Alfa Romeo

Cars switched ‘more often than mattresses and mobiles’

In recent years, the length of time motorists own a car has plummeted and they are now likely to change their car more often than they change their mobile phone or their bedding, according to automotive experts.

Experts advise that mattresses should be changed every seven or eight years, although in reality many consumers don’t stick to this guideline.  After a lifespan of seven years, a mattress will become home to considerable unpleasantness with an average adult losing 285ml of fluid each night and shedding 454g of dead skin cells a year.  Typically, the average UK mobile phone contract lasts between 18-24 months.

Meanwhile, data produced by automotive experts, CAP-HPI, shows that some car manufacturers are now seeing average returns of vehicles in 24 months, and there is evidence of a growing number of 18-month leases in the market.  

“What we are seeing is the ‘iphonification’ of the car industry, as consumers increasingly pay to drive rather than to own their vehicles,” said CAP-HPI’s Retail & Consumer specialist, Philip Nothard.  “It’s the same model as the mobile phone industry where people are comfortable paying a monthly fee – only they are now doing this with their vehicles as well.”

The growth of Personal Contract Purchase and other finance options is having a profound effect on the motor industry and we are now seeing consumers changing their motor vehicles more often than household objects such as bedding and their mobile devices.  Personal Contract Hire is also on the increase, as consumers increasingly look towards usership rather than ownership.  CAP-HPI estimates that around 80% of new car sales are on finance.

“Not so long ago,” Philip added, “it was fairly common for motorists to have their cars for a minimum of five years or longer, but that has now changed dramatically and dropped to just two years for millions of motorists.  After buying a house, the car was usually the biggest outlay for most consumers, but now they are far more likely to change their car more often than their mattress.

“Consumer demand remains strong in the used car market and there are lots of bargains waiting to be snapped up.  As PCP becomes more popular and accessible in the used market, motor dealers expect its use to double so we’re going to see people changing their cars with increasing regularity.”

Added: 07 September 2016

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