of MOT expiry dates. This extension could be leaving many cars, vans and motorcycles unchecked, potentially allowing unroadworthy vehicles to be driven.
Despite this, many drivers plan to take long journeys using their car as lockdown restrictions ease. One in five (20%) plan to use their car to travel to a holiday destination in another part of the UK in the next three months, while one in ten (10%) will use their car to drive to the countryside.
Top concerns for motorists as lockdown eases:
Aviva’s research also reveals that almost two thirds (62%) of UK motorists are nervous about driving as the UK’s lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
More than a quarter of drivers are worried about increased traffic if people avoid using public transport (27%). A fifth of motorists are also worried pedestrians may step out without looking after being accustomed to quieter roads (19%), while one in eight (13%) are concerned there will be more delivery vehicles out and about.
IE Note; We spotted hundreds of motorhomes and caravans out on the M6 and M56 yesterday, as people decide to take a holiday and take their own accommodation with them, thus avoiding any hotel or guest house cancellation worries.
Lockdown to accelerate changes in commuting habits
The findings also suggest Government efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus by restricting use of public transport may accelerate permanent changes to workers’ commuting habits. Many companies have also discovered that employees are more productive, less stressed and save about £100-£200 a month in fares or fuel, as they disperse staff away from expensive city centre offices.
One in seven (15%) say they will use their car to drive to work post-lockdown, while one in ten (10%) plan to walk to work more often and 6% are more likely to cycle.
Interest in using alternative modes of transport is higher among younger adults (18-35-year-olds): 15% state they will walk to work more often and 10% will cycle more often.
Sarah Applegate, Head of Global Strategy and Insight at Aviva comments: “This latest research reveals motorists’ caution about driving as lockdown conditions ease. Drivers will inevitably be using their cars more often as restrictions lift and non-essential shops start to reopen, so they should prepare for this by ensuring their vehicles are up to scratch.
“To make sure our roads stay as safe as possible, drivers should carry out basic checks before they use their cars again. If people have any concerns about their vehicles, they should ask a professional mechanic to investigate, particularly before embarking on longer journeys.
“It’s also important for drivers to make sure their insurance policy suits their future driving needs. If people are likely to use their car significantly more or less post-lockdown, or drivers need to be added or removed from policies, they should inform their insurance provider so their cover can be updated.”