Less than 4% of UK consumers are planning to purchase a car in the next three months, according to new research from Deloitte.
The firm’s latest Consumer Tracker based on a survey of 3,000 consumers, found there has been a steady decline in planned purchases over the last year as consumers show more caution over major purchases.
The report also found that consumers are generally comfortable with the affordability of their car payments. Some 57% of respondents said they would keep their monthly payments the same if they were offered the chance to change the terms of their plan without a penalty.
While the majority of consumers are comfortable with repayments, 13% said they would be willing to downgrade their car or end their lease to reduce their monthly costs.
Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead at Deloitte, said UK consumers appear to be increasingly wary of making major purchases. “The UK new car market declined 2.5 per cent in the first three quarters of the year and is at its lowest level since 2013, according to the SMMT. Unfortunately, there is no sign of a quick fix.
“The percentage of consumers planning to purchase a car in the next three months has fallen from a high of seven per cent in Q4 2017, to just under four per cent this quarter – the lowest level recorded since the Tracker began.
“In addition to a fall in new car sales, there are a number of potential headwinds for the automotive industry. For example, the value of the pound against the euro has fallen by 12 per cent over the past three years. So far, the consumer has been shielded from price rises associated with currency fluctuation, but if the pound continues to fall, manufacturers may be forced to pass on the costs to consumers.”