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Fewer planning to buy used cars

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Motorists hit by rising car insurance premiums and motoring costs are continuing to tighten their belts, according to new research which shows a sharp fall in the number of people planning to buy a second-hand car.

The number of people who were intending to buy a used vehicle between March and August this year has fallen by 12% compared with the six months from September 2008 to February 2009, to stand at 4.5 million.

And those planning on buying second-hand until the end of August say they are prepared to spend an average of £4,487 each - a 21% fall compared with the previous six-month period.

The figures from Sainsbury's Finance show that the highest percentage of people planning to buy a car during the current six months are to be found in Wales, at 16%, while the lowest percentage is in East Anglia (4%).

Steven Baillie, head of Sainsbury's Loans, said that the findings could be a knock-on effect of people's growing financial uncertainty.

"Sellers should have an accurate price in mind based on the car's market value which includes taking into account the mileage, wear and tear and any extras," he said. "While too high a price will put potential buyers off a low price may also make them wary."

© Press Association 2009