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Cost-of-living crisis causing third of drivers to keep cars for longer, What Car? survey finds

  • 34.5 per cent of drivers say cost-of-living crisis is making them hold on to their car for longer
  • What Car? finds  14.2 per cent of buyers have been priced out of new car market by crisis
  • Motorists now being forced to carry out repair and servicing work themselves to save cash
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Time 7:46 am, February 9, 2023

A third of drivers are holding on to their cars for longer than before as a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, a new survey has found.

Data collected by WhatCar? found that 34.5 per cent of drivers have held on to their current car for longer than intended as a result of rising costs.

Of those that have remained with their present vehicle, 65.8 per cent said that they’ve kept it for more than six months longer than originally intended.


Meanwhile, a further 21.4 per cent of respondents said that they’d kept their vehicle between three and six months longer.

The study spoke to 1,017 in-market buyers, of which 14.2 per cent also said that they had turned to the used market after being priced out of buying a new car.

Furthermore, in news that could impact heavily on garages, 12.8 per cent of owners said they were considering carrying out their own vehicle servicing and maintenance in order to save money during the cost-of-living crisis.


Reacting to the findings, Steve Huntingford, editor of 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.’

Car Dealer has previously reported on the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on car buyers and dealers alike.

Last month a separate What Car? study found that the situation has led to fewer people opting for an EV.


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Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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