As winter sets in, we are reminded that, not only is December the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to beware of potholes. Research by Opinium of more than 2,000 UK motorists, on behalf of InsuretheGap.com, has revealed that one in four (29 per cent) have damaged their car on speedhumps or potholes, rising to almost one in three (32 per cent) in rural areas. With standing water making it extremely difficult to distinguish between a mere surface puddle and a deep and potentially vehicle-damaging gaping hole in the road, these figures are sure to rise during the coming winter months.
The National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) has published details of its Autumn 2020 Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS). Paddy O’Connell, Head of the NMDA, revealed that the response rate was the highest ever, at 31 per cent; something that he describes as “very positive” and indicative that a growing number of dealers see the survey as an important and useful channel to provide feedback on the business relationship with their manufacturers.
A new YouGov survey commissioned by Protyre suggests that over 30 per cent of parents could be using dangerous tyres to ferry around their children. The online survey marks this year’s Tyre Safety Month campaign from TyreSafe and its members. Simon Hiorns, Protyre retail director, said that the findings “raise concerns about how much the public are taking on board the importance of tyre safety.” He added that the company wants to “remind parents and motorists generally that tyre safety is just as important as things like seat belts and child car seats.” Protyre also revealed that the proportion of tyres demounted at its branches below the legal tread depth continues to be above 50 per cent. This, it states, shows that the need for tyre professionals to communicate the importance of checking tyre safety remains high.
Auction houses continue to experience strong vehicle values, even with increased volume supply, according to the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA). In response to the latest NAMA survey, 40 per cent of auctioneers who responded said they expect auction volumes for cars to increase, with a further 50 per cent expecting them to remain the same. This increase is in part down to September part-exchange cars making their way to auction.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has published the findings of the latest ‘post-lockdown automotive retail’ survey. Through the findings, NFDA aims to assess the implications of COVID-19 on the automotive retail sector and understand how the industry is now recovering.
Nobody would argue with the statement that the times in which we are currently living are unprecedented, both in our commercial and everyday lives. We are having to face a constant barrage of new challenges to our usual ways of doing business, taking account of changes – some seemingly conflicting – in legislation and recommended working practices. There is much talk about ‘the new normal’ as people and companies try to adapt to different ways of working. Lockdowns and social distancing have added to the pressure felt by many, with staff being furloughed and told to stay at home for many weeks – in effect being paid not to work.
A third of UK motorists (32%) have put off getting their car serviced because COVID-19 financial pressure, according to BookMyGarage.com.
BookMyGarage surveyed 10,000 of its subscribers and found that, in addition, a similar number (29%) of drivers delayed servicing procedures simply because their car had covered far fewer miles during lockdown.
New research by Money Expert has found that, when it comes to driving, family ties apparently count for little among British drivers, as seven in 10 people consider themselves better drivers than family and friends. When asked about their mum, only 16 per cent rate them a good driver. One in 10 people would also go as far to say that they wouldn’t let their mum, partner, child or best friend drive their car if they were insured to do so, with the most popular reason being that they’re most likely to crash.
If there is anything positive to come out of the coronavirus pandemic, it is that the vast majority of the public are acutely aware of the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness; particularly when it comes to hand sanitisation. It is virtually impossible nowadays to enter any building without being urged to take advantage of the ubiquitous hand sprays on display.
For those who have had to use their vehicles throughout the lockdown period, it has been a welcome change on the roads, with less traffic and fewer jams and hold-ups. But now lockdown is being eased, it appears that old, bad habits are raising their ugly heads once again as motorists appear to have become ruder and inconsiderate.
Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of car owners over 55 bought their car outright without using finance, compared to half (50 per cent) of 34 – 54yrs and a third (33 per cent) of under 34s, according to a survey of over 2,000 UK drivers. On average, over half (56 per cent) of cars were bought outright via cash or debit card, 10 per cent were bought on hire purchase, 11 per cent using personal contract purchase (PCP), 5 per cent loan from a bank, 5 per cent on lease and 3 per cent were given as a gift. The Opinium survey, commissioned by InsuretheGap, an independent provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) car insurance, finds that almost one in five (17 per cent) under 34s use a PCP to finance a car purchase, compared to just 9 per cent of over 55s.
Long-term reliability issues are the biggest worry for more than half of today’s car buyers, despite most drivers having overwhelmingly positive long-term ownership experiences in the real world. But, according to analysis by the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk, more than a third of car buyers report zero worries when changing their vehicle.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has run a survey of dealers of all sizes to understand the implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on the automotive retail sector. The survey asked dealers questions about their return to work including the percentage of dealerships that reopened, current online activity, and levels of customer booking as well as phone enquiries.
The overwhelming majority of drivers have noticed a positive improvement in local air quality according to a survey into driver attitudes and behaviours during lockdown.
The survey, carried out by nationwide electric car charge point installer Smart Home Charge, found almost all respondents noticed less congestion and noise pollution (99.3 per cent and 88.3 per cent respectively), with 98.3 per cent agreeing that electric cars would help reduce noise pollution if they replaced petrol or diesel vehicles.