The survey also revealed that for 43 per cent of motorists, the main driver for buying a new car was a genuine need to replace a vehicle that was considered to be beyond economical repair. This suggests that a significant number of motorists are holding onto their car for longer.
Cutting the costs of running a car and saving money did, however, still play a primary role for around one third (31 per cent) of car owners, according to the survey. This was driven mainly by the over 55s, who were most likely to replace a car to reduce running costs (36 per cent), while this was the case for only 20 per cent 18-24 year olds. Regionally, drivers in Northern Ireland polled most highly (44 per cent) compared to the North East whose car purchases were least likely to be driven by efficiency factors (23 per cent).
Andrew Ballard, Principal Consultant at Experian Automotive, comments: “A reluctance to take on additional financial responsibilities has reflected the mood among car buyers for a long time, but we have seen both used and new cars sales grow significantly over the past year. While running costs still play a role, a desire for change came out as a bigger driver. For the motor industry, this research highlights the need to understand who is looking to change, and for what reasons, so that they can better meet the needs of those car buyers and create lasting relationships.
“Factors such as cutting current costs down or reluctance to take on additional financial responsibilities reflect the current mood among a growing number of car buyers.”
Further results showed that the majority (37 per cent) of UK motorists replace their car every five years, followed by 19 per cent who replace theirs every two years, 15 per cent every eight years and 10 per cent over ten years. A further 20 per cent stated there was no set pattern.
Younger drivers, aged between 18 and 24, change their vehicle more regularly with 47 per cent doing so every two years. Approximately a quarter of the drivers in Wales (26 per cent) and Scotland (23 per cent) change cars more regularly than anyone else – every two years.
About the research
The results are based on a consumer survey that polled the opinions of 1,105 car owners aged between 18 and over 55 across the UK. The survey was carried out in June and July 2014, by independent research and insight company, Opinion Matters