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August 2, 2022

‘73% of UK motorists back using devices to prevent speeding’

Almost three out of four UK motorists (73%) back using in-car technology that would help ensure they stick to the speed limit.

Speed limiters which actively regulate speed, make a sound or vibrate through the steering wheel or pedals have just become compulsory for new cars introduced in the European Union – and the consumer research from August’s Startline Used Car Tracker reveals they would be welcomed here.

The research shows that 93% encounter other drivers significantly exceeding the speed limit and 90% find it “threatening” when other drivers speed. However, 72% admit to exceeding the speed limit slightly themselves and 30% do so significantly. Despite this, 60% say they believe they are still driving safely when they are speeding.

Thirty-five per cent of motorists who back the technology believe that too many people drive too fast while 33% believe the speed limit is there to keep everyone safe. In contrast, 39% of those against its introduction say they want to be in control of the car at all times while 24% say it is unnecessary as they stick to the speed limit.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Our consumer research findings for August show strong backing for speed limiters. While a proportion admit to speeding themselves, they clearly see active, in-vehicle reinforcement of the limit as a good idea.

“Maybe the standout finding here is that 90% of those we surveyed find speeding by other road users ‘threatening’ and that maybe explains our findings. While people feel that they are safe if they speed themselves, it makes them feel unsafe when others do the same, and their conclusion appears to be that using technology to help stop all speeding is sensible.

“It’ll be interesting to see whether the UK government follows the EU in making limiters compulsory although there is a possibility that manufacturers, who often specify the same cars across the whole European market, will now fit them anyway.”

The Startline Used Car Tracker provides a picture of how motorists view the current used market. Overall, August’s results are reasonably positive with a 4.3 percentage point rise to 40.3% among those who say they are more likely to buy a used car since July and a 3.9 percentage point fall to 6.9% in those who are much less likely.

Rising factors among those who say they are more likely to buy are that their old car needs replacing – up by 4.5 percentage points to 47.9% – and that they just feel like a change – up 5.0 percentage points to 48.5%.

The cost of living crisis is also clearly having an impact. Among those who are less likely to buy, 53.3% report that their personal finances have worsened in the last month – up a huge 21.3% percentage points since the last survey.

Pressure on personal finances can also be seen when motorists are asked about the factors that would influence their used car choice. There’s been a 7.3 percentage point rise to 67.2% in those concerned about running costs, a 7.3 percentage point rise to 65.9% mentioning the cost of living, and a 5.8 percentage point rise in people worried by inflation.

Paul said: “We seem to be in a position where the used car market remains relatively buoyant and stable, despite the cost of living crisis. The fact is that the number of cars in the market remains low thanks to poor new car supply in recent years, and that demand and supply appear to be relatively well-matched.

“How this develops over the next few months is tricky to predict. The cost of living crisis is likely to get worse but used car supply is not going to improve, so the most likely outcome is that the market remains balanced in a manner similar to the situation we are now seeing.”

Finally, August’s Tracker also revealed some quite radical shifts in fuel preferences among those considering buying a used car. There’s been a 37.7 percentage point increase since June among those who would consider buying a hybrid car, a 28.4% percentage point increase to 64.8% for petrol and a 15.4 percentage point increase to 30.2% for electric.

The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This month, 300 consumers and 50 dealers were questioned.

Founded nine years ago, Startline is a flexible motor finance specialist and employs 170 people at its Glasgow headquarters. It works with around half of the UK’s top 50 franchise dealers by turnover as well as 70% of the top 50 independent car retailers, and currently accounts for more than 2% of the UK used car motor finance sector by volume.

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