The big switch to cars has not happened

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What does this image show?

  • People bought fewer cars nationally with a 35 percent drop in new car purchases and an almost 15 percent drop in used car purchases in the year to February 2021. Many people have deferred decisions about whether to buy, replace or get rid of their cars.
  • Our research found that as many people gave up a car as bought one. Around a third of the decisions around car increase, decrease, retention or borrowing were impacted by Covid-19. Covid-19 was reported as being more important a factor in reducing car ownership than it has been in increasing it.

There is an element of people waiting to see what to do with their vehicles once the pandemic restrictions begin to be lifted. Those who work from home more during the pandemic will have to agree with their employers what the return to work looks like and this will impact on the relative attractiveness of holding vehicles or purchasing public transport season tickets.

Graph: Contribution of Covid-19 to decisions to decrease or increase car ownership. (Survey data)
Weighted: N=467.

Image shows an aerial image of an empty carpark, superimposed with an illustration of two equal stacks of cars to show as many people have given up cars as have bought one during the Covid-19 pandemic.