Drivers axe cars as crunch bites

Fewer cars per household and owners keeping their current vehicles for longer are two likely outcomes of the credit crunch, according to a survey by esure car insurance.

Rising costs have led nearly half of the 1,006 adults polled to say they are thinking about downscaling to just one vehicle.

Nearly three quarters said they were saving money by not buying a new car, while over half cited the slump as a reason for keeping their current vehicle for longer.

North-east England drivers are keenest to reduce the number of cars in their household, with north-west England motorists the most reluctant to do this.

Men are more likely than women to splash out on a new car, with three quarters of females happy to hold on their current motor for longer, compared with only two thirds of men.

Esure head of risk Mike Pickard said: "With rising costs, high fuel prices and the credit crunch, it is no surprise that drivers are opting to reduce the number of vehicles they own."

The findings come ahead of official figures that are expected to show a big dip in UK new car sales for September compared with last year.

Copyright © PA Business 2008