We use cars for commuting and shopping

We find it hard to give up our cars, even though the majority of people, by their own admission, use their vehicle for barely five hours a week – as revealed by a survey conducted by Magyar Suzuki . We mainly use cars for commuting and shopping, so it’s perhaps no surprise that a shopping bag is one of the most important items found in most cars. The little time we are in the car isn’t spent in silence though: we talk on the phone or listen to music or podcasts while driving. Route planners also play an important role in our lives: most of the surveyed drivers can’t imagine reaching their destination by relying solely on their instincts.

We all experience that there are more and more cars on the roads, with chronic traffic jams in some major cities and parking impossible to find in certain districts. According to data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), at the end of last year there were about 4.2 million passenger cars in circulation in Hungary, clearly illustrating that nearly one in every two Hungarians owns a car. Looking at the statistics, the number of cars has doubled in Hungary in almost two decades. Recognising this trend, Magyar Suzuki’s research aimed to find out how we use our cars in everyday life and for what purposes.
More than seventy percent of the respondents use their car daily, but looking at the weekly averages, it’s clear that they don’t spend much time behind the wheel. Almost 42 percent of the survey participants spend barely five hours, and 38 percent spend only 10 hours a week in their vehicle.

Distance determines the means of transport we use
The question arises as to whether a car is actually always necessary. Yet more than half of the respondents think that this is the best solution for commuting, and one in four finds this is the simplest for shopping too. Almost one in ten respondents uses the car for practically everything, including visiting family and friends, travel within Hungary or abroad, ferrying children, or for leisure activities. That said, the distance to travel is the primary factor for nearly half of the drivers when choosing their car over public transport. However, one-quarter of drivers are willing to give up their own vehicle if other transport options are simpler and more practical.

Cars are part of us
Economic indicators show that nowadays we need to make conscious and sensible decisions about monthly expenses. However, some costs are still essential for a family’s daily life, regardless of the current economic environment. Two-thirds of the surveyed drivers are not influenced by financial constraints in their car usage habits; they might save elsewhere but they wouldn’t give up their car. Only one-third of drivers would stop using their car if they had to get by on less money. Although fuel costs money, one-quarter of drivers refuel at least once a month, and most do so twice on average.
Since many use their cars for shopping, it’s perhaps not surprising that a shopping bag can be found in almost two-thirds of cars, but tissues, a phone cable and charger along with hand sanitiser are also important items. More than one-third of the respondents keep some food and/or drink in their car in case of unexpected situations during the trip.

Avoid the silence, no matter how
Although it’s often standard nowadays to be able to sync phones with the in-car system, only one-third of the respondents take advantage of this feature. The rest prefer to store their phone in a phone or cup holder, and only one in four drivers leaves it in their bag to avoid distractions. Digitalisation is an important part of our lives though, and it seems we can’t give this up even while driving. Decades ago, we navigated with maps and relied on our instincts in familiar areas; today, we prefer to use route planners. Most drivers do not even set off without such assistance, differing only in whether they rely on the car’s navigation system or a mobile app. Only one in five drivers said they don’t use such aids, relying instead on their instincts. Meanwhile, nearly sixty percent of the respondents cannot handle silence: they talk, or listen to music or podcasts while driving, while only 38 percent said they are not surrounded by any artificial noise while on the road.