In October 2017, Ipsos conducted a driving ban survey in Saudi Arabia involving 500 individuals, 56% of which were males, aged 16-64, and comprising Saudis and expats, trying to gage the attitudes towards the lifting of the ban in the Kingdom.
Mohammed Minawi, regional Senior Director, IPSOS shared with GulfRetail the insightful findings, sure to impact car sales, cab hailing apps, taxis, and other sectors associated with Saudi transport.
The most prominent methods of transportation for women in KSA are either to be driven by a male member the family, or use ride hailing apps. while 1 in 5 households also have a hired household driver for that purpose.
Most see this decision as being a positive step towards the modernization of kingdom, and giving women more independence, but many also feel harassment will increase as a result, and see the traffic situation worsening.
A majority also reported that they will likely purchase a new car.
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Below are the mind blowing results as revealed by IPSOS.
Current transport landscape
Women in the KSA are heavily reliant on family members to take them places, followed by ride hailing apps.
In fact 47% of Saudi women are driven by family members, 38% by ride hailing cabs, 31% by taxis and 21% through a hired household driver.
Attitudes toward Saudi women drivers
The majority are pleased with the decision to lift the driving ban on Saudi women, significantly more among Saudi females.
In numbers, 63% are pleased (74% females, and 55% males) , 23% are not sure (15% females, and 29% males), and 14% are not pleased ( 11% females, and 17% males).
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Impact of lifting the ban
The majority believe that lifting the ban on women driving has a positive impact modernizing Saudi Arabia, and increasing independence for women. On the other hand, many also feel there will be negative implications on issues related to traffic and road safety, as well as increased harassment of women on the street.
Some 52% beleive it will have positive change on modernization & development, against 22% believing it will have negative change.
Around 50% believe independence for Saudi women is a positive change, against 30% saying the reverse.
Only 33% say that the ban lift will be a positive direction for moral values of society, while 40% disagree.
55% percent agree there will be more traffic, and 58% say there will be more road safety issues.
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Future transport landscape
What is the likelihood of women driving after the ban is lifted?
The majority of females state that they will drive once the driving ban is removed.
70% of females say it is likely, 20% are unsure, and 10% say unlikely compared with 60% males saying it is likely, 20% unsure, and 20% unlikely.
The majority, or 51% are inclined to buy new cars to accommodate for the increase in household’s demand on transport needs, while 33% say it’s unlikely with 15% unsure.
1 in 2 households who currently have a hired household driver expect to stop hiring and for the driver’s car to be used by women in the household, while 26% say unlikely and 21% are unsure.
Male Heads of Household for the most part will remain primary decision makers with regards to car purchases once the ban is lifted, but women will have a big say in many households.
So while 42% of male head of household will make decisions, 28% of male households will have influence coming from female head of households, and 26% will share equal decision making with female head of households.
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Time period to drive after removal
The majority of women claim they will begin driving within a 3-month period or less after the date of the ban’s removal.
Some 24% say immediately after, 37% say 3 month after, 16% say 6 months after, while 11% say 1 year after, and 12% say more than one year after.
Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW are the most appealing brands for Women.
6 of 10 women preferred Asian.
30% prefer Toyota, 22% Mercedes, 22% BMW, 20% Hyundai, 13% Kia, 12% Nissan, 10% Lexus, 10% Audi, 10% Dodge, and 9% Honda.
Source: Press Release