Fewer motorists are considering a car purchase in the next six months and the total amount people expect to spend on a vehicle has dropped for the first time in two years, new figures show.
According to Sainsbury's Finance the number of people thinking of buying a new or used car between September 2011 and February 2012 is around 5.56 million.
It is a 22% drop on the number of anticipated purchases for March-August 2011 and down 28% from the figures for the six-month period from September 2010 to February 2011.
The collective amount expected to be spent on cars has also dropped for the first time since September 2009 - from £51.3 billion during March-August 2011 to around £40.2 billion over the next six months.
At 13%, south-east England had the highest proportion of people looking to buy a car, the survey of over 2,000 motorists showed.
Sainsbury's Finance head of loans Steven Baillie said: "After a steady increase in our index for two years, this decline is a real indication of how the economy is affecting people's car-buying plans."
Copyright © Press Association 2011