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Savvy Brits planning to buy more used cars

Used car lot

Two in five UK adults are planning to change their car within the next two years and most are likely to buy a second-hand vehicle, according to new research.

Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance found that the average amount they plan to spend is £14,070 and men spend almost £5,000 more than women on a new set of wheels – £16,036 compared to £11,360.

When it comes to top models, according to Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance data, the Ford Focus is the most popular model for drivers, followed by the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Corsa.

Among those in the market for a used car, almost a quarter (23%) are being savvy with their cash by deliberately choosing to buy their new wheels in April or October to take advantage of lower prices following new registration plate changes in March and September.

“It’s encouraging to see many drivers being smart with their cash and identifying the impact new registration plates have on the cost of older cars,” said Karen Hogg, Head of Insurance at Sainsbury’s Bank.

“However, before making the purchase it’s important drivers undertake the necessary financial checks for example researching good quality car insurance.”

Five tips when buying a car

  1. Do your desk research – Before you hit the forecourts, think about what you really need from a car. There’s no point buying a two-seater convertible if you’re about to start a family, so work out what’s realistic
  2. Timing is crucial – As our research shows, if you can afford to wait, there are deals to be had in April and October as drivers take advantage of the new registration plates released in the previous months
  3. Think outside your local area – While popping down to your local car dealership might seem like the easiest option, it is always worth broadening your search further afield to make sure you are paying the best price for your new wheels
  4. Set a budget – While many UK adults balance the books before buying a car itself, it’s also important to consider the financial commitment that continues after you’ve driven out of the dealership. Setting a monthly budget for those regular costs such as fuel, road tax and toll payments can help put the brakes on any overspending
  5. Ticking all the boxes – Make sure you sort out your car insurance and vehicle tax before you take ownership of the car. Just like when you buy a property, you must have insurance in place as soon as you’ve become the legal owner – even if you’re not driving it just yet.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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