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Sales of new and used cars to get further boost as survey reveals two thirds plan to avoid public transport

Time 1 year ago

Sales of used cars and cheaper new models could be further boosted by a swathe of Brits who will ‘actively avoid public transport’ when travelling to work.

A new survey has revealed that out of 2,000 people 62 per cent said they planned to avoid public transport, while a quarter were considering a new mode of transport.

The survey, by Green Flag, found that almost a third of Brits were planning on buying a new or used car in order to reduce their potential exposure to the coronavirus on public transport.


Car dealers have seen a boost in used car sales and cheaper new cars and it’s largely thought that these great numbers of people actively avoiding risky public transport are driving that demand.

Green Flag’s Mark Newberry said: ‘Workers around the country will no doubt be both excited and nervous about the prospect of heading back to the workplace, with the idea of commuting likely to contribute to their worries.

‘Our research shows that Brits are taking the necessary steps to prepare for their return to regular commuting – not only to protect their individual health, but to be conscious of their fellow commuters by exploring alternative ways to travel.

‘With nearly a third of Brits looking to purchase a car to limit their exposure to other members of the public, we can expect roads to look very different to what they did pre-lockdown.’


The motor trade has told Car Dealer Magazine that it is experiencing a boom in used car sales at the moment with some showrooms selling five cars to every one new.

Auction prices for stock are increasing too as dealers fight over cars to replenish forecourts.

Earlier this week we reported that some used car prices had risen by as much as 25 per cent for the cheaper, older models. 

Cap HPI’s head of valuations Derren Martin told us this demand was from many former public transport users now opting for a used car instead. 

This boom only looks set to increase as more industries get back to work tomorrow (July 4).

Tourism, pubs and restaurants will restart tomorrow with many of these workers likely to normally use public transport to get to work.


Green Flag found a quarter of Londoners were planning to use a new mode of transport, with close to a fifth claiming that they were shopping around for a bicycle to commute on – more than any other region in the UK.

The top city when it came to avoiding public transport was Oxford, with 73 per cent of respondents from the city admitting that they would be choosing alternative ways of getting around. 

This was followed by Norwich and Sheffield.

Younger people were found to be the most conscientious with 76 per cent of 18-34-year-olds admitting that they plan to avoid public transport when travel resumes.

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Train and bus passenger numbers have dropped dramatically since the lockdown and do not look to be recovering any time soon. 

Currently the rail network is catering for just 10 per cent of its usual passenger numbers as office workers stay at home and heed warnings from the government not to use public transport.

More used car stories can be found in our dedicated section here

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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