Press release

Ter-affic News: Brits save at least £18 billion due to lockdowns

  • 41% of Brits are set to “brake” open their savings to splash out on a new car

  • Auto Trader hails 17th April as “New Car Day” as Brits set to spend first Saturday after retail re-opens in car dealership forecourts

With the pandemic derailing the UK’s holiday and social plans for over a year, many Brits have increased their disposable income, and are now set to splash their cash on a new car.

New research from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, shows Brits have been stashing the cash as a result of lockdown restrictions, with 41% saving at least £1,000 over the past twelve months and over one in 10 (14.7%) revealing they’ve managed to save over £3,000.

When asked how they were going to spend their newfound savings, two-fifths (41%) of those surveyed confessed they’d like to splash their cash on a brand-new car.

A huge three quarters of Brits (71%) have saved money by not dining out, with over half of those surveyed (51%) saving money by not going on an overseas holiday. Working from home has shown to have its benefits on workers’ wallets too, with over a quarter (27%) admitting to saving money by not having to travel to the office.

In March, Auto Trader saw its biggest ever month in terms of website activity1, with Brits spending 10.9 million hours on the site and looking at its car ads over 290 million times. What’s more, traffic to the Auto Trader website rose by 29%3 last week, when compared to the same week in 2019. Based on this data, the UK’s leading automotive marketplace predicts that more people than ever will be heading to the forecourts on the first Saturday they reopen their doors, 17th April.

Whilst demand for car shopping online has ramped up over lockdown and consumer confidence has grown, internal data from Auto Trader shows that three-quarters (75%) of car buyers2 would currently prefer to complete the final purchase of the car at the dealership.

As such, dealerships across the UK are expecting a huge surge in footfall and record-breaking sales for the industry as buyers flock to forecourts to see cars, leading Auto Trader to hail Saturday 17th April as “New Car Day”.

Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader says, “Even as we come out of lockdown, people are wary of rushing back to the ways we used to live. 8% of car buyers are keen to have a car to avoid public transport4 for example, so we’re certain interest in car buying will continue to grow.

“People are looking to treat themselves to a new car with their lockdown savings, and therefore we are predicting a record-breaking number of both leads and sales on the 17th April, the first Saturday of the year that forecourts can re-open their doors to the public again.”


– ENDS –

[1] AT internal data incorporating adviews, website visits and hours spent on the website  

2  AT Nat Rep Tracker – a survey of 2867 Auto Trader customers conducted in January-February 2021

3 AT internal data from 29th March – 4th April 2021 compared to the same week in 2019

4 AT internal data – March 2021

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK's vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% consumer prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 80% of visits coming through mobile devices.

For more information, please visit 

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Nassiri |

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Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

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