Many motivating factors lead car buyers to their decisions. However, in the UK, the price of a used car is less important than in other European countries. carVertical research reveals that only 28.4% of buyers name it an essential factor when shopping in the second-hand car market. At the same time, Brits pay much more attention to depreciation when choosing their next vehicle. Depreciation accounts for 18.3% of making the car-buying decision in the UK.
Brits swapping their cars more frequently
More differences exist between car buyers from the United Kingdom and continental European countries. According to research, Brits seem to swap cars more often than drivers of other European countries.
“When it comes to the UK, a more significant share of people changes their vehicles every 1-3 years (58.2%). Nobody in the surveyed countries shops for cars as frequently as the British,” says Matas Buzelis, the Head of Communications at carVertical.
27.3% of drivers in the UK change their vehicle every 4-6 years, 7.1% – every 7-10 years, and only 1.1% – less than every ten years. The share of French drivers willing to swap cars less frequently than every decade is much higher – almost 13%. Even though the English Channel geographically separates the countries, the differences are vast in car buying frequency.
Elsewhere in mainland Europe, most drivers (36.3%) change their car every 4 to 6 years, 29.9% – every 1-3 years, 14.4% – every 7-10 years, and 6.6% – less than every 10 years.
Drivers in Western Europe spend more on cars
Depending on the make, model, year, and condition, a used car can cost as little as a few hundred to tens or hundreds of thousands of British Pounds. But how much are drivers in the UK willing to spend on a vehicle?
More than every fifth car buyer (22.7%) in Britain spend £17,700 – 26,500 for their next vehicle, making them the biggest spenders among those in the survey. There is no other country in mainland Europe with such a large share of drivers spending that much for a car.
The category of people spending the least on a used car is the smallest in the continent – only 2.8% of car buyers pay less than £880. Interestingly, the groups of buyers who look to get a car for the price categories of £4,400 – 8,800, £8,800 – 13,300, or £13,300 – 17,700 are very similar and vary from 16 to 16.3%.
The amount of money expected to spend on a used car reflects the economic potential of a particular country. For instance, drivers in Eastern European countries are spending significantly less on their purchases.
Cars with a damage history are less desirable
When choosing a car, most British drivers prefer vehicles with no collision history. Safety and price are also among the top priorities in the UK.
“Carbon emissions and the country of origin of a vehicle are the least important factors for the British. This is where the UK stands out from mainland Europe – the import market for used cars is nearly non-existent,” explains Buzelis.
Besides, a carVertical survey shows that Brits don’t care about the fuel type of their vehicles. However, Mr. Matas Buzelis suggests this will change shortly, with full electrification coming by 2030 in the UK. The expert proposes that fossil fuel-powered vehicles are likely to be extinct from the buyers’ field of view as the residual values of these conventional cars are too fragile compared to the superior EVs.