More than eight in every 10 British drivers are expecting to head out on a road trip when the shackles of lockdown are released. That’s according to new research from the AA, which found 85 percent of motorists are expecting to take a road trip later this year as the UK recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The motoring organisation’s study of almost 13,000 Brits revealed drivers are relishing the prospect of visiting friends and loved ones, as well as the chance to drive anywhere they like. Others want to hit the road in a bid to get away from it all, while some want the chance to discover new places after spending months in lockdown.

Of those questioned, some 29 percent said they would be driving to visit friends and family when Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifts restrictions, making that the most popular reason to travel. The freedom of the open road, however, was a lure for almost as many drivers, with 28 percent saying they would drive simply to enjoy being allowed out again.

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Around 15 percent, meanwhile, said they had destinations they particularly wanted to visit, and would be driving to reach them, but 12 percent said motoring would allow them to find new places when lockdown restrictions are lifted. Five percent, however, just said they wanted to hit the road to get away from the pressures of work.

Just 15 percent of drivers said they were not planning a UK road trip in 2021, which the AA takes as a sign some are “cautiously optimistic” that travel and holidays may restart later in the year. However, the organisation admits some are “resigned” to the idea that holidays simply won’t be taking place in 2021.

Edmund King, the AA president, said road trips were likely to be a huge part of the travel industry in the coming months, as the UK attempts to return to normal in the wake of the pandemic. However, he warned drivers to make sure their cars were in a fit state to travel before setting out.

“More than half of drivers just want to be ‘on the road’ for the freedom to go anywhere, the journey, to find new places or just because they are excited about the destination,” he said. “We predict that the ‘road trip’ will form an important part of our social and cultural activities as we finally get out of the lockdown. Before getting on the road again, taking some time to check your vehicle will help to prevent drivers getting stuck on the road to nowhere.”

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