Central heating, sat nav and coffee are among things Brits now class as necessities

Foreign holidays, subscription TV and a nice car are considered luxuries amid modern life while central heating, sat nav and coffee are seen as necessities, according to research.

Other things we feel we would struggle to live without now are smart phones,  high-speed broadband and microwaves.

A cup of tea, dishwasher and an ‘I love you’ to warm the heart also made the list of necessities.

The ‘luxuries’ list features gaming consoles, jewellery – and takeaways.

Vincent Reboul, managing director, Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, which commissioned the study of 2,000 adults, said: “The research uncovered our spending priorities, and how much we are prepared to shell out on every day essentials compared to one-off treats.

“But a clear theme emerged from the research – while we all crave ‘things’, it is just as important to have the time off work to enjoy them, and people to enjoy them with.”

The research revealed smart phones, sophisticated laptops and social media to be among millennial’s essentials.

But the older generation said they could not get by without regular holidays, online banking – and spectacles.

More than half considered holidays abroad their ultimate luxury – but for the more surprising essentials, five per cent said MP3s, a household cleaner and gym membership were vital in their lives.

Four in 10 felt it was an upmarket car such as an SUV, and one quarter considered it to be an electric car – so fittingly enough, one third thought a garage big enough for two cars was the dream indulgence.

For a respective third, it was sporting season tickets, games consoles, spray tans and acrylic nails.

It also emerged the average adult will spend £2,142 each year on the things they could not live without – but splash a comparable £955 on more extravagant buys.

One in 10 adults admitted to splashing out over £500 on necessities per month, and the same percentage will spend between £200 and £500 on luxuries.

For nearly half of those surveyed via OnePoll.com, television and central heating were things they would simply hate to be without – and many said the same for their car, coffee and high-speed broadband.

For luxuries vs necessities, eight in 10 considered a ‘luxury’ to be something which you can easily do without on a daily basis – while just over half defined a ‘necessity’ simply as anything which makes the running of day-to-day life easier.

Vincent Reboul added: “The line between what we perceive to be luxuries and necessities is becoming increasingly blurred, especially with the prevalence of technology and gadgets becoming a must-have rather than nice-to-have.

“In fact, the majority of items deemed to be essential to our lives all revolve around technology – showing just how the needs and priorities of consumers are shifting.”

BRITS’ TOP 20 LUXURIES 
1. Holidays abroad (56%)
2. Subscription TV (e.g. Sky, Virgin) (44%)
3. An upmarket car – e.g. SUV (40%)
4. On-demand TV (e.g. Netflix, Amazon) (39%)
5. A gardener (39%)
6. Someone to do the ironing (37%)
7. Going business class on the train / plane (37%)
8. Garage big enough for two cars (35%)
9. Getting a blow dry in the salon (34%)
10. Designer handbag (34%)
11. Takeaways (34%)
12. Designer shoes (34%)
13. Football season ticket (33%)
14. Visiting the theatre (33%)
15. Gaming consoles (31%)
16. Acrylic / shellac nails (31%)
17. A nanny (30%)
18. Plastic surgery (30%)
19. Jewellery (30%)
20. AGA cooker (or equivalent) (29%)

BRITS’ TOP 20 NECESSITIES 
1. Central heating (56%)
2. Regular holiday / breaks from work (54%)
3. Television (49%)
4. Someone telling you they love you (40%)
5. Cups of tea (39%)
6. Car (37%)
7. Spectacles (36%)
8. Smart phone (33%)
9. High speed broadband (32%)
10. Microwave (30%)
11. Coffee (30%)
12. Iron (29%)
13. Online banking (29%)
14. Chocolate (26%)
15. Online shopping (22%)
16. Good mobile phone signal (19%)
17. Credit cards (18%)
18. Dishwasher (14%)
19. Sat nav (12%)
20. Tablet (12%)

  • Mat is a writer with an interest in public opinion research. He has a passion for stories covering lifestyle, travel and technology.

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