Despite recent rising inflation and slower wage growth, 45% of motorists would buy a car simply because they wanted to be to 'drive something new or different", according to research.
The results are part of a survey conducted by information services company Experian.
The survey also revealed that for 43% of motorists, the main driver for buying a new car was a genuine need to replace a vehicle that was considered to be beyond economical repair.
This suggests that a significant number of motorists are holding onto their car for longer, said Experian.
Cutting the costs of running a car and saving money did, however, still play a primary role for around one third (31%) of car owners, according to the survey.
This was driven mainly by the over 55s, who were most likely to replace a car to reduce running costs (36%), while this was the case for only 20% of 18-24 year olds.
Regionally, drivers in Northern Ireland polled most highly (44%) compared to the North East whose car purchases were least likely to be driven by efficiency factors (23%).
The survey revealed that while motorists in Wales were the most likely to change their car more regularly, it was Yorkshire that stood out as the region where car buyers were most likely to do so because they ‘fancied a change’, with 57% stating this as their number one reason for swapping their current car.
Andrew Ballard, principal consultant at Experian Automotive, said: “A reluctance to take on additional financial responsibilities has reflected the mood among car buyers for a long time, but we have seen both used and new cars sales grow significantly over the past year.
"While running costs still play a role, a desire for change came out as a bigger driver.
"For the motor industry, this research highlights the need to understand who is looking to change, and for what reasons, so that they can better meet the needs of those car buyers and create lasting relationships.
“Factors such as cutting current costs down or reluctance to take on additional financial responsibilities reflect the current mood among a growing number of car buyers.”
Further results showed that the majority (37%) of UK motorists replace their car every five years, followed by 19% who replace their every two years, 15% every eight years and 10% over 10 years. A further 20% stated there was no set pattern.
Younger drivers, aged between 18 and 24, change their vehicle more regularly with 47% doing so every two years.
Approximately a quarter of the drivers in Wales (26%) and Scotland (23%) change cars more regularly than anyone else - every two years.