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Consumers are changing cars more often than their bedding, says HPI

James Dower, Cap HPI

Consumers change their cars more often than they do their smartphones as their mindset shifts towards “usership rather than ownership”, according to HPI.

Data produced by HPI reveals that some car manufacturers now see average returns of vehicles in 18 months compared to an average mobile phone contract of 24 or 36 months, meaning that some motorists may change their vehicle twice before they change their phone contract again.

Ideally, a mattress should be replaced every eight years (or 96 months) meaning that in the lifetime of one mattress a consumer could have changed their car five times, HPI highlighted.

James Dower, used car specialist at HPI, said: “We are continuing to see the iphonification of the automotive industry as consumers increasingly pay to drive rather than pay to own their cars.

“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 cars as well as their mobile phones.”

Personal contract purchase (PCP) and other finance options are having a profound effect on car ownership which is why the motor industry is witnessing consumers changing their cars more often than household objects such as bedding and their mobile devices.

Personal Contract Hire (PCH) is also on the increase, as consumers increasingly look towards usership rather than ownership, HPI said.

HPI estimates that around 80% of new car sales are financed.

Dower added: “After buying a house, the car was traditionally the biggest outlay for most consumers, but now they are far more likely to change their car more often than their technology products or some regular household objects. The car is still a status symbol and getting a new one allows people to show off to a degree.

“Changing cars with such regularity was almost unheard of just ten years ago. Previously it was fairly common for motorists to have their vehicles for a minimum of five years or longer but that has now changed dramatically and dropped to just two years for millions of drivers.”

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