An essential part of this whole social-distancing thing is that you stay the hell away from other people. I mean, it’s right there in the name. So, it would make sense then that people are starting to look differently at things like ride-hailing services and public transit, which is precisely what they’re doing according to a recent study of 3,021 people by Cars.com.
To begin with, 40% of the survey’s respondents said that they’re using ride-hailing services less often, while 93% of people said that they are using personal vehicles more. This makes sense: Getting into a stranger’s car with no guarantees about its cleanliness is a risk, and given how long it can take for someone to show symptoms (if they show at all) and how long the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces, that reticence becomes pretty understandable.
Something we also found very interesting is that nearly 20% of those surveyed who didn’t already own personal vehicles claimed that they were considering buying one. On its own, that’s surprising, but add in the economic uncertainty that has accompanied the coronavirus outbreak, and it takes on a whole different light.
Of that 20% considering a car purchase, 40% are doing so because they no longer wish to take public transit and 28% don’t trust the cleanliness of other people’s cars. As a low-grade germophobe myself, I totally empathize with these people.
Of course, buying a car during lockdowns is a challenge in and of itself, which is why more and more people are considering doing much of their car buying online. Of the people who want to buy a car (33% of whom are moving their timetable up due to coronavirus), some 45% are willing to do price negotiation online, while a further 38% are cool with doing online financing.
In addition to the 3,000-plus customers surveyed, Cars.com spoke to 238 dealers and found that just 58% of them currently offer vehicle delivery, but 29% are moving to provide the service in light of many areas’ shelter-in-place orders.
So, having read all this, where do you stand? Are you reevaluating your ride-hailing habits, bailing on the bus and cruising for a new car? Has the pandemic caused you to move up your plans to buy a car? Or has it pushed them back indefinitely? Let us know in the comments.