Car ownership has increased in the north, but declined in the south according to new data from British Car Auctions following a survey of 4,000 motorists. The BCA Used Car Market Report reveals regional trends in car ownership as families tackle on-going financial pressures.
The key findings reveal that 72% of families own at least one car; there has been a 1% increase in two car families year-on-year; two-car ownership in the North has increased to 29% from 16% in 2012; families with three cars or more has risen to 10% from 3% in the South West; motorists in the South East who no longer own a car has increased by 4% year on year; 14% say they will certainly or quite likely buy a car in the next year compared to 11% in 2012.
"For many families, a car is vital for getting to and from work, getting the kids to school and doing the weekly shop, so car ownership is a strong indicator of economic confidence," explained Tim Naylor, Editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report. "Encouragingly, in our latest report based on independent research of 4,000 motorists, car ownership has remained static with 72% of families owning at least one car. There has been a decline, however, from 2010, when 77% of households owned at least one car."
The BCA Used Car Market Report data shows there has been a 1% increase in two car families in the past year across the UK, and the same for three-or- more-car families with a 1% drop in one-car families.
When looking at the picture across the country, the research shows an often sharp increase in multi-car families across a number of UK regions, perhaps reflecting concerns about public transport costs and infrastructure in rural areas. Two-car ownership in the North has increased to 29% from 16% in 2012 and families with three cars or more has risen to 10% from 3% in the South West.
In contrast, in parts of the country where there is a more comprehensive public transport infrastructure, car ownership has actually dropped. In particular, there’s a 4% increase in the number of motorists in the South East who no longer own a car - from 26% in 2012 to 30% in 2013.
The findings also suggest that the UK may be turning a corner in consumer confidence as lower inflation, a slowdown in fuel price rises, improving employment prospects and a more stable economy seem to be helping to restore car buyers’ confidence, according to Naylor.
"There has been an increase in those planning to buy a car in the next year - with 14% saying they will certainly or quite likely buy a car in the next year compared to 11% in 2012. And the number of motorists saying they won’t be buying a car in the future has dropped by 2% in the last year.
"In particular, low and 0% interest offers could be creating fresh demand for new cars, with 40% of motorists who responded to the BCA research saying that they were considering buying new rather than used for their next car. This is good news for the market as a whole as new cars create used car stock in future."