A third of UK car buyers avoid models over five-years old

Image-conscious Brits don’t want to be seen driving a car that’s more than five years old, according to a new survey.

A third (32%) of UK drivers said it is important to have a car under five years old (men 33% and women 32%), with those in the North-East of England (44%) most likely to say it, followed by Wales (40%) and London (36%).

InsuretheGap.com, which carried out the study, also found that more than a quarter (27%) of UK car buyers are prepared to go over budget for a car that “looks good”, while those in younger age groups are most likely to blow their budget.

More than one in four drivers (28%) said they would buy a new car over a second-hand car to get that “new car look and feeling”, even if it costs a lot more (30% men and 26% women), with London (38%) and North East (35%) again the highest regions.

Almost one in five (18%) drivers call themselves a “brand snob” and will pay extra for a more prestigious car brand. Over a third (34%) of 18-34s agree with this, compared to only 9% of over 55s. 60% of drivers would refuse some brands of car regardless of how good the car or deal on the table was.

Almost a third (31%) say a car is part of their personal image, which is particularly important for under 34s (56%). Over one in seven (16%) say having a flash car impresses my friends (17% men and 15% women), with under 34s (36%) again agreeing the strongest, compared to only 7% over 55s.

Cost-conscious car buyers are opting for older, higher mileage cars as household incomes become increasingly stretched, according to research commissioned by warranty provider WMS Group.

In a trend also being driven by the limited availability of newer used cars, WMS’s new ‘From the Forecourt’ mini-report entitled ‘Playing The Post-COVID Catch Up’ found that two-thirds (65%) of car buyers are now opting for older vehicles, almost two-fifths (38%) are purchasing higher mileage cars and a third (31%) are opting for smaller vehicles.

CarShop chief executive Nigel Hurley told AM’s recent AM General Managers’ Guide to ‘Holding the Right Stock’ webinar – which can now be viewed on-demand – that his car supermarket group was working hard to prepare high volumes of older, more affordable vehicles for sale in response to the squeeze on available stock.

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