Tempting finance deals, such as PCP offers, are luring car buyers to upgrade their car more frequently, potentially leaving them exposed to a cash shortfall, consumer publication What Car? has found.

The publication surveyed 4,000 people and found 37% agreeing they changed their cars more frequently now than they did a decade ago, with 22% crediting generous finance offers with the move.

While this may be good for the manufacturer, savings are currently at a low end. Four in 0 adults have less than £500 in savings in the bank, according ot a Money Advice Survey in March 2016, and What Car? said motorists could be ‘overstretching’ themselves when the initial, low PCP payment term ends.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford commented: “The range of finance options available to car buyers is now more generous than ever and can often be an effective way to spread the cost of paying for a safer, better-equipped car.

“However, these finance options shouldn’t be seen as ‘free money’ and buyers need to ensure they have a financial cushion to cover the costs at the end of their initial payment term in order to stay on the road.

“The final payment to secure a vehicle on a PCP term is typically several thousand pounds, and the deposit on the next car can also require a substantial cash injection.

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By GlobalData

“Damage and excess mileage charges on a PCP-financed vehicle could also be an unpleasant surprise if not accounted for, so it is important to read the small print before making the commitment.”