More than three quarters (79%) of UK drivers think that having a car is essential for their everyday life, rising to 85% of those in rural areas, according to a new Opinion survey of 2,000 UK drivers.
The survey commissioned by InsuretheGap.com reveals that 57% of those aged under 65 could not get to work without a car, rising to almost 60% of under 34s.
Nine out of ten (90%) drivers living in the West Midlands say their car is essential, closely followed by Wales (88%), while Londoners (64%) are the least likely to find a car essential (64%).
The survey also found that public transport is not a suitable replacement for a car for many. Almost half (48%) say public transport in their area is not reliable or is patchy, rising to 69% in rural areas, while only 29% of Londoners feel this. Again those under 34 (61%) are the most likely to agree that public transport is not reliable.
Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Office of InsuretheGap.com said, “Owning a car is an absolute necessity for many people, particularly those who live in rural areas and where public transport can’t be relied upon. When over half of people need a car just to get to work, we aren’t going to be consigning cars to the past quite yet.”
In another survey there were some surprises on the way younger people look at cars.
The number of 17-20 year olds with driver’s licenses has fallen by a staggering 40%since the 1990’s. There has been a record decline in the number of teenagers learning to drive, as the shift from ‘car culture’ to ‘mobility culture’ emerges. Gen Zers, the tech-savvy generation, are leading this transformative momentum on the automotive industry.
Who are Gen Z? Generation Z, or ‘post-millennials’ are the digitally native population, born between the mid 1990’s and early 2000’s. They are the most tech-savvy, ethnically diverse and tolerant generation, and they account for around 30% of the total world population. 41% spend at least 3 hours a day online, predominantly on mobile, and this technology-centred lifestyle has led to a shift in retail expectations between millennials and Generation Z.
Gen Zers make consumer decisions based on efficiency, and often take into consideration time, cost and environmental impact before coming to a conclusion. They have had a profound influence on the automotive industry, with many of them not opting to drive until after they finish Higher Education. Factors including the cost of vehicle ownership, rising costs of university and the emergence of digital convenience disruptors such as Uber.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the automotive industry, with figures showing that 92% of Gen Zers still plan to own a car, and a third of them even saying they would give up their mobile phone for a year just to have one!
IAM RoadSmart says it’s time to bust the myth of multi-tasking behind the wheel, to ensure drivers are fully aware of how dangerous a hands-free mobile phone can be.
With the report Road Safety: Driving While Using a Mobile Phone issued today stating that “using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” IAM RoadSmart says there needs to be much stricter controls on the use of hands-free mobile phones in cars – and they remain a major distraction to the task of driving.