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Car buyers have less to spend, says poll

Credit crunch blamed for fall in buyers

The credit crunch is hitting car buying, with planned purchases plummeting to their lowest point for two years, according to figures out today.

The number of people intending to buy a car in the next 12 months has fallen from 25% a year ago to 20% now, a poll by AA Personal Loans found.

And those planning to make a purchase will spend less on their car, the survey of 2,000 people showed.

Less to spend

Six months ago, buyers intended to spend an average of £9,827 on new purchases, but this figure has now come down to £8,851.

Scots intend to make the most purchases over the next 12 months, with 28% planning to buy a car. In contrast, just 17% of people in southern England and 17% in the Midlands and Wales are planning to replace their vehicle.

The survey also showed:

  • the number of people planning to buy second-hand cars under three years old has risen from 36% to 45% in the last six months
  • the number of men likely to buy a car in the year ahead has fallen by 15% in the last six months, but males planning to buy a used vehicle has gone up from 37% to 48%
  • the number of women planning to buy a second-hand car has risen from 34% six months ago to 42%
  • 43% of over-55s are planning a new purchase, compared with just 13% of 25 to 34-year-olds.

AA Personal Loans head Mark Huggins said: ‘Faced with rising costs including fuel – for example, the cost of unleaded petrol is now 102.8p per litre compared with 87.5p this time last year – car buyers seem to be shopping around for a more economical way of buying a reliable car.

‘A third of buyers finance their car purchase with a loan, so it’s important they shop around for the best loan rate, too.’

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