Dewy-eyed drivers: One fifth of Brits name their cars…
- A fifth (20%) of drivers in the UK have given their car a name
- A further fifth (21%) rank their car as one of the most important things in their lives
- ‘Braking up’ is hard to do, with nearly 2.2 million drivers admitting they’ve hung onto cars despite them repeatedly breaking down
- While 5% say they’ve spent more time in their car than with their partner
London, 24 April 2018 – The British stiff upper lip is looking increasingly shaky as new research from AA Cars shows that Brits are capable of showing a surprisingly sentimental side – towards their motors.
In fact, a fifth (20%) of UK drivers say they’ve given their car a name. Even though younger drivers aged 18-24 are more likely to christen their motors (47%), older motorists have gone a little misty-eyed too with 22% of 45-54 year olds having named their vehicles.
The AA-Populus poll, which surveyed over 20,000 drivers, also found that a fifth (21%) of drivers count their motors as one of the most important things in their lives. A sizeable six in 10 (63%) also say they’d be lost without their car.
UK drivers, particularly younger motorists, seem to have trouble letting go of their cars – over a quarter (26%) of 18-24 year olds have bought into the ‘don’t move, improve’ mentality and have spent more money repairing a car than they paid for it originally.
This attachment to their beloved motors sometimes seems to border on the detrimental – one in 10 (7%) drivers have admitted to hanging onto their cars even though they’ve repeatedly broken down in the past.
For some, cars even take centre stage in their personal lives with 5% of Brits admitting that they’ve spent more time in their cars than with their partners.
Simon Benson (pictured left) of AA Cars, says: “Whether it’s giving their car a name, personalising the number plate or even holding onto that beloved banger through multiple breakdowns, UK motorists go notoriously misty-eyed when it comes to their cars.
Even as the car buying market starts to shift away from decade-long ownership towards upgrading after shorter terms, sentimentality still seems to play a part in dictating how long Brits hold onto their motors.
The rise in the popularity of car finance products is driving this change – a huge number of new cars are bought using finance products such as PCPs, which ask drivers at the end of the deal whether they want to pay a final payment and own the car or upgrade to a newer model.
This shift towards car finance is also starting to impact the used car market. For drivers who are holding onto their older vehicles not out of affection, but more because they don’t feel their personal savings will cover a nearly-new motor, car finance products can provide a useful avenue to ownership.
For these drivers, it’s important that the full range of finance products is made available to them.”
 Populus interviewed 20,496 AA members on the AA-Populus online panel between 13th and 20th March 2018. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
 According to ONS, there are 30,900,000 drivers on the road. 7% of drivers say they’ve been so attached to their car that they’ve put off selling it despite it repeatedly breaking down. 7% of 30,900,000 is 2,163,000
About AA Cars
AA Cars is the UK’s number one online resource for buying a used car. Every car comes with free AA Breakdown cover for 12 months and history check, and many dealers have AA Vehicle Inspections – a thorough 128-point vehicle inspection independently conducted by the AA.