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It was a government message that resonated with the public too, with phone data analysis from Centre for Cities revealing that only a handful of workers are commuting into the UK's big cities—despite recent attempts from Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to now encourage people to use trains and buses again to travel to the office.
A survey of 2,000 drivers conducted in July by Green Flag also found that 62% of respondents were going to avoid public transport where possible, while around a quarter of all commuters surveyed said they were going to consider a new mode of transport where social distancing was easier to achieve.
The knock-on effects of avoiding public transport can arguably be seen in July's figures for car sales. The near 80,000 cars sold compared to just over 66,000 sold in 2019 sparks a sense of intrigue in terms of breaking down the increase. While one explanation could be the "disappearance" of Brexit over the course of the year, the other could well be the fact driving offers a greater sense of security when commuting—at least in terms of limiting the number of people you come into contact with on a daily basis.
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Another hot topic to consider when looking at why car sales bounced back in July, beyond dealerships re-opening, is the fact learner drivers can now take lessons and tests again to get on the road independently. The four-month hiatus that finally ended on 4 July for lessons and 22 July for tests has no doubt sparked a reaction between consumer and retailer.
July's new car 'best sellers' list shows that a vehicle—which is often connected to being a new driver—is at the top of the list. While the sales of a used Vauxhall Corsa are not factored into the data, it's interesting to see sales for new versions of the model performing just beyond the Ford Fiesta—the car that tends to always be the most popular among new drivers.
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