News15 Mar 2021

Majority of Brits treat themselves during lockdown

  • 53% of Brits make one-off luxury purchases over £200
  • 78% report equal or increased spending levels 

COVID-19 has prompted a sharp increase in one-off purchases, with more than half of Brits (53%) splashing out on an item worth over £200 that they wouldn’t have normally bought, according to research from Indesser1 - a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and TDX Group.

A further third of people (31%) treated themselves to one-off purchases over £200 on multiple occasions. Of these, clothes were the top purchase in UK shopping baskets, followed by a new TV, mobile phone, a car and shoes.

A quarter of respondents (25%) reported their income had decreased, while 78% claimed their spending levels remained equal, or had even risen. Of these, nearly one in nine said their spending had increased significantly, pointing to a growth in disposable finances for many as Britain continues to live under COVID-19 restrictions.

Rhona Parry, CEO of Indesser, said: “COVID-19 has taken an immeasurable toll on our society, but for those unaffected financially the restrictive nature of lockdown has boosted their disposable income. By contrast, the pandemic continues to intensify the pre-existing financial divide in the UK, with many struggling to get by and the underlying debt situation remaining highly complex.

“Almost a third of Brits (29%) are increasingly reliant on borrowing to make ends meet. Despite hopeful signs of future economic recovery sparked by vaccine progress, with forbearance planned to end in the spring, a significant debt surge is on the horizon. In these circumstances, it’s imperative that creditors stand prepared to carefully and effectively manage those facing financial vulnerability, drawing on powerful data insights to create the best outcomes from start to finish of the customer journey.”


1 Research carried out for Indesser by Portland Communications as an online survey conducted 9th - 10th December 2020. Total sample: 1,009 adults.


Indesser was established in 2015 as a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and TDX Group, a subsidiary of Equifax Ltd to offer a fair, effective and responsible way of recovering money owed to the public sector. Indesser operates a full range of end-to-end debt management services based on data, technology and analytics, providing services to multiple central and local government bodies. For more information, please visit 


Alastair Doyle/Nick Richardson/Max Gibson
Four Communications
Telephone: +44(0) 20 3697 4200


Share this page

Further reading