Britain’s drivers are taking a “mend and make-do approach” to car ownership with a fifth of vehicles having more than 100,000 miles on the clock, according to new analysis.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency figures show 9.1 million vehicles on Britain’s roads have reached six figures on their odometers.
That represents 23% of the 40.3 million vehicles registered.
Co-op Insurance, which obtained the data, also said the average age of cars it insures has risen over the past four years.
Many people just aren’t in a position to splash unnecessary cash on a brand new vehicle
Paul Evans, Co-op Insurance
Some 10% of all policies in 2018 were for cars up to two years old, but the figure was just 4% during the first three months of this year.
At the other end of the scale, the proportion of insured cars between six and 10 years old has increased from seven out of 10 to eight out of 10 over the same period.
Co-op Insurance said recent surges in the cost of living and fuel mean it is “of little surprise” that more motorists are opting to keep their existing car on the road rather than splash out on a new model.
The firm’s head of motor insurance, Paul Evans, commented: “It looks like Brits are taking a mend and make-do approach to car ownership as the cost of living and running a car continues to rocket.
“Whilst we know that parts, availability issues and the pandemic, amongst other factors, have hit the new car market badly, many people just aren’t in a position to splash unnecessary cash on a brand new vehicle.
“Instead, it makes more financial sense to keep their existing car going for as long as possible, or to buy a used car.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the number of used cars bought in the UK during the first quarter of 2022 increased by 5.1% compared with the same period in 2021.
Prices have hit record levels in recent months.
Cars with more than 100,000 miles on the clock suffer “a lot of wear and tear” so it is “essential” they receive regular servicing and maintenance to avoid them developing problems which are expensive to fix, Mr Evans said.
He added: “With the right care there’s no reason as to why such cars can’t be relied upon for many more miles.
“And with the value of second-hand vehicles shooting up, there’s a real incentive for owners to look after them.”
A recent RAC survey indicated that 47% of drivers planned to change their vehicle in the following three years, down from 57% in 2019.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The average car on the UK roads is getting older.
“Whilst modern vehicles are more reliable than ever, we still need healthy new and used car markets so that older, less efficient vehicles are replaced with the latest low, ultra-low and zero-emission models to improve our air quality and tackle climate change.”