Britain’s motorists are changing the car more often than their phones, according to data from automotive specialists hpi.
With new models coming to market seemingly every week and the explosion in personal contract purchase (PCP) deals drivers are now chopping and changing their wheels more often than ever.
Gone are the days when people bought a car and stuck with it until the scrapyard beckoned, as data from hpi shows that some car makers are seeing average returns of models in just 18 months.
Given that most phone contracts last 24 or even 36 months the figures suggest that some motorists may change their vehicle twice before they change their mobile.
James Dower used car specialist at hpi, comments: “After buying a house, the car was traditionally the biggest outlay for most consumers, but now they are far more likely to change their car more often than their technology products or some regular household objects. The car is still a status symbol and getting a new one allows people to show off to a degree.
“Changing cars with such regularity was almost unheard of just ten years ago. Previously it was fairly common for motorists to have their vehicles for a minimum of five years or longer but that has now changed dramatically and dropped to just two years for millions of drivers.”
The proliferation of PCP deals is thought to be behind the rapid change in drivers’ approach to car ownership. Around 80 per cent of car purchases are now made using PCP and with terms of two or three years buyers are encouraged to switch to a new model regularly. What’s more, dealers will try to entice customers into switching early with special offers on newer models.
James Dower, adds: “We are continuing to see the iphonification of the automotive industry as consumers increasingly pay to drive rather than pay to own their cars.
“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 cars as well as their mobile phones.”