After a year like no other I have a prediction for 2021. It could be the catalyst where the ownership of a personal car changes fundamentally. At the start of 2020 I made a prediction for the executive car of the future. It focused on high-speed long-distance travel. This time, my prediction is for the nearer term and I believe Covid-19 has defined this.
The Exodus of 2020
In 2020 there was a mass exodus from the office to the new ‘work-from-home’ environment. Instantly, rush-hour became a thing of the past and cars hardly moved. Online shopping increased in popularity as the pandemic spread fear across the nation. Many people used their cars even less. They left them parked with so little movement the battery died.
As consumers and business adopt online communication tools like Zoom and Teams the need to travel has declined. As cars are used less the likelihood is, people will replace them less frequently. In combination, as new hybrid and electric cars increase in popularity, they will become smaller because the usage will change. That is my prediction for 2021.
A New Trend To Buy Small
The school-run might still be necessary, as too will be the trip to the local shops to buy essential items. The need to load up a car and embark on a longer journey may still exist too but it may no longer be viable to buy a car purely for this rare occasion. With the price of fuel, tax and running costs, buying a vehicle as a one-size fits all solution will become a thing of the past.
A new trend to buy a small (more cost effective) vehicle for every-day use will develop. For the occasions when a larger vehicle is needed, it could be hired. This would not only save money for the owner but it also ensures the depreciation they suffer is minimal. It also ensures that for the exceptional times they embark on a longer journey, they have a modern vehicle to travel in.
A Tailored Millennial Solution
For some people, a larger car is a status symbol but this is already changing. After the financial crisis a decade ago, a generation of Millennials no longer view car ownership as an aspiration. Their life experiences are more important than their assets. Visiting a historic destination on the other side of the world has more social value than purchasing a new car.
So my prediction for 2021 is, more people will downsize their vehicle and invest in electric technology. There will be a realization that executive car ownership no longer makes sense for small trips. It will become more feasible to rent a desirable vehicle (with a driver) for the infrequent occasion it is required – and just like hiring an outfit for a special occasion, you can tailor it to your specific needs.