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Fleet data & COVID-19 road travel statistics

By Holly Dempster2020-06-02

COVID-19 impact: UK hours driven drop nearly 55%, recovering slowly

Based on Verizon Connect Reveal customers in the U.S. and Europe (including Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal) measured between February 18th, 2020 and May 5th, 2020, it’s evident that many fleets have seen a decrease in miles driven recently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—but some are already recovering.

The driving impact has been more severe in Europe than in the United States, with many European countries seeing a large decrease in hours driven. As of April 7th, 2020, France, Great Britain and Spain had all seen more than a 50% decrease in hours driven.

However, more recent data has shown that this reduction is recovering quickly. As of May 5th, France had almost completely recovered, Germany has seen huge increases, and Italy and Spain have also bounced back slightly. In the U.S., the decrease has also recovered by close to 9%.

Below, we’re sharing the numbers in greater detail by region and exploring which industries have been impacted the most.

France, Great Britain and Spain experience greatest European driving decreases from February-April

Overall, the impact of the pandemic on commercial fleet operations has been greater in Europe than in the U.S. European countries have demonstrated a steep reduction in fleet activities that correlates with the timing of lockdown measures being put into place. While European daily average traffic dropped from 145K vehicles to under 100K between February 18th, 2020 and April 7th, 2020, U.S. traffic dropped from a daily average 635K vehicles to 575k vehicles during the same timeframe.

On average as of April 7th, only 22% of fleets in the U.S. have experienced reductions in drive time by more than 50%. This contrasts with almost 50% of European fleets that have experienced similar reductions in drive time. And the amount of fleet owners who’ve seen more than half of their vehicles taken off the road is only 8% in the U.S. versus 24% in Europe.

France, Great Britain and Spain have seen the greatest percentage reductions in hours driven: -57.6%, -54.6% and -54.4% respectively. The remainder of the European countries measured have experienced driving hour reductions as follows:

  • Ireland: -40.6%
  • Portugal: -39.3%
  • Italy: -38.8%
  • Germany: -11.3%

It’s possible the less severe U.S. drop off could be due to the U.S. having greater average traffic in the first place or it could be due to COVID-19 reaching the U.S. later than European countries, resulting in travel and movement restrictions being put into place later in March.

May data shows potential for continued recovery in Europe

Since early April, many European countries have also seen some significant recovery. Here is how the U.S. and Europe stack up as of May 5th:

Future industry impact

As COVID-19 continues to impact the day-to-day realities of fleet-based businesses around the globe, it’s important to stay informed—and Verizon Connect is here to help. To see everything Verizon is doing to respond to the crisis, please view this page. For the latest news and resources, visit our blog


Holly Dempster

Holly is the Marketing Specialist for UK & Ireland, Verizon Connect. With 5 years' experience in the IT Sector and a Journalism degree, her passion lies in the power of content. Holly's focus areas to date include, Digital, Channel and Consultative Marketing.


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