People living with parents show largest fall in used car buying over pandemic period, says Startline

21 Jun 2021

People living with their parents have shown the largest fall in propensity to buy a used car over the pandemic period – while homeowners and tenants have both become more likely to be in the market.

New figures from Startline show that at the start of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020, the proportion of finance paid out by the company to people who were living with their parents was 28.9%. By April 2021, this had fallen to 17.5%.


Over the same time period, the number of home owners for whom the company paid out finance had increased from 12.4% to 17.3% and for tenants, from 58.7% to 65.2%. Also, the average age of the used car buyer climbed from 33.6 years to 38.1.


Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “We’re actually seeing quite a sizeable shift in the type of buyer who is in the market for a used car, based on the statistics from our customer base.


“To an extent, explaining this is a matter of informed speculation but there has been some ongoing evidence showing that people with disposable income have been buying cars during successive lockdowns when they couldn’t spend their money elsewhere.


“Also, it is possible that people living at home with their parents, who will tend to be younger, have been hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic and this will have decreased their propensity to buy. Certainly, there is reporting to show that is the case.”


Paul added that, with used car prices rising quickly because of supply issues in the market, it was possible that these trends would persist for a while yet.


“We’ve seen the average price of a car that we finance rise quite substantially over the course of the pandemic and much of this is because stock is in short supply. This, of course, makes it harder for people to enter the market.”