NPA Research shows 30% of people would use a Pawnbroker


The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) has undertaken research that shows nearly 30% of the UK population would consider using a pawnbroker in the future, compared to just the 3% that currently do.

Independent research shows the main reasons for considering pawnbroking are the simple and easily understandable process, that it’s quick and easy to borrow money and because it is cheaper than an unsecured loan, with a typical interest rate of 7 to 9% a month. The primary barriers to pawnbroking at the moment are a lack of understanding about the process, a perception that they having nothing to pawn, and assuming the cost is higher than it actually is.

NPA Chief Executive, Ray Perry, said:

‘Awareness of pawnbroking is increasingly rapidly and this has resulted in the industry growing by 8% in the past year. This research confirms that more and more people see pawning valuables as a sensible option. Through these secured loans they only pay interest for the time they borrow and can pay off the debt any day and get their items back. If the loan is for more than £75 and the customer doesn’t redeem it, any profit on its sale is returned to the customer.'

‘The greatest potential growth area is especially under 30 year olds but, the research also shows that pawnbroking appeals to a broad cross section of society. The average loan is around £450 and while a pawnbroking agreement is for six or seven months, the average redemption time is about three months. Around 85% of pawns are redeemed. Recent developments in the market have been a growth in high-end pawns, such as cars, designer handbags and rolex watches, with the traditional middle-classes increasingly using pawn shops and a growth in small businesses using pawnbrokers to ease cash flow. Many traditional jewellers now offer pawnbroking services and online specialists, peer to peer lenders and out of town pawnbrokers as seen on ‘Pawn Stars’ on the History Channel are increasingly visibility of pawnbroking.‘


For more information, case studies, or to arrange interviews with Ray Perry, please contact Jessica Stewart at or on 07788 758517.

Notes for Editors

NPA Non User Research

  • On street face to face survey undertaken by a third party research agency
  • A total of 1,071 interview were completed across ten UK city centres
  • Fieldwork was undertaken in April and May 2013.

Key findings within the research show there are regional differences with residents in Glasgow, Central England and London more likely to consider using a pawnbroker and that the younger you are the more likely it is that you will consider it too. However, there is no discernable difference in likelihood between men and women.