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Growing number of people looking to buy used car in next three months – report

  • 18% of car buyers expect to make purchase within three months
  • 44% expect to buy before the end of the year, says Motors
  • Consumers will continue to shift to monthly payments

Time 12:05 pm, May 22, 2024

More people are planning to buy a used car over the next three months than they were a year ago.

That’s according to fresh research carried out for Motors’ Consumer Insight Panel, which found that 17.8% of in-market decision-makers were looking to buy one during the next three-month period, versus 17% last year – a 5% (or 0.8 percentage point) rise year on year.

What’s more, the proportion expecting to buy before the end of 2024 is up from 42.9% to 44.1% – a 3% (or 1.2 percentage point) year-on-year increase.

The independently researched panel, which polled 2,008 adults about their car-buying plans, also found a growing shift towards monthly payments, although outright purchases will still be the most popular form of payment.

Overall, 61% of owners paid for their current car with an outright purchase but this will drop to 53% in the next buying cycle, the survey found.

Those paying monthly via finance or lease arrangements will grow from 28% to 33%, and monthly subscriptions will grow as well – from 11% to 15%.

Buyers are currently paying £262 per month on average for vehicles aged over two years and £306 for nearly-new cars aged up to two years

Motors marketing director Lucy Tugby said: ‘Our Consumer Insight Panel research shows just how much stronger the intent among used car buyers is to buy than it was this time last year, with many already searching online for their next purchase.

‘The groups saying they are most likely to buy are those aged under 35 – typically with changing requirements of young families, and older parents whose children have left home.

‘This suggests opportunities for dealers considering stocking medium to large cars, especially SUVs, for the former and downsizing or “treat” cars for the latter.

‘Importantly, our research also highlights the opportunity for dealers to increase finance penetration to support consumers’ budgets.

‘We recommend that dealers highlight payment options and monthly payments from online adverts through to in-store promotion.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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