74 % of Travellers may be ready to hit the road this summer, are their cars ready for the journey?

July 3, 2020
Europ Assistance today announced the automotive related findings from its Future of Travel survey, conducted to determine how Covid-19 has altered holidaymakers’ travel plans and aspirations for this summer and 2021.

The overwhelming majority of global travelers (74 percent) indicated they’d be taking a car to their summer post-lockdown getaway this year. This is likely due to the social distancing provided by using your own transportation and the fact that 72 percent of those surveyed favored destinations allowing a quick return to their home.

The survey shows a wide variety of response depending on the 11 countries surveyed. For instance, only 65 percent of UK respondents said they’d travel via car compared to 83 percent of respondents from Spain. As time passes, we clearly see an evolution in travelers’ intentions. Indeed, they indicated being more comfortable taking other forms transport, such as planes, to their vacation with ‘only’ 58% of respondent taking their car for travel in the fall and 56% in winter. Despite this drop, the number of people using their car as the main method of transportation to their vacation destination is still 7 points higher than the second most popular form transport in 2021 – planes, chosen by 44 percent of respondents.

While we encourage drivers to travel via car to maintain social distancing, as a Pan-European Roadside Assistance provider we also caution travelers to ensure their vehicle is in good working condition before setting off. In fact, directly after unlock, the number of requests received to jump start dead batteries and assist other preventable issues more than doubled in Italy and France.

Here are some helpful tips for travelers to keep in mind before their next road trip, especially if their car has sat idle during lockdown and only gone on low mileage trips since:

  • Run your car and take it for a short drive before driving in heavy traffic for the first time. Even if the battery worked on short trips, it might not have fully recharged the battery which means it could go flat during a longer drive.
  • Carry out a quick self-check of your petrol, oil, and brake fluid levels. Ensure your wipers are clean and in order and that cleaning fluid is replenished. It’s also good to check under the vehicle to make sure no fluids began leaking while the vehicle was idle.
  • Inspect the exterior for any damage due to rust or corrosion that might have occurred while the car was idle.
  • Double check you’re up to date with your vehicle’s inspections, insurance coverage and take care of any regular scheduled maintenance prior to your trip.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated before getting on the road. And don’t forget your spare tire as it may become handy if you have a tire puncture on the way!

Natacha Bouaziz, Group Head of Auto at Europ Assistance: “The majority of travelers (74 percent) will be taking a car, either a rental or their own, to their post-lockdown getaway this summer. It’s important to remember before you set off that cars that have sat idle or only gone on short trips are likely to succumb to mechanical issues, like a dead battery, during the long journey to your summer destination. Our roadside assistance services are available across Europe to ensure we can get you back on the road to your much-needed summer break.”