Buyer’s Regret: Over a Third of Motorists Regret Their Car Choice

  • Over a third (34 per cent) of drivers who own a car outright have regrets over aspects of their vehicle, rising to 55 per cent among young drivers
  • Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of car owners with regrets would consider changing their car as a result
  • A third (34 per cent) of drivers would consider using vehicle subscription to help them find the vehicle that’s right for them in future

New research from Churchill Expert reveals  that over a third (34 per cent) of car owners are now unhappy with aspects of their vehicle. This rises to over half (55 per cent) of young drivers aged between 18 and 34. In light of these regrets, three quarters (73 per cent) of drivers would consider changing their car, with the figure increasing to 88 per cent among young drivers.

The most frequent regrets are:

Regrets about vehicle

Percentage of motorists who regretted their purchase

The car being too small


Using diesel fuel


Dissatisfaction with the car model


Issues with the vehicle’s power


Issues with the drive quality


The specifications (such as colour, extras, features, interior)


The car being too big


Using petrol


A third (34 per cent) of drivers would consider subscribing to a car in future to help find the best car for them, rising to 58 per cent among drivers aged 18 – 34, while two-thirds (64 per cent) said they’d prefer to properly trial a vehicle before making a purchase.

Vehicle subscriptions allow motorists to use different car models for a period typically ranging from a month to three years. Drivers pay a flat monthly rate that generally covers rental, breakdown cover, roadside assistance, tax, insurance and routine maintenance.

A third of drivers  would consider a subscription (32 per cent) because of the flexibility that subscriptions offer, allowing them to switch cars as per their changing needs. Furthermore, 31 per cent  are attracted by cost savings due to paying a fixed monthly fee that covers the vehicle, insurance and maintenance, allowing them to budget more effectively.

Another third (31 per cent) say they want access to newer vehicles and models, ensuring they can experience the latest features and technologies (such as driver assistance systems, electric vehicles and connectivity options). Over a quarter (27 per cent) cite the lower upfront costs and easier budgeting provided by the monthly subscription fee as a key reason.

Nicola Richmond, Head of Churchill Expert Flexible Fleet Partnerships, said: "Our latest findings show that a lot of people who purchased their car outright have regrets about certain aspects of the vehicle. In fact, most of those with regrets said that they would consider changing their car, given the issues they have had with the vehicle. With the growth of the ‘rental mindset’ vehicle subscription provides an efficient way for motorists to properly try out a car and reduce the risk of regret. If the car is the wrong choice for them drivers can switch to a different vehicle. It’s also a great way to trial an electric vehicle if a driver is considering making a switch from a petrol or diesel car.  At Churchill Expert, we are ready to support car subscription and flexible vehicle fleets looking for an insurance partner.”



(1) Opinium survey of 2,000 UK adults and 1,453 motorists, conducted 16th June – 20th June 2023

Direct Line Group

Unni Henry

PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

About Churchill Expert

Churchill Expert specialises in providing easy access to flexible mobility insurance, as well as business and landlord insurance through partnerships. Part of the well know and much-loved Churchill brand, Churchill Expert is a trading name of insurance intermediary U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited (UKIBS) which has been operating since 2004 and provides NIG policies underwritten by U K Insurance Limited (UKI). Along with the insurer U K Insurance Limited (UKI), U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited is part of the Direct Line Group.

U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA registration number 313783. Registered office: Churchill Court, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1DP. Registered in England and Wales No 05196274.

U K Insurance Limited trading as NIG is an insurance company which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.