Experian reveals the happiest, best-budgeting and biggest-spending areas

London, 7 December 2016: Leicester is revealed as the country’s Christmas capital, where residents enjoy festive fun more than anywhere else in the UK.

According to new research from Experian, Leicesterians are most likely to enjoy a merry Yuletide, with two thirds (66%) saying they get “a lot of enjoyment” out of Christmas. What’s more, it looks like they will be having the brightest Christmas, spending a whopping average £60 on Christmas lights, nearly double the national average of £32. The city, one of the oldest in England, also has the highest average spend on alcohol, spending an average of £33 on wine and £32 on spirits per person.

Experian polled more than 4,000 UK residents to build the most comprehensive picture of the nation’s festive spending habits, which have been combined in an interactive map of the country’s biggest Christmas spenders and Scrooges.

Last minute Londoners

People in Wakefield should be the best-prepared for the big day, with almost one in ten (9%) saying they do the majority of their Christmas shopping seven to twelve monthsin advance. Whereas those in the capital leave it the latest, with one in seven Londoners purchasing the bulk of their presents for others in the final week before Christmas Day.

London is also the Christmas capital in terms of credit this year, with one in five using their credit cards to pay for their festive season and four in ten Londoners (43%) putting Christmas on some form of credit. Those living in the capital are also the most self-indulgent, spending a massive £126 on treats for themselves over the holidays. The average Londoner will spend £114 on nights out over the next couple of weeks.

Best budgeters

The survey found that those in Northern Ireland were the best at keeping control of their Christmas costs, with over a fifth (21%) saying that they stick unfailingly to their budget and never overspend. While people in the North West of England are the most likely to throw caution to the wind, with more than a third (34%) admitting they often or always exceed their budget, which could help explain why nearly one in ten Liverpudlians (9%) say they get no enjoyment at all from the Christmas – the highest in the country.

Meanwhile, those living in Coventry have been named the biggest buyers, with each resident buying gifts for an average 11 people – more than anyone else in the country. 

Spend savvy to avoid a New Year hangover

James Jones at Experian comments, "Our research lifts the lid on the seasonal spending habits of people right across the UK, with residents of Leicester getting into the festive spirit more than most. But without careful planning in the run up to Christmas we can all be left with a dose of the New Year blues. No one wants to start 2017 with a festive financial hangover so plan what you can afford to spend and make sure you stick to it. You should also make sure you're getting best deals on any borrowing, particularly if you are using credit to spread the cost of Christmas.

“A credit card price war means there are a number of fantastic offers available, including 0% balance transfer deals lasting more than three years. But be savvy and do your homework. Checking your Experian Credit Score will give you a great idea where you stand in the eyes of lenders and, if you use a service like CreditMatcher, you can quickly find money-saving deals you are likely to be accepted for."

Search the highest and lowest Christmas spenders with Experian’s new interactive map, which enables users to click on individual regions to find the amount spent on presents, festive food and drink – including everything from sprouts to spirits.

The Christmas Capitals


-          Residents of Glasgow spend the most on presents for other people (£500.12 per person)

-          Londoners spend the most on themselves (£126 per person)


-          Those living in Leicester spend more on wine and spirits than the rest of the country (£33 on wine and £32 on spirits per person)

-          The North East is the only region to spend more on spirits than wine (£28.07 per person on spirits, £26.69 on wine)


-          Leicester locals spend the most on food in general (£153.39)

-          The North East spends the most on mince pies and chocolate (£19.21 on mince pies and £26.71 on chocolate)

-          Those in Greater London spend the most on vegetables (£23.66



Notes to editors:

The poll was conducted by Censuswide across Britain in November 2016 and reached a representative sample of 4,069 UK consumers aged 16 and over.

Media interviews available upon request.


Priya Sahib

Mobile: +44 (0) 7816 491152

Email: Priya.Sahib@experian.com


Jasmin Prichard

Mobile: +44 (0) 77629 48567

Email: jasmin.prichard@marlinpr.com


About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2016, for the third year running, we were named one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes magazine.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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