GfK Automotive highlights changing motorist habits

Posted on 12 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

The research, carried out by the automotive consultancy GfK Automotive, shows that more British motorists are scrapping breakdown coverage and keeping their cars for longer.

The organisation surveyed 4,270 motorists in the study and found that a third said they were more likely to put off buying a new car for at least one year because of the stagnant economic conditions. According to GfK Automotive, this will cost the industry over £1bn.

As well as shifting attitudes towards the purchasing of new vehicles, 5% of those interviewed are ditching existing breakdown cover and 25% have changed their insurance provider to reduce premiums. All this is predicted to cause long-lasting and widespread damage to the industry.

The study also found that over half of the respondents cut their car use in the last 12 months, with one in 10 increasing car sharing as a way to spread costs of running their cars. Despite all this, there is one cause to be a little more cheerful: more motorists are going to their local independent garages as opposed to dealerships to get their cars fixed.

Francisco Lopez of GfK Automotive said: “It is no longer the case that people will simply purchase a second-hand car instead of a new one – many consumers are putting off all major car purchases altogether.”

“Additionally, they are looking to reduce their car budgets in associated areas such as insurance premiums. All of these things take money out of the sector, further weakening it and threatening jobs,” he added.

George Archer