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Market Report March 2017

The biannual review of the UK’s new and used car market, consumer buying and selling intentions, and data and observations taken from activity on Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace


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Key Findings

81% of current car owners intend to continue owning cars in the future

More than three quarters of current car owners are committed to owning a car throughout their lifetime. 14% are unsure and only 5% are planning to discontinue ownership in the future.

73% of car owners identify ‘independence’ as key motivation for car ownership

The independence that owning a car has given people over the decades remains unthreatened by any other forms of transport. As a result, almost three quarters of owners agree that ‘independence’ is the key motivation for ownership today.

75% of motorists living in the centre of large cities own at least one car

Despite being the lowest area for car ownership in the UK, there are still three quarters of motorists in the centre of large cities that own at least one car.

46% of motorists living in the centre of large cities own a car because they enjoy driving

33% of motorists identified the ‘enjoyment’ of driving as a key motivation for car ownership. Surprisingly, this statistic increases for motorists in the centre of large cities, despite higher levels of congestion.

98% of car buyers who bought on finance claim to ‘own’ their car

With almost all recent car buyers who bought on finance claiming to ‘own’ their car, it highlights how the definition of ownership has changed since the prevalence of personal finance plans.

49% of motorists claim to not be interested in fully-autonomous vehicles

With nearly half of all motorists claiming to be disinterested in fully-autonomous vehicles, raising desirability with motorists is another challenge that may lie ahead for the new technology.