More people buying cars amid pandemic, avoiding public transit

More people buying cars amid pandemic, avoiding public transit

BOSTON — A new trend is happening within the car industry. More people who previously relied on public transportation are buying vehicles to stay safe.

“Those that need transportation, they’re kind of getting away from the subways and MassTransit. So they have the need for a vehicle,” said Jeffrey Ruble, Executive Vice President and General Manager of New England Subaru.

A July survey from Cambridge-based CarGurus found that 22% of current car shoppers hadn’t considered buying one before the pandemic.

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Another survey done by MassINC found that 28% of people planned to cut back on ride-sharing and public transportation for safety reasons and make more trips in their vehicles.

“If I were to take the bus I would probably be a little hesitant just because you never know, especially with the cases going up,” Marcus Jardinez said.

Jardinez just purchased a car from Patriot Subaru in North Attleboro.

“Obviously with the virus going around people are scared to take public transportation. I do know that used car sales are going up as a result because people want to buy their own car and drive,” Jardinez said.

The new trend is good news for the auto sales industry.

“There’s some pent up demand in the need for transportation. I think people feel safer in their own automobile and that hopefully is lending to improvement with our sales,” Ruble said.

Many people buying cars right now are looking to do so online, prompting dealerships to make another shift in marketing

“That changes processes at retailers and how we communicate with our customers. We think it’s going to be here to stay no matter when this pandemic subsides,” Ruble added.

But no matter how people purchase a car right now, some say it’s the perfect “pick me up” during this uncertain time.

“Obviously the morale is kind of low with everybody staying at home quarantining and stuff but I think definitely something exciting like buying a new car would help,” Jardinez said.

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