How many cars have you owned?

A recent study has identified some interesting facts… Breakdowns and car faults are the most common reason UK drivers replace their vehicles and apparently those living in the North of England will, on average, own more cars than motorists in the South.

The study was conducted by the car-buying experts at who asked 2,200 UK drivers over the age of 35 years old a series of questions about the average length of their vehicle ownership, to find out just how many vehicles UK adults go through in a lifetime. 

One of the most significant findings revealed that British motorists will get through 13 cars in their lifetime, on average. 

When asked about their experiences of vehicle ownership throughout the years, it was revealed that respondents typically own cars for longer, later in life. Demographically, it was found that those aged 50+ will usually own a car for seven years, whereas more than two thirds (67%) admitted that when they were younger drivers (aged 18-24) they replaced their vehicle on average every two years.

What’s more, location impacted how long drivers keep their cars for as well. Regionally, it was found that those living in the North of England will, on average, go through 16 cars during their lifetime, while those in the South will own just 10. 

When asked what key factors have led to respondents replacing vehicles more frequently, the most common reasons why were found to be:

  1. Breakdowns and car faults – 81%
  2. Change of lifestyle – 75% 
  3. Change of employment – 63%
  4. Moving to a different area – 60% 
  5. Environmental reasons – 32%  

Some of the lifestyle changes that factored into purchasing a new car included financial reasons (27%), followed by having children (18%) and wanting a new car type (15%).

Quizzed further on the potential environmental reasons for switching cars, the most common answer was revealed to be ‘wanting an electric or hybrid vehicle’ (34%), with ‘reducing car size to lower emissions’ (29%) and ‘wanting a car with an eco-friendlier fuel type’ (19%). 

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson from said:

“This study offers a fascinating insight into the reasons why drivers want to buy a new car.  While it’s not surprising that breakdowns and car faults are big factors, it’s a reminder that you can never be too prepared to have to purchase a new or replacement vehicle. We’re pleased to see sustainability is becoming a major reason to change cars, with the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles constantly on the rise. Consequently, we think these cars will continue to grow in popularity in the future, helping to improve people’s carbon footprint and ultimately take crucial steps towards a greener future.”

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