Car spending to hit three-year high

Fewer Britons are planning to get a new or used car over the next six months, but the average amount potential buyers plan to spend is at its highest level in three years, new figures show.

According to Sainsbury's Finance, people have set aside an average of £7,169 for purchasing a car in the six months to August - £527 more than for the September-February period.

The group said the increase is despite a marginal decrease in the number of people who are thinking of buying a new or used car, to 7.15 million for March-August this year from 7.68 million during the previous six months.

Greater London was found to have the highest proportion of people intending to change their vehicle, at 19%, while potential buyers in south east England collectively have the highest amount earmarked for a purchase, at £10.5 billion.

Sainsbury's Finance head of loans Steven Baillie said: "Although the number of people looking to buy a car has slightly dropped, the car industry should not be disheartened as the figures in this latest index present a much more encouraging picture for the sector than they did just 18 months to two years ago."

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