Car buyers back off deposits

Car buyers would rather save on deposits than keep their monthly payments as low as possible.

That’s the finding from new analysis of buyer behaviour, carried out by

It found that more than half of all car buyers reduce an initially suggested deposit, even though that pushes their monthly payments higher for the next two or three years – and a significant minority choose to pay nothing at all up front.

Analysts crunched the details of hundreds of new car finance applications and found that 54% of buyers chose to reduce the size of the down payment when they were ordering a car – and 14% opted to pay no deposit at all. Less than a quarter of buyers decided that lowering their monthly outgoings by increasing the up-front payment was best for them and just under 10% were happy to stick with the first deposit suggestion offered to them.

The figures effectively reveal what car buyers initially want before they come into contact with finance professionals, who will help them to tailor a car purchase package with a view to the best balance for long term manageability.

Austin Collins, managing director of, said, ‘Our research shows that, without the guidance of professional advisors, the instinct of a majority of car buyers is to push as much of their financial outlay as possible into the future – even if that means higher payments over time.

‘For dealers and motor manufacturers there may be a lesson about finding a better balance between advertising low monthly payments and a reasonable deposit. In the push to keep the headline monthly repayments as low as possible they may initially alienate many car buyers who would really prefer to find a different balance between the down payment and the ongoing repayments.

‘In addition to buyers who are keen to put down a low deposit, a significant number are looking for no-deposit finance. This underlines the importance of working with a number of finance providers to ensure that customers get a competitive quote that’s appropriate to their needs and situation.’