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Public transport distancing

Our recent survey found the British public are more likely to consider buying a car once lockdown lifts, but where should you start?

Will you start transport distancing once lockdown lifts?

As we all put our heads together and work out what life will be like after lockdown, Auto Trader have started looking at how we’ll get back to work, get back to seeing our loved ones and get back to getting out on the other side.
We recently ran a survey asking the British public how they think they’ll be travelling, and 48% of those asked said they may be less likely to use public transport. 74% of the 1,067 people we asked said, understandably, they’re more concerned about having personal space following COVID-19, and over half (56%) of UK driving licence holders surveyed (1,059) who currently don’t own a vehicle said COVID-19 has made them consider purchasing a car when it’s safe to do so.^ Keeping distance on public transport was even more of a concern for 18- to 24-year olds, of which 66% said they’d be less likely to use it after lockdown. So, what does this mean for Britain’s roads?

Buying a car in lockdown

Under the latest Government guidance in England, you can arrange home delivery or outdoor customer collection services, and showrooms can open (provided they have social distancing and sanitisation measures in place) in some regions.
Click and collect services are available in England, Wales and Scotland if the dealerships have the infrastructure in place. To find out if retailers are offering these services near you, Auto Trader have introduced new advert features that highlight if home delivery is an option, alongside whether you can arrange a live video viewing of a vehicle and what safety measures the retailer are taking during lockdown. You can talk to our dealers via email, on the phone, or through live chat – they’ll have their contact details on their profile. To make sure you’re still getting the best choice whenever you look for your next car on Auto Trader, we’ve been supporting retailers to get as many vehicles as possible on site.
Now’s a great time to research your next car, get the conversation going with your local dealerships and line up a delivery so you’re ready to go once things have calmed down. Check out our expert reviews for some inspiration, or head over to the Auto Trader app to see what’s online near you.
We have also developed new ad features that will help you quickly and easily find dealerships who offer services such as home delivery and live video viewings, so keep an eye out for those. Related: Buying and selling during coronavirus Related: Coronavirus driver’s questions answered

Choosing your next car

If you’re looking for a new car, here are some good places to start:
Go eco-friendly
We’ve seen nature thrive over the last few weeks, so many people are taking a second look at electric cars.
And now is a great time to do so. Electric car batteries and range have never been better, and investment in the charging system is set to boom. Thinking you might go electric this time round? Here’s Rory Reid’s top five to consider: Watch the video on Facebook. Related: the best electric cars of 2020, all in one place. Related: the best hybrid cars of 2020, if you’re still not sold on EVs.
Cars for younger drivers
If you’re among the 66% of younger drivers looking to avoid public transport, you’ll likely face higher insurance premiums for being under 25. Here’re some of the cheapest cars to insure and best cars for younger drivers:
Dacia Sandero (full review here) • MG ZS EV (full review here) • Suzuki Celerio (full review here) • Toyota Yaris hybrid (full review here) • Skoda Fabia Estate (full review here) See the full list here. Learn more about car insurance and, if you need one, get a free insurance quote through Auto Trader here.
Best city cars
If you’re used to using public transport in city centres but want your own space for now, here’s our top picks for the best city cars and run arounds. They’re fuel-efficient, easy to park, and there’s one for every budget.
Peugeot 208 (full review here) • Volkswagen Polo (full review here) • Ford Fiesta (full review here) • Vauxhall Corsa (full review here) • Audi A1 (full review here) Our other contenders for the title of best small car 2020 are listed here. Related: inner-city driving might be changing, read our guide to ULEZ and clean air zones to find out how.

Financing your next car

Only 16% of those asked said they felt apprehensive about how they’d fund a vehicle purchase before the end of June 2020.
But times are uncertain, so we’d encourage everyone to take the time to work out their budget and explore the many options available in today’s market including PCP deals and car leasing. Related: is PCP or leasing right for you?
^About our research methodology:
Our research was conducted between the 14th – 17th April, and consisted of three separate online consumer surveys targeting different consumer demographics or focusing on different themes:
• consumer attitudes to car ownership (1,067 participants) • consumer car buying behaviours in response to COVID-19 (1,051 participants) • a survey of current UK driving license holders not currently owning a vehicle (1,059 participants).

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