It reveals cars are the main reason people are tempted to take on too much debt.
Image is a key factor.
Experian says the findings show that despite the rising costs of running a car, a third of UK adults admit to being influenced by how people perceive them.
The same proportion said they would get into debt to give the impression that they were wealthy.
Almost one in five men (18%) are tempted into debt to buy a car, compared with one in ten women.
Kirk Fletcher, Experian automotive division managing director, said: “Increasing debt leads to some people attempting to sell their cars without settling the finance on them, businesses and consumers need to be more cautious.”