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Private car buyers versus company car drivers

Analysis by CACI (

In the last article, we took a look at who is driving new cars. This included both company car drivers and private new car buyers. In this month’s article we find out about the differences between these two sets of new car drivers.

Company car drivers and new car buyers have very similar demographic profiles. The general rule is that more affluent people are more likely to drive a new car than the less affluent.

However age and life stage separate the company car driver from the new car buyer. The young and the old are more likely to purchase a new car themselves than they are to drive a company car. It’s the secure and affluent family folk who most often have the benefit of a company car.

The Educated Urbanites of this world, if they drive a car, are more likely to be driving a car they bought new than a company car, their careers are still taking off and they find themselves in positions where a company car is not on offer or they are taking a cash allowance from their employer.

At the other end of the age spectrum are the Affluent Greys, who now in retirement have no choice but to begrudgingly buy their own car. Don’t feel too sorry for them, they have the wealth to do it and the prudence to do it wisely. Choice of car is still influenced by the heart to some extent with this patriotic group having a particular affinity for the good old British Rover. Whilst those who have embraced the EU opt for the safety of a Volvo or Volkswagen Passat.

The three prominent groups of company car drivers are Wealthy Executives, Flourishing Families and Secure Families. These groups make up 33% of the population but account for 53% of company car drivers and 44% of private new car buyers. Wealthy Executives are twice as likely as the average person to work as a professional or a senior manager.

Accordingly they are over twice as likely to have a company car, which they will probably keep in the garage of their 4 or 5 bedroom detached-house. They probably have a second and even a third car too. Which is why they still form a substantial portion of new car buyers. On a Sunday morning they are faced with two dilemmas, which car to use to pop out and pick up the paper - and then which paper to buy? Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times or The Observer?

The Secure Families are fairly average types, what they have in common with the Flourishing Families is their choice of employment with middle management and office/clerical work common in these two groups and offering the opportunity of to drive a company car. These two groups are also likely to have a second car, which again could well have been bought new.

These affluent families are located out of town centres, in the suburbs and in the countryside surrounding major towns. With a particularly strong presence in the South East of England stretching up and down the M1, A1M and M11 corridors. Very high numbers are found around Cambridge, Peterborough and Bishop’s Stortford.

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