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Northern Ireland drivers prefer efficiency to looks when it comes to cars

By Staff Reporter

Drivers in Northern Ireland are practical, sensible and more than twice as happy to drive a 'hand-me-down' car than the typical UK motorist, a new survey has indicated.

They are also much less likely to care how their car looks, favouring practicality over appearance.

Despite all this, local drivers also appear to be spending a larger proportion of their income on private transport.

A total of 14% agreed that the finance or lease on their car each month costs as much or more than their rent or mortgage.

The national average was exactly half that - 7%.

The survey for car insurer InsuretheGap.com also found that more than half (52%) of drivers here think public transport is not reliable or is patchy.

Some 61% agreed with the comment: "I don't care how my car looks, as long as it gets me from A to B."

Nationally, just 42% agreed.

And 80% agreed that they care far more about a car being reasonably priced, fuel efficient, reliable and easy to fix than how it looks.

Across the UK, that figure was just 65%.

When it comes to second-hand vehicles, almost half (48%) of motorists here were happy with a hand-me-down.

But just 21% of UK drivers were prepared to make do with a car that's not new.

And more than half (52%) of local motorists said they couldn't afford to be a petrol head even if they wanted to be. That compares to 40% nationally.

The research was carried out by Opinium in an online poll of 2,001 UK adults who drive and have owned a car between January 10-15 of this year.

In July, it was revealed that new car sales continue to decline in Northern Ireland with 10,000 fewer vehicles rolling out of showrooms in the first half of 2018 compared with a decade ago. The Ford Focus was the best-selling new car.

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