New official figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of two-car households increased by nearly 8% last year to 7,618,800.
With 68% of households accounted for by families, the ONS estimates that there are now 5.1 million two-car families in the UK.
To find out what has been driving this surge, the LV= insurance company polled over 1,000 driving licence holders with two or more cars in their household and found that an increased demand for driving in modern life was the key factor. Work requirements were the main reason for purchasing a second car for 37% of survey participants, with 40% of them citing a longer commute and 30% spending more time on the road for work purposes.
‘Family journeys’ was the second most popular reason (30%), ahead of taking children to and from new hobbies (24%) and the school run (15%).
Despite the rising reliance on second cars, LV=’s research also suggests they are under-appreciated and perhaps even the unsung heroes of modern lifestyles. On average, they run around 844 miles per month with 51% helping out with the weekly shop and 26% doing the daily commute. In fact, the second-car economy is now worth £25.7 billion through buying, maintaining and insuring these vehicles. However, it seems that people are much more likely to take their main car on long trips away (58% versus 24%).
“From ferrying the kids to and from out-of-school activities, through to the daily commute, the second car has become a vital part of everyday life for many working families and deserves just as much appreciation as ‘main’ cars,” LV=’s Managing Director of Car Insurance, Selwyn Fernandes, said.