James Ruppert: Why Britain’s motoring market is so diverse

What motivates you to buy, how do you do it and how do you finance the whole thing? I’m always interested to find out – and, luckily, you’re always prepared to tell me. Now a report from Car Purchasing Process UK has added some interesting takeaways to what we already know.

Nearly half of UK car owners made their purchase in the past two years, says the report, making our marketplace one of the most fascinating and vibrant in the world. We like to change cars often and keep up with the latest trends, it seems. With over half of those surveyed saying they planned to buy brand new in the next few years and over a third saying they would buy used, that’s a massive turnover of vehicles.

So how do the majority finance it? Those newfangled PCPs? Well, some do. Actually, most dive under their beds, grab their piggy banks and tip out their personal savings. Oh, and is it fancy ads and motoring journalists that influence their buying decisions? Not always: they just fancy a change and most of them go to a dealer.

So how much do you spend? When it comes to used cars, I think there’s a case to be made for £2000 being the new £9999. The cars you can get for this price are outstanding.

How about a 2007 Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI PD with 80,000 miles? It’s got a full service history and is as clean as they come. Want a lovely little hatch to run the errands in? A 2009 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Zetec with 124,000 miles, a full 12-month MOT and a clean bill of health is the perfect family runaround.

If you prefer something a bit more posh, then why not a 2004 BMW 525i SE with 114,000 miles and all the service stamps? They can be a bit troublesome at this age and are not as easily fixable, but at least this one wasn’t a hard-used diesel.