CARS are the biggest culprits when it comes to tempting people into spending beyond their means. Research reveals that men are nearly twice as likely to get into four-wheeled debt than women.
Despite the rising costs of living and the spiralling costs of running a car, a third of UK adults admit to being influenced by how people perceive them and would most likely get themselves into debt just to give the impression that they are wealthy.
The Experian survey highlights that image plays a bigger role for men, with almost one in five of them (18 per cent) being tempted to get into debt to buy a car, compared to just one in 10 women.
The survey also shows that people living in the East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia are the most likely in the UK to go over budget with a car to appear wealthy (16 per cent).
Kirk Fletcher, Managing Director of Experian’s Automotive division, said: ‘The credit crunch is having a significant impact on consumer confidence across the UK, yet this survey highlights the fact that the consumer’s desire for a car that projects the right image remains as strong as ever.
‘However, increasing debt leads to an increased risk of fraud. Recently there has been an increase in the number of stories in the media where people have attempted to sell their cars without settling the finance on them.
‘It highlights the need for both businesses and consumers to be more cautious in their dealings. Outstanding finance is the biggest issue facing used car buyers and the only way to ensure they protect themselves is by checking out the status of the car before buying it through services such as Experian’s AutoCheck.’