Young adults seeking lockdown solitude in their cars

A third (30%) of 18-to-24-year-olds said they had found an excuse to go for a drive during lockdown, compared to 8% of all adults, according to new research.

One in ten young people have admitted they have locked themselves in the bathroom during lockdown for some peace and quiet, shows AA/Populus research of more than 18,000 drivers. 

And nearly one in twenty (4%) young adults said they had used their car as an office during lockdown. 

Overall the vast majority (84%) of 18-to-24-year-olds said they had taken action of some sort to give themselves space away from other members of their household, compared to 62% of all adults.

The over 65s were the most likely to say they had sought some time alone in the shed (14%) or the garage (17%).

Men were more likely than women to say they have spent time in their garage or shed to find peace and quiet (19% vs 3%; 15% vs 4%)

The top ways to escape from your household are:

All adults18-24-year-olds
Spend time in the garden53%66%
Spend time in the garage14%8%
Spent time in the shed11%12%
Found an excuse to go for a drive8%30%
Spent time in the loft3%4%

Edmund King, AA President, said: “Our study clearly shows that more than 8 in 10 younger adults are finding being in enforced isolation with other members of their household very difficult. 

“Many older teenagers and students have had their exams cancelled and are also suffering socially during lockdown.

“Putting your life on hold at just the moment you are beginning to explore it independently is a huge challenge. Almost one third of younger adults have found an excuse to go for a drive, whilst some others have even made their car their office. During Mental Health Awareness Week, and indeed anytime in lockdown, we urge people feeling the strain to talk about their issues rather them keeping them pent up in their cars.

“We know from our driving school that there is a big demand for driving lessons as soon as lockdown ends and many young people have been joining our online theory test practice sessions. This gives them one hour with a driving instructor to practice driving theory. It’s free and you don’t need to be an AA pupil. The feedback from participant is that is has really helped.

“It might seem a small thing, but even just an hour a day doing something on your own can make a difference.”

Throughout the UK lockdown, the AA is offering a free breakdown service to all NHS workers which is being used 100 times each day. A dedicated NHS hotline is available for them on 0800 0725064. Click here for more information.

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