Saturday/Sunday drivers: Pandemic makes motorists Weekenders research suggests

Published:  02 July, 2021

Garages should see overall work levels settle towards pre-pandemic levels as new research shows weekend traffic levels above pre-Coronavirus levels, while weekday traffic remains lightly below where it was previously.

According to government figures on transport usage, average weekend car journey volumes between 1 June and 27 June were at 105% of the Saturday and Sunday levels in the equivalent pre-pandemic week, while weekday traffic on weekdays were averaging 6% lower. This was a consequence of many people still working from home.

According to research from Kwik Fit, almost 7.4 million drivers said they are driving less at the weekend than before the pandemic. 5.1 million drivers said they are taking weekend trips as opposed to a main summer holiday. The same number said seeing not friends and family for long periods is a driving factor. Meanwhile, 4.3 million drivers said they were avoiding public transport to reduce risks.

The Kwik Fit research found that the months of restrictions have led to 4 million drivers travelling further away from home for weekend leisure trips by car. Lockdown has left its mark on many drivers, with 3.8 million saying that they want to travel now, in case more lockdowns are imposed.

3.4 million drivers said they enjoy driving and as they are doing less of it during the week they want to take advantage of the weekends. Shop reopenings also helped, with 2.8 million drivers saying they have made more shopping trips than they did during pre-pandemic weekends.


According to Roger Griggs, Communications Director at Kwik Fit, the disruption seen over the last 18 months could mean many cars are sorely in need of care and attention: “When we are not using our cars every day, it’s easy to get out of the habit of regular checks and maintenance, especially during the pandemic when people’s normal routines have been turned upside down. Drivers should check the levels of fluids such as oil coolant and screenwash, and also be aware that brakes may seize if a car hasn’t been used for some time. It’s also important to run a car’s air conditioning regularly to stop the seals in the system drying out. Air con refrigerant escapes over time so if it’s not cooling efficiently it may need a recharge.”

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