Young drivers are turning to cars to help overcome coronavirus restrictions – contrary to the recent trend of avoiding driving until their late 20s.
Those in the 18- to 24-year-old age group are increasingly turning to driving to avoid public transport and car sharing.
According to the online marketplace Auto Trader, 15 percent of the audience fell into this age group between June 1 and September 20, compared with just 6 percent in the same period last year.
This increased appetite for driving under Gen Z is also reflected in the number of people who want to learn to drive. Red, the UK’s largest driving school, has seen requests increase by 40 percent in the past four weeks.
Auto Trader’s Rory Reid said, “The pandemic has changed young people’s views on car ownership, leading them to take to the streets earlier than usual as they rely on less public transport and try to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading to minimize.
“This is great for the auto industry as a whole as it opens up a new pool of buyers and, of course, benefits the drivers themselves as they get a lot more freedom when traveling.
“It’s a great time to buy a car as there is a huge range of makes and models to choose from, including electric cars and hybrids – an important consideration for Gen Z buyers looking for greener options.”
Ian McIntosh, CEO of Red, said: “Since driving lessons resumed in England on July 4th, we have seen an unprecedented number of new customers eager to learn to drive with Red.
“I am pleased to say that we now have more than 1,400 driving instructors on the roads across the UK who are working tirelessly to meet this new demand resulting from the backlog created by lockdown and a new wave of learners want to get behind the wheel to keep the time spent on public transport as short as possible. “
This shift in the population of buyers is also leading to a change in the popularity of certain types of vehicles. Smaller hatchbacks saw the largest average price increase last week at 11.5 percent.