Cropley on cars: On weekdays, the big spenders rule

Cropley on cars: On weekdays, the big spenders rule

Car makers ignore the power and value of the grey pound at their peril

Spent the day away from the office for humdrum reasons not unassociated with an empty oil tank and a leaky roof. It’s a long time since I’ve done such a thing so it was practically a new experience. Like you, probably, I’m usually busy: in the office, driving someone else’s car, or interviewing an interesting person about car stuff.

When on a weekday you don’t do any of these things, you suddenly notice how different our roads are than what you’re used to at weekends or during rush hours. Monday to Friday they become the domain of the Older Driver. These people drive differently, and if you hope to mix it with them regularly, you’d better adapt.

I first noticed the phenomenon when an older woman in a late-plate VW Polo pulled in front of me from a side-street in a manoeuvre that for most drivers would have been both inept and rude – though it was neither. I realised the lady was so immobile behind the wheel that she hadn’t been able to turn her head to check the road was clear, so she took a chance that I wouldn’t be there. Or would avoid her if I was.

The bigger point is that I simply hadn’t realised how many older motorists are active on the roads. I started looking out deliberately for young faces and found only a handful, mostly young mothers, I’m guessing.

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