This article considers a number of questions about hire-purchase contracts for cars. First, what is the normal intended length for such contracts? Secondly, what is their actual length: that is, to what extent are contracts terminated other than at their contractual date? Thirdly, do people tend to buy another car on hire purchase when the contract on their old car is ended-and are they more, or less, likely to do this if the contract is being terminated early? The answers to these questions are very relevant for economic policy, but as yet they can only be tentative, mainly because the period studied has so far been short, and perhaps not typical.