One in every three drivers plan to change their car in 2022, according to new research published this month. A study from AA Financial Services found 32 percent of the 2,000 British adults questioned planned to change their car this year, although there’s a shifting preference toward monthly payment, rather than buying outright.

According to the survey, younger motorists are leading the charge, with 43 percent of under-35s planning to change their car in 2022. In comparison, just 23 percent of over-55s intend to make the same change.

And there’s a noticeable shift towards paying monthly, with fewer than half the respondents (41 percent) saying they would pay full price for a car, although that number rose to more than half (51 percent) among customers over the age of 55. It seems the transition to electric cars could be a factor in that, with 19 percent of respondents saying they wanted a short-term finance deal on a petrol or diesel car, with a view to going electric in the future.

Men viewing car loan finance application on laptop

Among those not interested in buying their next car outright, more than a third (36 percent) said they liked the idea of having all their servicing and maintenance costs included in a single monthly payment. And more than a quarter (27 percent) said they wanted the freedom to change their car every few years, despite the fact buying outright would not prevent motorists making such a decision.

“The promise of fresh car demand in 2022 is welcome news, following a challenging year for the car industry,” said James Fairclough, the CEO of AA Financial Services. “The impact of Covid and the global shortage of semi-conductors has seriously impacted new car registrations this year, pushing up demand for used cars, with previous AA research suggesting that values of some used cars has risen by up to 57 percent.”

“What we expect to see in 2022 is the second-hand market benefitting from resurgent car demand. We also believe the way people pay for their cars will change and diversify. As people think more about convenience and short-term flexibility, propositions such as PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) and leasing (contract hire) will become more popular. The economic uncertainty of Covid and the transition to electric cars will continue to influence drivers until the traditional notion of paying full price for a car and keeping it for as long as possible is something for the history books.”

“For many people, the frustrations with traditional car buying, together with their desire for simpler and flexible alternatives, points towards re-evaluating the relative merits of PCP as a timely and relevant product.”