Americans’ mindset on driving has changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adult drivers conducted in February 2022 by parking reservation service SpotHero.
Parking is a source of stress for most drivers, the survey found, but nearly 75% of drivers plan to avoid public transit by driving to work at this stage in the pandemic.
Nonetheless, the drivers surveyed said they expect their commute will be less stressful and greener in the future, with almost 44% of those surveyed preferring to search online with an app for parking and 57.8% of drivers surveyed considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for their next vehicle.
“The COVID-19 pandemic marked a transformation in Americans’ attitudes towards commuting and parking,” said Mark Lawrence, SpotHero Co-founder and CEO. “This survey shows that Americans lose time and face high costs because of trouble they encounter when parking. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, the use of public transit has dropped. The result is that more Americans are using and recommending apps like SpotHero.”
One striking finding of the survey was just how stressful parking has become for most drivers:
- Half of Americans (48.5%) agree that parking is stressful
- More than a quarter of people would rather listen to Christmas music year-round (30.9%) or go to the dentist (29.6%) than drive around looking for parking
- More than a quarter of people (27.3%) spend at least 30 minutes looking for parking
- 63.5% of people admit to being late because they could not find a parking spot
- Almost half of American drivers (43.4%) admit to getting into a verbal argument with a stranger over parking, and almost half of Americans (43.3%) admit to feeling road rage while parking
A Transformation in Light of COVID-19
In addition, the pandemic shifted the attitudes of American motorists toward a preference for driving to work:
- Nearly 75% of American drivers plan to avoid public transit by driving to work, a 15% increase compared to 2019.
- 83.6% of American drivers in metropolitan areas have chosen to drive over taking public transit.
- Convenience was the highest weighted factor when considering transportation, with 53.6% of respondents saying that convenience is a factor “all the time.” Cost was the second highest factor, with 40.5% responding that cost is a factor “all the time.”
Greener, More Tech Savvy Future
Many American drivers see technology as providing solutions to their current frustrations, with 29.4% preferring to prepay for parking and reserving a spot from their phones. In addition:
- 33.9% of people prefer to search online via an app for parking
- 69.9% of adults would be willing to prepay for parking at a discounted rate
- More than a quarter of people (26.1%) who reserved parking in advance with a service would be extremely likely to recommend that service to a friend or colleague
- 57.8% of drivers surveyed are considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for their next vehicle
- Many consider sustainability “regularly,” with 38.5% of the respondents replying, “all the time”
- Of American drivers in urban areas who drive EVs, a whopping 91.8% would consider paying more for a parking garage retrofitted with an EV charging station
25-34 yr. olds: 94% yes
35-44 yr. olds: 91.3% yes
45-54 yr. olds: 100% yes
“Technology can relieve much of the burden and stress of parking,” added Lawrence. “A simple app that allows you to find, reserve and pay for a parking spot is key to making an easier commute possible. It provides peace of mind, which is invaluable.”