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Looking forward to getting back on the road?

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet R-Line

We may not be able to get out much at the moment, but our enduring love affair with cars is stronger than ever, according to a new report.

More than eight in 10 motorists (83 per cent) admitted they have always had a love for driving and more than a third (34 per cent) reckon that love has “grown with age”.

The poll of 2,000 UK car owners also revealed that our motors have become a refuge from work, a meditation space – and a music studio.

But it’s bad news for passengers and back-seat drivers – as people prefer to be on their own at the wheel rather than having company (44 per cent compared to 19 per cent).

It also emerged that although people aren’t able to drive as much at the moment, half of respondents have previously used car journeys to escape from everyday life. And a quarter enjoy the quiet time it gives them.

The study, commissioned by Volkswagen Financial Services UK, also found more than one in 10 like that they can’t be interrupted while driving and 15 per cent use it to unwind.

As a result, one in five long for more time behind the wheel as it gives them the opportunity to sing out loud without the embarrassment of being overheard.

More than half (56 per cent) even consider alone time in the car to be just as good as some quality me-time.

“People are looking forward to getting back out on the road again when they can, and enjoying some of those things that we’ve missed about spending time in the car,” said Dan James of Volkswagen Financial Services UK.

“For a lot of people, the love of driving still exists. There are those who have learned to love it, and those who have always had a love for it.

“It’s one of the very few places we can take some time out from our busy everyday lives, find some simplicity in a complex world, relax and clear our minds, and just focus on the road ahead.

“For many this has become more apparent recently as they no longer have the journey to and from work, missing out on that valuable time to unwind after leaving the office before they get home to family life.”

The study also found 52 per cent of adults generally love driving, and 71 per cent of those can’t ever see themselves falling out of love with it.

Another three in 10 see it as a passion rather than a necessity, with more than half starting to miss driving if they haven’t been able to get behind the wheel for a long time.

But lockdown has seen the time spent in the car drop by almost half – going from nearly four-and-a-half hours a week pre-Covid to just two hours and 48 minutes now.

To those who are not able to drive their own car because they are stuck in a place away from their car, they can have it transported by car shipping companies to them. 

As a result, 26 per cent have missed being able to travel somewhere new, 25 per cent the sense of freedom and 19 per cent simply having the time to themselves.

Despite the overall love of driving, the study revealed traffic jams are the top bugbear, followed by potholes, driving in the dark and getting lost.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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