What to drive now: new wheels in 2021?

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As car dealers and forecourts threw their doors open to the public on 12 April, new data from Leasing.com shows that 18% of Brits are set to buy or lease a new car in 2021. The study, conducted almost a year after lockdown began, looked into the state of the auto market to understand what’s to be expected over the next 12 months.

With millions furloughed and many more forced to work from home during the pandemic, the demand for cars plummeted. But as most of us look to return to work, the need for a car is, happily, on the rise.

Demand is expected to be felt the most in Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber, the two regions with the highest number of Brits expected to change their vehicle in the next 12 months (23% vs 22%).

Growing families seem to be one of the biggest drivers behind the sale of new and used vehicles. More 34–44-year-olds are set to buy (22%) than any other age group and sales amongst married or civil partnered couples are also expected to be high at 21%.

Two-children households again are driving more expected sales (26%) with families with children aged between five and 11 as the ones most likely to change cars (24%).

Leasing.com saw a 16% increase in enquiries from March 2020 to March 2021 with one key reason being financial security: “The pandemic has shifted people’s perception of leasing options when it comes to cars,” says David Timmis, Managing Director of Leasing.com.

“We’re all trying to be more careful with money so lumping all of our savings into a new car doesn’t make sense when you can spread the cost over three or four years. With leasing agreements, the cars are brand new and therefore under warranty which reduces the need for costly maintenance, giving us a little more peace of mind.”

This is reflected in our data: whilst cash is still one of the primary methods of buying a used car (43%), along with personal loans (10%), financing and leasing plans are on the rise with 26% of those expected to use car finance and leasing products to get into their next car.

In the new car market, the relevance on car finance is even greater with statistics from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) showing that 93% of private new cars are bought using either personal contract purchase (PCP), hire purchase (HP) or personal contract hire (PCH also known as leasing). Leasing grew its share of the new car finance market in 2020.

Leasing.com is the UK’s biggest car leasing comparisons site, providing consumers with millions of new car leasing offers on over 20,000 vehicle derivatives and 437 model ranges, including EVs, with a plan to suit any budget or car choice. For more information visit: www.leasing.com