SURVEY: COVID-19 Heightens Dependence on Cars

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Nov. 25, 2020—A majority of Americans are viewing their cars as an escape and a safer mode of transportation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey by Ally Financial Inc., a leading digital financial services company. 

After surveying 2,000 American adults via OnePoll on behalf of Ally Financial, results found that 72 percent of car owners say that going for a drive alone allows them to clear to their head. Seventy-three percent of men surveyed and 53% of women surveyed consider their car to be a personal "fortress of solitude."

The survey also found that Americans are rethinking their relationship with public transportation and prioritizng personal transportation with 72 percent of respondents reporting they are now wary of using public transportation due to COVID-19 and 69 percent of car owners reporting that they plan to drive more after the pandemic ends rather than use public transportation.

"The pandemic has forced Americans to rethink how we use cars, and why," said Mark Manzo, president of Ally Insurance. "Even though many of us are using our vehicles differently, cars are more vital than ever, serving as a source of solitude and providing a safe means of travel for us and our families."

Respondents also reported feeling stress around potential auto expsenses with 57 percent of those surveyed noted that they are worried about unexpected repair costs, 58 percent noting that they may hold on to their vehicles longer than planned, and 36 percent having had to choose between paying their car payments or a car repair. 

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