Auto-anxiety Britain: Quarter of drivers nervous about getting back behind the wheel because of ‘rusty’ driving skills

There is a surge in anxiety among UK motorists, who are reluctant to get back on the road following months of vehicle inactivity, our latest study has revealed. 80% of drivers that used their car every day before March said they drove less in lockdown. This lack of time behind the wheel has caused many to take a hesitant approach to returning to their normal routine.

Over half of Brits (56%) say that their car use will increase in September as lockdown restrictions ease, with their commute (30%), an increase in social activities (20%) and the school run (7%) being the main reasons for warming up the engines. However, a quarter of people (25%) say that they feel anxious about driving in September, naming their own rusty driving skills (15%) and fear of other out-of-practice road users (8%) as the biggest causes for concern.

More cars on the road in September

Despite this newfound anxiety, the number of Brits deciding to commute by car in September is predicted to increase, with almost a third of respondents (29%) saying that they have concerns over use of public transport during the pandemic. The newfound data also revealed that making the switch to a car commute is good for the bank balance, with 58% of drivers saving up to £500 per month since March.

Despite using their cars far less in lockdown, the study showed that four in ten people (40%) are still paying the same price for their car insurance, despite using their car less. A shocking one in eight (12%) have actually had their insurance premiums go up in recent months. Although some respondents said their policy cost has gone down, only 8% said that the reduction in cost was in proportion to the reduction in car usage.

Tempcover CEO Alan Inskip said: “There’s a back to school feeling about September, with drivers planning a return to the school run or their daily drive to work, and many new drivers taking to the roads instead of relying on public transport. It’s understandable some may be nervous, but preparation is key. The big insurers in the UK do as much as they can to ensure their customers feel valued. However they face a unique set of challenges in the current climate. A notable challenge is that large broker and insurer systems can hamper the ability to quickly adjust to major environmental and market changes. Our agility allows us to step in and help them and their customers.”


Data based on a survey of 1,000 UK drivers from 20 – 21 August 2020.

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