Occasional driving remains a necessity for two thirds of British motorists, even as traffic dwindles under the impact of social confinement rules, according to new research.
The news came as BuyaCar.co.uk – one of the last national car suppliers still operating – underlined its pledge to supply essential car and van drivers only, such as NHS workers. The company is now appealing to would-be discretionary car buyers to be patient while it focuses on keeping essential workers mobile during the coronavirus crisis.
This week saw cars delivered by BuyaCar to several NHS staff, a train driver, a telecommunications worker and other people providing essential services.
Meanwhile, research conducted among UK motorists by the motoring and car-buying information website Carbuyer this week revealed that while 35% of drivers can currently get by without using their vehicle, for a majority of motorists some journeys in the car remain essential.
Motorists were asked ‘is using your car or van essential to you or the people who depend on you during the current crisis’. Key workers – those on the government’s list of people who are essential to the NHS and other vital services – represented 16% of motorists on the roads at present.
For 9% driving occasionally is the only way they are able to provide necessary support to someone outside their family. Another 7% said driving is essential to supporting themselves and their immediate family. The remaining 32% said they continue to drive sometimes for essential permitted purposes other than work – such as to buy food.
BuyaCar is currently limiting its immediate car sales and delivery service to motorists in the ‘essential workers’ category and this week provided new cars to a paramedic in Shoreham-by-Sea, a doctor in Bristol, a staff nurse in Bolton upon Dearne, a train driver in Dartford and several other medical, legal and telecommunications professionals.
The company continues to review its operations daily, to ensure the safety of staff and customers, providing contactless handover at the customer’s own address. BuyaCar has also pledged to continue providing free delivery for key workers and to donate a two-year warranty with each sale, typically meaning a small loss on each deal.
BuyaCar is also appealing to other customers, for whom changing their car immediately is not a priority, to remain patient until COVID-19 movement restrictions have been relaxed.
“It’s never easy to turn away business in a depressed market, but we are determined to focus all of our efforts on helping the people we are all relying on to pull us through the coronavirus crisis,” said Andy Oldham, Chief Executive of BuyaCar.co.uk.
“Much of our energy currently goes into maintaining a reliable supply of vehicles and we have been delighted to re-introduce stock supply lines from dealers such as Pentagon, who are also working flat out to help key workers. That alone has added nearly 3,000 cars available on our site for immediate delivery to those who need them most.
“For those customers who don’t absolutely need to buy a car from us at the moment, but would like to, we are saying please bear with us until the worst of the crisis is over. We could supply you now, but as a responsible business we are determined to concentrate on doing what we can to help the people we all depend on first.”