CAR dealers are bracing for a surge in sales when Britain emerges from the Covid lockdown.
That's according to a new survey by BuyaCar.co.uk which showed that most people will choose to use their own car over other modes of transport when the latest national lockdown restrictions are lifted.
More than 85 per cent of respondents in the study said they intended to stick with their own vehicle after lockdown, with just 4.4 per cent saying that they won't, while 9.2 per cent are still undecided.
Those intentions, supported by data from last year when the ending of Britain's first lockdown led to an explosion of demand for used cars in particular, signal a busy time ahead for dealers and car buyers alike.
As the Government begins to plan a staged route out of England's lockdown the newly revealed intention among the public to drive a car of their own, rather than take trains and buses, as soon as they can travel spells a likely fresh surge in demand.
Market experts also believe that demand for used cars in particular will be boosted by the unusually low mileages on thousands of 2020 cars which have been parked for much of the past 12 months, making them more desirable - especially in contrast with new cars.
When last year's first lockdown ended in June dealers were swamped with customers as pent-up demand for cars was released and BuyaCar recorded a 70 per cent increase in registered customers and a 45 per cent hike in cars ordered for home delivery.
With almost nine out of ten people now saying their immediate future travel plans focus on driving rather than using public transport it all adds up to a massive boost to car sales as restrictions are eased.
Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar, said: "Last year we saw the release of massive pent-up demand at the end of the first lockdown but our latest research suggests that demand will be even higher this year.
"This is because many people are now explicitly stating that they would prefer to use their cars when restrictions are eased, rather than other modes of travel, as the simplest way to ensure effective social distancing."