The majority of drivers now think having access to a car is more important than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to research by the RAC, 57 per cent now value having a car more than they did in 2019, with younger drivers being most likely to say that having access to a car is more important. Those living in central London also value having a car more than they did before the coronavirus situation, too.

Despite a shift in working from home, 64 per cent still expect to need to drive to an office or other place of work in the future, while 68 per cent said a car is essential for carrying items like shopping – this being the most important reason for motorists wanting access to a car.

With public transport being blacklisted by many during the pandemic, motorists are also now more likely to use their cars over public transport than ever before. The survey found that just 43 per cent would use their cars less, even if other modes of transport improved – the lowest figure since 2002.

RAC data insight spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “Even with lower traffic volumes, the pandemic appears to have reinforced the bond between drivers and their cars – with public transport less attractive than ever. Motorists see having access to a car as being even more important for the trips they need to make, be that shopping for essentials or getting out to see family and friends in other parts of the country when restrictions allow.

“Without a concerted effort from government and local councils, the pandemic risks putting efforts to encourage drivers out of their cars for some trips back by years. Even before the coronavirus, drivers complained that public transport fares were often too high and services didn’t run when they needed them to. Now, for the first time since 2002, we have fewer drivers than ever saying they’re prepared to use public transport even if services improved – underlining just what a huge role the car continues to play in 2020.”

The research was carried out as part of the RAC’s ‘Report on Motoring’, with 3,068 drivers being questioned in this year’s survey.