South Africa

South Africans driving less than before Covid-19

Data from Discovery Insure shows that South Africans are spending less time driving and are taking shorter trips than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Discovery Insure analysed the driving habits of their South African clients before, during, and after the pandemic to understand how the pandemic and lockdowns changed them. 

While there has been a pickup in driving from the lows during the lockdowns, the level remains below that of 2019. 

Discovery clients took 16% fewer trips in 2022 than in 2019. The distance they drove and the average length of their trips saw similar declines. 

 In 2022, on average, a Discovery Insure client: 

  • Took 130 trips per month
  • Drove 1,200km per month
  • Spent roughly 36 hours in their car per month

The decrease in driving by South Africans in 2022 compared to 2019 is due to the rise of working from home and hybrid working models and the increase in online shopping. 

Online shopping has increased by 13% as a share of total spending in South Africa and even more so for Discovery Bank clients, who increased their online spending by 25%. 

The top online merchants for Discovery Bank clients were Checkers Sixty60, Pick n Pay ASAP!, and Woolworths. 

This indicates that South Africans are increasingly ordering groceries online rather than driving to physical stores. 

Discovery Bank expects these trends to be sustained throughout 2023, with online spending continuing its rise and hybrid working models being increasingly adopted. 

This will result in a decrease in driving for South Africans.


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