• Almost 1 in 5 under 34s use PCPs to buy car
  • Men change cars more frequently than women

Over two-thirds (69%) of car owners over 55 bought their car outright without using finance, compared to half (50%) of 34 – 54yrs and a third (33%) of under 34s, according to a survey of over 2,000 UK drivers.

On average, over half (56%) of cars were bought outright via cash or debit card, 10% were bought on hire purchase, 11% using personal contract purchase (PCP), 5% loan from a bank, 5% on lease and 3% were given as a gift.

The Opinium survey, commissioned by InsuretheGap, an independent provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) car insurance, finds that almost one in five (17%) under 34s use a PCP to finance a car purchase, compared to just 9% of over 55s.

Northern Ireland is the region most likely to buy a car outright (63%), followed by the South West (61%) and South East (60%) of England, compared to Wales (55%) and Scotland (56%), and the West Midlands in England is the least likely to (46%).

Only 2% of drivers change their car every year, with 4% changing every two years and almost a quarter (24%) changing their car every two to four years.  In the North East of England, 42% of drivers change cars every two to four years, the highest region in the survey.

Men change their cars more frequently than women, with 34% of men changing their car at least every four years compared to 25% of women.

A fifth (21%) of drivers will keep their vehicle until the car breaks down or costs more to repair then it is worth (women 27% v men 16%).

Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of InsuretheGap.com, said: “A lot of drivers clearly like to change their car every few years and are prepared to pay for this privilege, whilst others are more than happy to make do until their car has clapped-out.

He continues: “However people pay for their cars, buying a car is one of the biggest investments that most people will make, and drivers should consider how best to protect their investment. Cars depreciate quickly, and if a car is written off or stolen, insurance companies will only pay the value of the car at the time of the incident, not the amount that was paid for it. Policies from InsuretheGap.com protect drivers from this, and cost a fraction of those sold by the car dealerships.”