Due to the pandemic, fewer miles are being driven in 2020. With fewer cars on the road, many dealers and mechanics will have fewer customers coming in for repairs, maintenance, and other after-market services meant to keep vehicles safe. Working from home has become a new norm that researchers predict will decrease driving in the U.S. by close to 270 billion miles a year. KPMG International conducted research that found this new remote culture that Covid-19 has created may not be going away anytime soon — potentially leaving some dire consequences for the auto industry.
In April, American drivers drove 64% fewer miles than average. KPMG forecasts that this decline in commutes will remove 14 million drivers off the road. This can result in a 10% permanent reduction in miles traveled each year with vehicle ownership declining to less than two cars per household. Most drivers purchase vehicles to commute to work and for shopping. If drivers no longer need to commute to work, it can adversely affect auto sales.
If fewer miles are being driven and fewer cars are on the road, dealers and mechanics may have less money coming in from repairs aimed at keeping cars running. Less driving is less wear and tear. This is great for the driver, but not an excuse to skip out on regular maintenance. Vehicles that sit unused for too long skip scheduled maintenance and repairs can result in costly damage in the future.
All is not doom and gloom; some positive outcomes come with these changes. The market for delivery vehicles is beginning to boom, thanks to the increase in online shopping. Some automakers, such as Ford and Volkswagen, are attempting to capitalize on this trend by developing commercial vehicles like delivery vans. Rivian Automotive is another auto manufacturer that is jumping in by signing a contract with Amazon to provide 100,000 cars for deliveries. The commercial vehicle industry booming may help recover some of the financial loss caused by the pandemic with the sale of vehicles and the creation of jobs.
Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in drivers for rideshare apps and food delivery. Many of these apps still require drivers to use their cars to deliver items to customers, leading to higher mileage and wear and tear occurring quicker than usual. Some states are even rallying for automotive insurers to create an individual policy for delivery or rideshare apps.
Don't let vehicle repairs prevent you from doing your job. If you are interested in having a vehicle serviced, do not hesitate to bring your vehicle into East Coast Diesel. Our expert ASE trained automotive mechanics are available to help with repair and maintenance services. This is the ideal time to ensure vital aspects such as your tires, fluids, battery, and brakes are in top condition.