Fears surrounding coronavirus are causing British holidaymakers to abandon airlines in favour of cars, according to new research. A study by price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com found more than eight in 10 Brits are planning to swap two wings for four wheels to go on their summer holiday.

The survey of 2,000 UK motorists found 83 percent were planning to use the car when they go on holiday this year, with around half of those citing worries about the coronavirus pandemic. Some 44 percent said their health was their biggest concern when it comes to post-lockdown travelling.

However, it seems Brits are also lured by the flexibility of car travel, with more than a quarter saying driving abroad makes it easier to get home quickly if their destination is added to the government’s quarantine list. Other drivers are concerned about cancellations, with 22 percent expressing concern that flights could be cancelled because of the pandemic. A fifth of respondents (20 percent) also said the same of trains or buses.

Other fears include financial worries, with four in 10 (40 percent) opting to drive to their destination because it is cheaper than other modes of transport. But CompareTheMarket.com says that is no surprise, as its Household Financial Confidence Tracker suggests household budgets are “stretched” by the pandemic. One in five households (21 percent) are “not confident” they can stay on top of household finances, and 30 percent have already tried to cut their costs.

The proximity of locations is another factor in Brits’ transport decisions, with nearly half of respondents (47 percent) saying they plan to do staycations in Britain. However, 58 percent still plan to travel overseas at some point this year, with 14 percent heading for Spain, while 10 percent will travel to France. Italy is a popular option, too, proving the chosen destination for a further 10 percent.

Cars queue for the ferry to Calais

“The pandemic has forced everyone to rethink their holiday plans,” said Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at CompareTheMarket.com. “While most holidays have been cancelled so far this year, we are clearly seeing a resurgence of people keen to get behind the wheel and drive to their holiday. It is clear that coronavirus is the top concern for people given the obvious issues with taking public transport. However, more indirect concerns such as quarantining and potential cancellations are forcing more and more people to abandon planes and hop in the car.

“It is encouraging to see that a large number of destinations in Europe remain popular but England has stood out as, by far, the most popular destination. If you are considering driving abroad, remember that quarantine restrictions will still apply on your return.”

Cars boarding train for Channel Tunnel crossing between France and England