New car buyers driven in droves to used market

New research has found that the cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on new car buyers, with many switching to the used vehicle market or not replacing their existing car at all.

The research by What Car? also found that many drivers have also started carrying out basic servicing and maintenance work themselves to save money.

Surveying 1,017 in-market buyers, What Car? found 34.5% said the cost-of-living crisis has made them hold on to their current vehicle for longer than they intended. Of those holding on to their current vehicle for longer, 65.8% said they’ve held on to it for more than six months longer than they initially intended, while 21.4% said between three and six months.

The research also revealed that 14.2% of those buying a used vehicle said they were initially in the market for a new car but swapped to the used sector specifically due to the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, 12.8% of owners are now considering doing some of their own vehicle servicing and maintenance in order to save on motoring costs.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “The UK’s new car market is still below pre-pandemic levels. Buyers holding on to their current vehicles for longer or switching to the used market is slowing down the much-needed recovery. The cost-of-living crisis is also threatening to slow down electric vehicle uptake in the country. Electric vehicles continue to command a premium over equivalent petrol or diesel models, and with tightening purse strings, buyers will be less hesitant to make the switch.”