Well, here's a surprise: paying up front for a car is increasingly falling out of favour with UK drivers, according to research from Close Brothers Motor Finance.
Apparently, the proportion of drivers saying they will opt for finance, leasing or renting for their next car has increased by 6% (from 37% of total buyers in the car market in 2018 to 43% now). This trend is driven by the young, 60% of whom will borrow, lease or rent to acquire their cars, with the majority saying this was for lifestyle reasons rather than financial ones.
Although paying for a car up front is the most common way of purchasing a car, the proportion planning to do this for their next car fell from 63% in 2018 to 57% this year. So, yes, paying with cash is going out of fashion and that is very understandable for those who want a simple, uncomplicated and rather more expensive life.
At our end of things, rather than stumping up an initial deposit and then finding the easy monthly payments, you know what to do. Buy affordably used. And £5000 always seems to me like a sensibly solid budget to play with.
The first thing I see is a Land Rover Freelander, which is becoming something of an obsession. To me, it is an alt-Defender, at least until we become either happy or sad about the new one. So £5000 for a 2008 2.2 TD4 SE with a panoramic roof, leather and Bluetooth seems very reasonable, even with 106,000 miles.
Probably the most sensible family hatch of all would be a 2011 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Zetec with just 57,000 miles. It has a full-up Ford service history and you will pay just £20 road tax. It may be evil diesel but officially you’ll get 67.3mpg, although anything near 60 is great going. This is a real no-brainer to buy.
Actually, if you need a cheeky little hatch that’s more recent, I’d steer in the direction of a 2015 Fiat 500 1.2 – a Pop Star model with 26,000 miles. Finished in white with air-con and service history, this is a pretty little thing to use on your daily commute.