Global: How much is the world driving now?

YouGov
September 29, 2021, 2:30 PM UTC

A global study by YouGov across 17 developed and emerging markets sheds light on how much are drivers driving in the post-pandemic era  

Drivers in many countries affected with COVID-19 were subject to minimal or no movement outdoors with the implementation of lockdown restrictions. However, as certain movement relaxations are now into effect, are drivers hitting the road as they did in pre-pandemic times? Data from YouGov’s International Automotive Report indicates that there is now an overwhelming downturn in driving.

Nearly half of the drivers (48%) globally say that they are driving less now than they did before the pandemic. Closely following this group are drivers who are driving about the same as they did pre-pandemic (40%). It’s worth noting that this group significantly outnumbers those who say they are driving more (13%).   

Nordic and Italian drivers are driving about the same now as they did before the pandemic  

Drivers across Europe are divided when asked how much they are driving. Half of them in the Nordic region and Italy say that they are driving about the same now (52% in Poland, 47% in Sweden, 53% in Denmark and 48% in Italy). Whereas a plurality of drivers in the UK, Germany, France and Spain are currently driving less (62%, 48%, 48% and 50% respectively).  

China accounts for the highest percentage of drivers in Asia who are driving more now   

There is significant variation among drivers in MENA and Asia. More than half of drivers in the UAE (52%), online Indonesia (56%), urban India (68%) and Singapore (53%) admit that they are driving less after the pandemic. On the other end of the spectrum, half the drivers in Australia (51%) and online Hong Kong (50%) believe they are driving about the same. Data from online China indicates that while 46% of drivers say they are driving the same as they did before, this market also constitutes the highest percentage of respondents in Asia who say they are driving more now (26%).  

Drivers in Mexico are driving more than those in the US  

American drivers are driving less now as nearly a half in the US (48%) and nearly three in five in Mexico (59%) say so. But our data suggests that there is also a group of Mexican drivers who are twice as likely to say that they are driving more than US drivers (16% vs 8%), which could come as a relief for Mexican automakers.

In the post-pandemic world, it’s the younger drivers who take the lead  

Further, the data suggests that young drivers are more likely than older drivers to say that they are driving more after the pandemic. Up to a quarter of drivers between 18 to 24 years of age are driving more now (24%). 

While some countries have been reporting new variants of Coronavirus, others have been preparing to completely lift lockdown restrictions. This constant battle between authorities to safeguard the public and the emergence of new strains of the virus could perhaps lead to more fluctuations in how much drivers decide to drive now.

Full insights can be found in the latest International Automotive Report 2021. Download here 

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 201 and 1667 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in May 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.