Mobility is an essential aspect of our lifestyle be it personal mobility, ridesharing, carpooling and all the modern acronyms and concepts that can be attributed as long as it has wheels. But now things are set to change as the post-Covid era will usher a new way of how we address our mobility needs. The virus is out there hunting for us till the time there is no commercially released tested vaccine. The one thing is for sure, car owners will have a renewed admiration for their cars. A report released by Zekardo Automotive solutions looks at the future of wheels and it is very different from before.

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to have a profound impact on the mobility sector. As life returns to normal from the post lockdown phase, the survey indicates that car owners will prefer their personally owned vehicles over ride-sharing app-based cab services, local taxis operated by local fleet operators and state transport authorities. While there will be a 22% upswing for personal vehicle preference, shared cabs/ app-based ride-hailing services will witness -10% negative swing. State and city transportation will also see a -2% of negative swing primarily on account of social distancing.

While the preference of using personal vehicles has emerged as a clear winner in the short to medium term fleet owners and app-based ride-hailing aggregator platform will see a dramatic decrease in the people using their platforms and services. The key reason that is attributed to this decrease in preference is lack of confidence when it comes to vehicle and driver hygiene. 30% of the respondents also felt that they are not sure about the previous passenger health and thus will limit their exposure to the vehicle.

Even for consumers who are willing to use cabs, the list of expectations is rather high.

At least 45% of the respondents indicated that they require regular car sanitisation services to be carried out by drivers and aggregators to ensure passenger health safety. Many want hand sanitizers available in cabs at all times, while personal protective clothing for the driver also garnered enough support from end consumers as a key requirement was indicated by 42% of the respondents. Almost a third of the respondents indicated that the usage of disposable protective covers for seats after every ride must be implemented as the virus sticks onto surfaces and can stay there for a long period of time.

There could also be a huge shift when it comes to servicing needs of vehicles once again owing to hygiene issues. Industry estimates suggest that 60% of car owners migrate to the unorganized segment once the cars go out of warranty. This happens on account of lower service and repair costs offered by local mechanics & garages. These garages provide an excellent avenue for small repair jobs for car owners. However, the survey says going forward only 10% of respondents will prefer visiting a nearby local independent garage. This is because of hygiene & health concerns of the garage staff, limited understanding of garage sanitisation practices as well as price transparency.

In contrast according to the survey 53% of the respondents will prefer going to an authorized service center in the short to medium term in case of a service requirements. This figure was 37% in the pre-lockdown phase.