20% Would Sell Cars for German-Style UK Transport Pass

One in five motorists (20%) say they would sell their car if the UK adopted a German-style universal public transport pass, new research shows.

June’s Startline Used Car Tracker shows that 92% of motorists would back the introduction of the new monthly pass, which in Germany costs 49 euros (£43) and allows use of any bus, tram or train except for high-speed inter-city services.

Furthermore, 59% say they would use their car less, 44% think the move would be very good for the environment and 25% believe there would be a boost to employment with people able to access jobs further from home.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “In Germany, there are expectations that around 16 million people out of a population of 84 million will take up this offer. Some of those are existing public transport customers but there are millions of new users, too.

“Our research shows that there is a lot of enthusiasm for the idea in the UK and, while it is open to question whether one in five people really would sell their car if push came to shove, previous German trials have shown that, on a national basis, traffic growth did stop and there appeared to be a marked movement towards public transport.

“What our findings perhaps do show is that there is a high level of interest here in low cost, universal, easy to access public transport, and that a scheme of this kind could potentially get very large numbers of people out of their cars at least some of the time.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker shows only muted objections to the travel pass idea, with 4% believing it would be too expensive for the government to fund and 5% saying they would stick to using their car no matter how cheap and effective the public transport alternative.

Paul added: “In Germany, the project is costing around three million euros, jointly funded by central and regional government. It’ll be interesting to watch their experience over the next few months, looking at whether this provides value in terms of the positive impact on both the economy and the environment.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 301 consumers and 55 dealers were questioned.

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