Gym memberships, phone bills and new clothes are all seen as bigger financial priorities than paying for car leasing or finance, new research shows.

The poll, conducted on behalf of The Money Shop, asked respondents which financial commitments were most important after payday and suggests that drivers are failing to understand the serious consequences of not making car finance payments on time.

Just 3% of those polled said their car finance or leasing payment was their most important payment to be made after payday, lower than the 6% who said they pay their phone bill first. A higher percentage of respondents also viewed new clothes or shoes and gym memberships as their most important financial priority.

According to statistics from RAC*, nearly one in four cars that undergo a HPI check come back as having outstanding finance.


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Drivers that buy a car with outstanding finance can find they are not the legal owner of the vehicle, as it is still the property of the finance company, but may still be liable for the debt. The finance company may also repossess the vehicle.

The survey found that rent or mortgage remains the most important payment for the highest percentage of Brits (43%), followed by utility bills (19%), with around one in 20 admitting to usually being overdrawn at the end of the month.

Stuart Howard, CEO of The Money Shop, said: “It is important to us that our customers make the right financial decisions whatever their situation and we are keen to assist in the best way we can”.

To help balance your monthly income and outgoings, The Money Shop has created a calculator to take the hassle out of managing your money: