Most Brits Are Buying Their Cars Outright, According To Research

The majority of British drivers are buying their cars outright. That’s according to a survey that investigated purchasing trends…

Going All In

Two-thirds of British drivers buy their cars outright. That’s according to a survey involving 2,000 motorists conducted by This goes against the conventional wisdom that PCP and finance deals dominate the industry. Many were even making their purchases with cash. As you might expect, age has a lot to do with it. Over 55s were the most likely to buy their wheels outright; 72% of the demographic did so. This is compared to 54% of 35 – 54 year-olds and 42% of 18 – 34 year-olds. There are also regional differences, too. For instance, the East of England is the nation’s capital for buying a car outright. There seven in ten drivers pay in full. Conversely, the North East is the least likely region to fork out everything in one go. There only 51% of drivers do so.

The survey also looked at how long we’re keeping our cars for. Only 18% of the respondents suggested that they keep their motors until they ‘die.’ That is to say, until it’s no longer economical to repair and maintain them. 28% of them swap every two to four years, 4% do it every two years and a very privileged (or wasteful) 1% get a new motor on an annual basis.

Some Perspective 

Ben Wooltorton, COO of, believes the survey’s results show that many motorists are actively saving up for a new motor. He said, “this survey shows that many UK car buyers save up and buy a car outright rather than using finance, making it one of the most expensive cash purchases most people will ever make”. However, there is an important detail to consider. Not all car purchases involve new vehicles; very many of them involve used vehicles. In fact, the absolute vast majority do. So it’s not as though these motorists are forking out five-figure sums for their vehicles. It would have been interesting for the survey to distinguish between new car purchases and used car purchases. It’s not unreasonable to think that a typical Brit might fork out a few thousand outright for a used car; another thing entirely to fork out something in excess of £20,000!

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