Coronavirus continues to reshape our working lives as one in 10 UK motorists now say that they regularly work from their cars since the daily commute to the office was stopped.
Looking for privacy and quiet space while working from home means one in four (23 per cent) is nipping into their car to talk to clients, catch up with colleagues (23 per cent), plan the day ahead (22 per cent) or just get solitude to use their laptop (20 per cent).
The rise from before the pandemic to now is most notable among 17-24 year old workers, with one in five now frequently working from the car, a jump of a quarter on earlier in the year as they juggle living and working often from single rooms in shared accommodation or their family homes. Male workers are also twice as likely to work from the car (13 per cent vs seven per cent).
Research carried out by online car marketplace heycar before and after the lockdown has shed light on the changing nature of how the nation uses their motors.
A poll of 2,000 motorists in February – and then again in August – revealed that more than half (51 per cent) of the UK’s estimated 33.6million motorists* now use their cars for a purpose other than driving.
Chief among these is getting some ‘me’ time which was cited by one in five (22 per cent) of the population.
The research also revealed the important social role cars play in our lives, with 13 per cent saying they use them to have private conversations, while 12 per cent use their vehicles to ring relatives.
To celebrate those feel good moments we all have in the car, heycar is giving away the Audi S3 shown in their current viral TV advert. For details of how to enter, go to heycar.co.uk/heycar-moments
CEO of heycar, Mat Moakes says: “The pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives dramatically – including how we use our cars.
“We no longer just see our vehicles as a means of getting us from A to B. Now they are offices, sanctuaries, a place for some much needed ‘me’ time.
“The car is a space to reflect while cocooned from the stresses and strains of modern life. Whether calling a friend or singing along to a favourite song at the top of your lungs, it’s a positive place to come.”
The public were also quizzed on what they most enjoyed doing while driving. The most popular activity, enjoyed by more than a quarter of those surveyed (28 per cent) was listening to music. This was followed by listening to the radio (25 per cent) and in third place was singing along to music (12 per cent).
Six per cent said they enjoyed admiring the views while four per cent used their driving time to listen to podcasts.
Pre-Covid, most people (43 per cent) spent an average of between 31 minutes and an hour in the car each day. This was followed by those who spend between one and two hours (22 per cent) and those who spent up to half an hour (14 per cent).
Since the pandemic there has been an increase in people taking journeys of up to 30 minutes from eight percent to 14 per cent. At the same time we are using our vehicles to give less lifts to family members – down from 43 per cent pre-pandemic to 29 per cent now.
The topics we tackle while having deep and meaningful car conversations range from raising concerns about family members (14 per cent) to helping friends through break-ups (13 per cent) and helping friends with mental health issues (11 per cent). Five per cent exposed their partners cheating in a car while four per cent proposed to their partner.
heycar was launched in August 2019 to bring the feelgood factor back into car buying. With more than 140,000 cars on the site from 3,700 UK dealerships, buyers can browse and find their next car with ease. All cars are under eight years old, have less than 100,000 miles on the clock and come with a 10 day money back guarantee and a warranty for complete peace of mind.