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04 April 24 Press releases

Brits favour saving for a brand-new car over a property amid recent boom in house prices


  • 18–29-year-olds are most likely to choose this saving priority, with many now seeing owning a brand-new car as a bigger life achievement then buying their first home
  • A third (33%) of respondents say they would drive their new car to a friend's or family's house to show it off within the first week of ownership
  • Over a quarter (26%) believe that it's very important to have the latest year number plate when driving a brand-new car


As the rising costs associated with owning a home mean the prospect of becoming a homeowner is more and more unattainable for many Brits, new research1 from the UK’s largest automotive marketplace Auto Trader, shows how many individuals in the UK are prioritising saving for a brand-new car over getting onto the property ladder.

The research which saw 2,032 UK drivers that had previously bought or owned a brand new car with no previous owners surveyed found that over a third (35%) think that buying a brand-new car is now a bigger milestone than purchasing a property, perhaps because the prospect is much more attainable.

This attitude is especially high among 18-29 year olds and Londoners, two groups hit hardest by rising house prices, with over half of respondents from both groups (52% 18-29 year olds and 55% Londoners), now opting to save for the keys to four wheels, rather than four walls.

Price aside, men in particular, listed purchasing a new car as the ultimate status symbol with over three quarters (78%) believing it was a key representation of how successful you are, compared to just 71% of females.

And beyond social standing, the survey showed that not only do people think they look great in a new car, they also feel great. Amid the smell of fresh leather or the gloss of a new car’s paint job, 54% of respondents agree that buying a new car can increase their endorphin and dopamine levels. In fact, over two thirds (68%) of drivers think there is no better feeling than driving a new car.

While this personal boost is crucial, for many drivers, impressing and outdoing others is just as important. When considering key factors in purchasing a brand-new car, over a quarter (27%) drivers admitted they had thought about how the car will look on social media or how many likes they will get from friends or family, with 20% saying they wanted to have a better car than their friends or neighbours.

Once the car is purchased, many drivers are keen to show off their new wheels as quickly as possible, with a third (33%) of respondents saying they would definitely drive their new car to a friend's or family's house within the first week of ownership and 39% would drive it around specific routes in their local area to show off. In addition to this, over a quarter (26%) feel that it’s extremely important to have the latest year number plate when driving a brand new car.


"The feeling of purchasing and getting behind the wheel of a brand new car for the first time can provide a huge boost in terms of satisfaction and motivation for an individual. With the ever-growing challenges of getting on the property ladder, it’s clear that the focus and life goals for a number of Brits have changed entirely. This has opened the door for many to consider channelling their financial efforts into saving for a brand-new car which features some of the newest tech innovations and accessories along with the latest number plate that will no doubt impress their friends and family both in person and on social!"

Key spokesperson

Erin Baker

Auto Trader’s Editorial Director



Amid this growing demand to own a brand-new car, Auto Trader has also revealed the new cars that have received the most enquiries on the Auto Trader website in March.


Most in demand new car models on Auto Trader in March2 ranked by enquiries – all fuel types.




Share of enquiries sent to retailers


Land Rover

Defender 110







Land Rover

Range Rover



Land Rover

Range Rover Sport




1 Series




5 Series



















For those looking to find out more about the latest brand-new vehicles and the 24 number plate in stock on-site, Auto Trader has a dedicated new car section on-site here.


1Research of 2,032 UK drivers that have previously bought or owned a brand new car with no previous owners commissioned by Auto Trader and conducted by Prospectus Global between 22nd-25th March 2024.

2 1st – 22nd March 2024

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