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Cash-strapped drivers keep old cars

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As figures show that consumers are keeping their cars for longer due to money worries in the downturn, motorists may wish to ensure they have the best car insurance deal for older vehicles.

In the boom years motorists would change to new models quicker, but data from the Department for Transport (DfT) reveal that, by 2008, cars licensed in Britain had been registered for an average of seven years, compared with the average of 6.8 years in 2007 and 6.6 years in 2003.

By the end of 2008, the proportion of licensed vehicles rose 0.7% to 34.2 million, which was less than half the increase seen the previous year and was the lowest year-on-year growth since 1995, showing that drivers are too cash-strapped to get new motors.

The DfT said that the number of motorcycles increased 2.2% last year, while the number of heavy goods vehicles dropped by 1.7%.

In a steep fall of more than 300,000, or 10.8% since last year, there were 2.7 million new vehicles, which represents the lowest number of new registrations since 1997 and the biggest year-on-year decrease since 1991.

© Press Association 2009