Image conscious consumers tempted into debt by cars


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Serj Heera
Press Relations Executive, Automotive & Insurance
+44 (0) 115 976 8945 Tel Email

Image conscious consumers tempted into debt by cars

Research underlines the importance of checking a car’s finance history

Nottingham, UK, 29 May 2008 - Cars are the biggest culprits when it comes to tempting people into spending beyond their means, according to a consumer survey[1] by Experian®, the global information services company.  The research reveals that men are nearly twice as likely to get into four-wheeled debt than women.

Despite the rising costs of living and the spiralling costs of running a car, a third of UK adults admit to being influenced by how people perceive them and would most likely get themselves into debt just to give the impression that they are wealthy. 

The survey highlights that image plays a bigger role for men, with almost one in five of them (18 per cent) being tempted to get into debt to buy a car, compared to just one in ten women.


The survey also shows that people living in the East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia are the most likely in the UK to go over budget with a car to appear wealthy (16 per cent).

Kirk Fletcher, Managing Director of Experian’s Automotive division, said: “The credit crunch is having a significant impact on consumer confidence across the UK, yet this survey highlights the fact that the consumer’s desire for a car that projects the right image remains as strong as ever. 

“However, increasing debt leads to an increased risk of fraud.  Recently there has been an increase in the number of stories in the media where people have attempted to sell their cars without settling the finance on them.  It highlights the need for both businesses and consumers to be more cautious in their dealings.  Outstanding finance is the biggest issue facing used car buyers and the only way to ensure they protect themselves is by checking out the status of the car before buying it through services such as Experian’s AutoCheck”.

Of the 2,006 respondents who took part in the survey, 9 per cent were already from households that owned three or more cars, 29 per cent were from households that owned two cars, 42 per cent were from households that owned one car and 21 per cent were from households that owned no cars.

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The word ‘Experian’ is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd. and/or its associated companies.

About Experian’s Automotive division
Experian's Automotive division provides powerful data insight to organisations within the automotive industry, including manufacturers, motor retailers, motor finance companies and insurance providers.  It also works with carefully selected partners to deliver information direct to consumers.

Experian’s risk management products provide clients with an independent assessment of vehicles, prospective business partners and customers and potential and existing employees.   Powerful customer insight also enables these clients to accurately target the hottest customers and prospects using the most cost effective channels.~

Experian’s Automotive division works with over 80 per cent of the AM 100 and Motor Trader Top 200 enabling them to manage the risks and maximise the opportunities that face their businesses every day.

[1] Based on an independent online survey conducted by Experian on behalf of CreditExpert