The economic uncertainty surrounding the UK has caused 2.4m drivers to change their mind about purchasing a new car, opting instead for a used car.
This is according to a survey from Close Brothers Motor Finance, which found that the portion of drivers planning on buying a used car has dramatically increased. In contrast, the number of drivers planning to purchase a new car has fallen.
The survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers and 200 dealers found that 49% of drivers plan on buying a used car next – up from 41% last year. One third of respondents said they were considering a new car purchase – down 8% on last year.
Brexit was noted as the key factor affecting consumer appetite for buying a car. Some 48% of those surveyed said Brexit had had a negative impact on their plans to buy a car in the next three years, with a third of those stating they were more likely to buy a used car or delay their purchase as a result.
Uncertainty around fuel type also contributed to consumer confusion, with 18% of respondents put off buying a car in 2019 because of fuel worries. One in four diesel drivers said they were put off because of obscurity around the future cost of running a diesel car.
Despite the challenges, 93% of dealers remained confident about future business prospects. Two thirds of dealers responded with specific opportunities for the business. Maintaining the stability of the business was a reason to be confident for 24% of respondents, while one in five said they had experienced an increased demand for particular models.
“The motor industry is a cornerstone of the British economy, and in these unprecedented economic times it is no surprise to see the industry experiencing a number of challenges,” said Rebecca McNeil, chief executive officer at Close Brothers Motor Finance.
“We’re seeing a number of dealers responding to the increased demand for used vehicles, while others are embracing the trends towards alternative fuel vehicles. Overall, the vast majority of dealers feel confident, and can see the possibilities that exist beyond Brexit.”