Car buying is on the increase but would-be purchasers are preparing to pay less for their new motor.
As many as 18% of adults are looking to buy a new car in the months up to and including February 2014, a survey by Sainsbury's Bank found.
This is a 28% increase on those who planned purchases in the last six months.
But the amount those now thinking about buying are likely to pay averages £9,934, which is 3.5% down on the figure for the last six months.
Consumers are looking to pay an average of £17,958 for a new car and £5,170 for a used one.
:: Just over one in four plan to trade in their car for another used one;
:: 19% are looking for a smaller-engined vehicle;
:: 12% plan to change from a petrol car to a diesel one.
Steven Baillie, head of loans at Sainsbury's Bank, said: "Our car-buying index provides a barometer of consumers' intention to buy and the research suggests people are really thinking about the right vehicle option for their family finances."
The survey follows official motor industry figures which showed that UK new-car sales last month soared to a 66-month high, with year-so-far sales nearly 11% up on the January-September 2012 total.
Companies that enjoyed a particularly good September 2013 included Jaguar Land Rover which had its best-ever September with world sales up 17%.