How the pandemic now sees millions working from their cars

Russell Campbell

Written by

Russell Campbell

  • One in 10 UK motorists regularly work from their cars
  • Almost half use their car as a quiet place to talk business
  • Rise from before the pandemic is most notable among 17 to 24-year-olds

With COVID-19 changing so many things in our lives, we spent some time exploring what that meant for the relationship we have with our cars. 

We discovered that our cars are more than just a means of transport to us and got a picture of how we use our cars, how we spent time in them and how this has changed over the course of the past months.

One in 10 UK motorists regularly work from their cars – according to our poll of 2000 UK motorists – as the coronavirus brings the daily commute to a trickle.

Of those people, almost half use their car as a quiet place to talk business, while the rest use it as a somewhere to plan and get, well, solitude. The rise from before the pandemic to now is most notable among the 17-24-year-old age group, with one in five now frequently working from the car, a jump of a quarter on earlier in the year, as they often live in house shares and struggle to get the peace they need to work.

The research also revealed the important social role cars play in our lives, with 13 per cent saying they use them to have private conversations, while 12 per cent use their vehicles to ring relatives.

CEO of heycar, Mat Moakes says: “We no longer just see our vehicles as a means of getting us from A to B. Now they are offices, sanctuaries, a place for some much needed ‘me’ time.

“The car is a space to reflect while cocooned from the stresses and strains of modern life. Whether calling a friend or singing along to a favourite song at thex.”

Our research also quizzed motorists on what they most enjoyed doing while driving. The most popular activity, enjoyed by more than a quarter of those surveyed (28 per cent) was listening to music. This was followed by listening to the radio (25 per cent) and in third place was singing along to music (12 per cent). Our cars are a great place to have a boogie and sing along, which signals the pure feel good moments and moods we experience in our cars on a daily basis.

According to the poll, more than half of UK drivers – that’s around 33 million people – use their car for something other than driving. Chief among these is getting ‘me’ time which was cited by one in five of the population as a reason to slip away to the safety of four wheels.

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