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Gen-Z turns to driving during Coronavirus pandemic

L plate on a silver car

Ongoing Coronavirus restrictions are prompting Gen-Z – the generation with the least interest in learning to drive – to rethink how they feel about cars, according to research from Auto Trader. 

The car marketplace has seen a sharp increase in 18-24 year olds browsing cars on their website this year compared to last. 

From 1 June to 20 September 2020, 15% of the website’s audience were aged 18-24, compared to 6% during that period in 2019. That 15% is equal to 5.7 million people. 

In recent years, Gen-Zers put off learning to drive until later in their twenties, but it seems the desire to avoid public transport during the Coronavirus pandemic is driving more to consider car ownership.

On top of this comes the news that the number of people looking into driving lessons has increased dramatically. The Department for Transport and DVLA confirmed the current average age for those passing their driving test in the UK is 23.73. 

And the UK’s largest driving school, RED, has seen a 40% increase in enquiries over the past four weeks compared to the same period last year. 

Rory Reid, a spokesman for Auto Trader, said: “The pandemic has shifted young people’s views of car ownership and got them to hit the road earlier than usual, as they look to rely less on public transport and try to minimise risk of spreading coronavirus.

“This is great for the car industry overall as it opens up a new pool of buyers, and of course benefits the drivers themselves as they get far more freedom when travelling. 

“It’s a great time to buy a car, as there’s an enormous range of make/models available, including electric cars and hybrids – an important consideration for Gen-Zers who are looking for more environmentally friendly options.”

If you or someone you know is 18-24 and learning to drive, you might be interested in our guide covering the 10 cheapest cars for learner drivers to insure

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