As lockdown restrictions are eased across the UK, vehicle usage is no longer limited to essential journeys and motorists have the freedom of unlimited travel, whether that be for work or pleasure. But motorists are not rushing in their droves to permanently get back onto the road just yet. Alan Inskip writes
Following the lockdown period, public sentiment has arguably shifted from the perception of feeling ‘trapped’ in our homes, to feeling safest in our homes. Regardless of opinions, this major disruption has undoubtedly become the new normal that will be difficult to break away from.
In fact, a recent survey has revealed that prior to lockdown, more than three quarters (76%) of UK motorists used their vehicle at least four times per week and, at nine weeks into lockdown, that number had dropped to just 26% – a drop of almost two thirds. This finding is unsurprising in itself and reflects the fact that the vast majority of UK motorists have adhered to lockdown rules.
However, the next statistic offers some deeper insight – even with the recent announcement of easing of restrictions, more than half (56%) of surveyed motorists said they are still unlikely to change their short-term car usage, regardless of what the regulations are.
And with as many as six in ten (62%) respondents admitting that their household finances have been negatively affected by the impact of coronavirus – almost one fifth (18%) have resorted to extreme measures like taking their car off the road to save on annual insurance.
Bearing in mind that there are absolutely no additional charges incurred for stopping cover when your annual policy expires – the first step is not to panic and rush into an ill-informed decision like driving uninsured or declaring your vehicle SORN to achieve short-term financial relief.
For many motorists, a viable solution during this uncertain period is temporary vehicle insurance – where motorists only pay for the cover as and when they need it. Over half (54%) of surveyed motorists acknowledged that temporary insurance could be of benefit to them.
Provided the vehicle is taxed, affordable cover can be taken for terms as short as just one hour, right up to 28 days, with policies confirmed within two minutes. This provides peace-of-mind to the millions of UK motorists, who are using their vehicles far more infrequently than usual, that they are still legally insured to drive but are not under pressure to commit to an annual policy.
Growing appetite for vehicle purchase
Car dealerships across the UK are finally able to reopen their physical sites to the public from 1 June 2020, and not a moment too soon, with almost one third (32%) of surveyed motorists considering purchasing a new or used vehicle. Not surprising as the vast majority (86%) admitted that they are still not comfortable using public transport in the current climate.
While this move is welcome news to many consumers that are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle, what are the implications for social distancing and risk of infection? The DVLA has already confirmed that prospective car buyers are able to conduct solo test drives with participating dealerships that have registered trade plates and the relevant test drive insurance in place.
That’s the test drive covered, but what about getting driveaway insurance cover once you’ve found the car of your dreams?To make the process even more seamless and contact-free, major national dealerships are utilising the latest advancement in InsurTech that offers fully-comprehensive fixed-price 5-day driveaway insurance policies that can be accessed by the customer following a few taps on a mobile phone.
This enables the customer to obtain a simple single-cost policy in just 90 seconds, compared to the industry standard of 20 minutes to an hour – by eliminating all lengthy paperwork and admin through simplified T&Cs and a user experience that is based on direct customer and dealer feedback. The result is more efficient stock clearance times and greater profitability for the dealers.
For the end customers, it takes the stress out of searching for annual insurance on the spot, and provides the driver with near instant cover so that they can immediately leave the forecourt with their new set of wheels, while giving them the opportunity to thoroughly research the best annual policy to suit their needs.
Alan Inskip, Tempcover CEO