‘Cars swapped more frequently than mattresses and mobiles’

There’s a trend for people to change their cars more often than their mobile phones and mattresses.

There’s a trend for people to change their cars more often than their mobile phones and mattresses. - Credit: PA

UK consumers are trading their cars in more often than they are changing their mattress and bedding, new data has revealed.

Automotive expert Cap HPI has found the length of time motorists own their cars has dropped significantly, creating a scenario where they would sooner change their vehicle than their mattress or mobile phone.

It is advised that mattresses should be changed every seven or eight years to ensure a healthy night's sleep, and counteract the fact that people lose an average of 285ml of fluid each night and shed 454g of dead skin per month.

However, Cap HPI's data shows some car manufacturers are now seeing vehicles returned in an average of two years, with evidence of shorter 18-month leases growing in popularity. The average phone contract lasts between 18 to 24 months.

Philip Nothard, retail and consumer specialist at Cap HPI, said: 'What we are seeing is the 'iPhonification' of the car industry as consumers increasingly pay to drive rather than pay to own their vehicles.

'It's the same model as the mobile phone industry where people are comfortable paying a monthly fee – only they are now doing this with their vehicles as well as their mobiles.'

A growing personal contract purchase (PCP) market, along with other finance options, is having a significant effect on the car industry, and is contributing to these changing consumer habits.

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Personal contract hire (PCH) is also on the rise, as consumers start to prefer usership rather than outright ownership. Cap HPI estimates that roughly 80% of new car sales are on finance.

He added: 'Not so long ago it was fairly common for motorists to have their cars for a minimum of five years or longer, but that has now changed dramatically and dropped to just two years for millions of motorists.

'After buying a house, the car was usually the biggest outlay for most consumers, but now they are far more likely to change their car more often than their mattress.

'Consumer demand remains strong in the used car market and there are lots of used bargains waiting to be snapped up. As PCP becomes more popular, and accessible in the used market, motor dealers expect its use to double in the future, so we're going to see people changing their cars with increasing regularity.'

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