Is This The Wheel Thing?

  • Why a change of car can create a nine-month honeymoon period on the road

If you change the model of your car, experts have identified a ‘honeymoon period’ of blissful ownership that lasts an average of nine months.

After this time motorists are most likely to have stopped referring to their latest car as their ‘new’ car and started to find reasons why they’d like to get another model. This is the key finding following research by Network Q, the UK’s leading used car retailer, into the ownership habits of motorists.

The ‘honeymoon period’ was calculated by combining the mean times when owners ceased to refer to their latest car as new (six months, 10 days), as they start to relax rules and maintenance such as no food and drink and weekly washing (10 months, eight days) and the mean time when they first start nitpicking and thinking about other cars they could purchase (10 months, 14 days) or:

‘New’ car becomes ‘car’ + nitpicking + less maintenance and rules = car honeymoon period duration

Using this model, the honeymoon period lasts for 270 days, almost nine calendar months. A person who purchased a car on 1 January, 2005 will be in a honeymoon period of driving bliss through to 27 September, 2005.

Despite the initial honeymoon period waning, motorists still remain attached to their cars. Over half (51%) say they wouldn’t replace their car unless it was on its last legs, while 38% would do so if they had a significant financial boost.

One in 10 (9%) might think often about replacing their car, but admit they are so smitten they couldn’t ever bring themselves to part with their current model.

According to Richard Hughes, Network Q: "Everyone believes the best part of owning a car is immediately after purchase. In fact, the honeymoon period lasts for a lot longer than we give it credit for and even after it fades, people remain extremely loyal to their cars.

"If you want to make sure that the honeymoon period doesn’t come to an early halt, make sure you get hitched to the car that is right for you. We’d always urge people buying a used car to go to a reputable dealer so they know the car they choose to spend their future with hasn’t got any hidden secrets."

Published 26 August 2005 Melanie Carter
 

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