Owners of cars that are at least 10 years old are less likely to swap them for newer models during the cost-of-living crisis, according to a Motorpoint survey.
The study found that 57% of drivers of older vehicles had worries over the current financial situation and plan to keep their car for longer.
The UK automotive sector remains on course to deliver its lowest new car registrations total since 1982, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Used car sales are also in decline, SMMT figures show, with a 12% dip in used car volumes recorded during Q3.
In some cases, running an older car has financial anguish, as the research also highlighted some repair bills (10%) have run into the thousands.
Mark Carpenter, CEO at Motorpoint, said: “It’s important when budgeting for a new car to consider maintenance costs, which will be required throughout its life.
“In the current climate, many motorists will look to weigh up the pros of hanging on to an older car, which they may own outright, with financing a newer one that may meet their needs for additional space, lower emissions, improved economy, and safety equipment.
“For those with a vehicle that has become unpredictable, or changing needs such as a growing family, it is important to understand the options available such as a fixed monthly payment and a vehicle with warranty protection to manage repair bills, and to be sure this is affordable.”
Nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents to Motorpoint’s survey said unexpected car repair bills cause them stress, while 44% had experienced two or more surprise bills over the last 12 months.
More than four in 10 (43%), admitted they suspect it may be more economical to buy and run a newer car, than keep maintaining their older one, but some 36% said a lack of awareness of car finance options has seen them hang onto an old car, rather than upgrade it.