When you ask someone to think of scooters, and they don't get confused with the foldable metal contraptions, they probably think of food delivery people or teenagers who are too young (or otherwise unable) to drive a car. But apparently there's a lot of increased demand right now, all thanks to the coronavirus.
That's according to figures from AutoTrader (via The Guardian), who say the first week of June saw three times more inquiries about scooters and mopeds than the same time last year. On top of that, advert views for the pseudo motorbikes were up 32 per cent year over year in the last week of May, and up 48 per cent in the first week of June. Ad views for proper motorbikes were also up by about a third.
It's not hard to see why people would be after some sort of two-wheeled motor vehicle either. They're easier (and cheaper) to park than full-size cars, and offer some extra manoeuvrability in heavy traffic. If my teenage memories are still relevant today, scooters are also cheaper to run. Also the prospect of sharing air in the metal boxes commonly referred to as 'public transport' isn't very appealing when there's a virus about.
Last month a poll from Ipsos Mori claimed that 61 per cent of British people would be uncomfortable using public transport if lockdown was eased, and since the virus is still about and basically untreatable it's not hard to understand why. Also the government is telling people to avoid public transport if they can, which is one of the few sensible things it's said during all this.
And before anyone gets arsey, push bike sales have also increased. So while not everyone is ditching the bus for a petrol-guzzler, there's a limit on how efficient cycling and walking can be. [The Guardian]