Got the lockdown blues? Kids driving you up the wall? Husband/wife getting under your skin?
Then, perhaps it is time to do what an estimated 1,2-million British are doing – using their parked cars as a haven for some peace and quiet.
A survey by Skoda of 2 000 drivers provided an insight into how Brits’ behaviours towards their cars have changed since the lockdown began and what we are missing most about driving.
With more than a third (39%) of UK motorists currently working from home, drivers are using their parked cars for a range of different activities. Potentially up to 1,2-million motorists (8%), are retreating to their parked car to get some time alone away from the family, whilst in London it rises to more than a fifth (23%) who are finding solace in their car. A further 7% are using their vehicle’s infotainment system to listen to music, the radio, or a podcast.
Ever resourceful, some 20% of Brits stated they have found alternative uses for their cars whilst they remain stationary outside their homes, including as a place to watch TV on a mobile phone or tablet device (3%), taking a nap (3%) and even as an interim playground for the kids (2%).
Skoda UK’s research found whilst the living room is the most popular room at home to work in, 13% of motorists are considering using their car as a makeshift office space, possibly as those working from home have found their current environment has caused back ache from uncomfortable seating (32%) or they have struggled to find a quiet place in the home to focus (26%).
Vehicle owners are also taking greater care of their cars during lockdown, with 22% reporting they are washing their car more regularly and a further one in five are cleaning the interior more often than usual.
The findings show the cleanest cars are in London, with 17% of car owners admitting to cleaning their car once a day since lockdown began.
Although motorists may be unable to get out in their vehicles at the moment – aside from essential journeys – 13% say they have headed into the driver’s seat to dream about their post lockdown road trip.
In fact, nearly two thirds of all UK motorists are missing driving their cars, with the sense of freedom it provides being the thing they miss most (64%) – a figure that rises to 70% for ‘Generation Z’.
For those drivers living in Wales, almost one third (32%) miss being able to sing along to their favourite songs in the car, whilst in the North East, not being able to get out on the motorway is one of the most common causes of frustration (19%).
A spokesperson at Skoda UK said: “The research highlights that whilst we may not be able to currently use our cars in the traditional fashion, they still play a hugely significant part in our everyday lives.”
The figure of 1,2-million drivers is based on the total number of registered vehicles in the UK at the end of 2019 (38,7), research that was conducted by the Department for Transport.
The research from Skoda UK found 39% UK motorists are currently working from home, this equates to 15 093 000 and 8% of those said that they had retreated to their car for peace and quiet (1,2-million).