Motorists nervous about return of rusty drivers

In the next few weeks, half of motorists plan to drive more as the next set of travel restrictions is set to be lifted on 21 June.

Three in four British motorists are nervous about ‘rusty’ drivers who have hardly used their car in months.

Motorists are concerned about the quality of other people’s driving, as many gear up to return to the road when the next set of coronavirus travel curbs is lifted, according to new research by comparethemarket.com.  

The research reveals more than half of motorists (58%) have driven their cars less during the most recent lockdown between January and April 2021. Since then, 42% of motorists have started driving more often as initial restrictions were lifted and shops and restaurants reopened.

Only around one in three (36%) are nervous about their own ability behind the wheel after a long period of absence. However, far more drivers are concerned about the ability of other drivers after a long period off the road, with three quarters (75%) worried about the ability of out-of-practice road users.

Young motorists are the most worried about returning to driving with 55% of those aged under 25 nervous about their ability to drive safely again. More than eight in ten (84%) young drivers are also concerned about the abilities of other drivers.

In the next few weeks, half of motorists (50%) plan to drive more as the next set of travel restrictions is set to be lifted on 21 June. Of these, 59% plan to visit family more often and 52% plan to see friends. In addition, 44% of these drivers are planning to explore other parts of the UK and 34% plan to go to more restaurants, pubs and cinemas. One in five (20%) of these drivers are going to return to commuting to work.

However, 15% of motorists plan to drive less after the next set of COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The main reasons for cutting down on driving are wanting to walk more (36%), to save money on petrol (24%), and no longer needing a car to get to work (22%).

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket.com said: “Millions of motorists may be feeling a bit rusty after not driving as frequently while travel restrictions were in place. However, it seems concern is directed towards other drivers rather than people nervous about the quality of their own driving. Our research shows experienced drivers may be feeling fine to get behind the wheel again, but many young motorists are concerned their abilities may not be up to scratch.

“Any out-of-practice drivers might think about getting refresher lessons before driving again more regularly. It’s also really important for all motorists to check their car before driving if they haven’t used it for a while – this includes checking the tyres, brakes and fluid levels, as well as ensuring that insurance and tax are up to date.”

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