On Friday the 13th of September, more than 60 million people worldwide will claim to be affected by a feeling of intense superstition. A feeling so strong, some may even go to the extent of not attending work, driving their cars or even getting out of bed!, so why is this?

Understanding The Origins

The age-old fear of Friday 13th is actually a combination of 2 separate fears…

The first of these is the fear of the number 13 which is called ‘Triskaidekaphobia’. This particular phobia derives from different beliefs – the first being a biblical reference relating to the legendary traitor Judas who was said to be the 13th guest at Jesus’ Last Supper. Meanwhile in Ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12 – a 13th was believed to be the devil.

The fear of Fridays – ‘Paraskavedekatriaphobia’ – is also said to be rooted from the bible, however there are various myths around what people believe. Fridays are well known among Christians as both the day Jesus was crucified, and some biblical scholars also believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday.

Moreover, some people believe it has very little to do with religious beliefs and that the real reason stems from the middle ages. It is thought to be connected to a mass arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday 13th October 1307, when officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a raid that left several thousand Templars – Knights, Sergeants, Priests, and serving Brethren in chains – charged with various obscenities and homosexual practices. None of these charges were ever proven, but in the following years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures intended to force “confessions” and more than a hundred died under torture or were executed by burning at a stake.

Buying behaviour on Friday 13th

It is generally considered bad luck to start anything on a Friday; this can be anything from starting a new journey or job, to making big purchases such as a house or a shiny new car. So what does our data here at Creditplus show us for buyer behaviour on Friday 13th and for consumers that were born on this day? Let’s take a look…

0.72% deals paid out on Friday 13th.

A huge amount of applications were received, however only a small number were agreed. Could this mean that the remaining 99.28% deals were declined due to back luck? Or the consumers decided to pull out of the application process because of their fears with something going wrong? Or neither?


Audi was the most popular car to be successfully financed

Is this down to consumers choosing a car which they deem reliable and safe due to all the stigma behind Friday 13th and things going wrong? Or is it simply because Audi are an extremely good manufacturer of car?

Black was the most popular car colour with 30% of all financed cars being black

Could this be because these consumers are not influenced by the superstitions of Friday 13th and therefore do not see black as being associated with death, evil, witches, magic and bad luck.?

The average cash deposit put down was £3,050.60

This tells us that these consumers are certainly not afraid to part with their money or enter into a finance agreement on this day.

Consumers born on Friday 13th

The average cash deposit put down was £1,117.66

This data suggests that consumers who are born on Friday 13th are more money conscious and like to take fewer risks than those who were not born on this day, the average cash deposit put down is 36.63% lower than the average taken across the year of 2012, does this mean that these types of people prefer to part with less money upfront because they feel that by doing this the risk is lower should something not go to plan?, or it is comforting to them to know that their hard earned cash hasn’t left their hands and into the hands of others?

2.28% of deals successfully paid out to those with birthdays on Friday 13th

Is this really a shock knowing that only a very small percent of applications paid out to those who have birthdays on Friday 13th? Are these people really deemed with bad luck? Or is it that they are just not meeting our loan requirements and we are jumping to this consensus that because they were born on Friday 13th this is the reason why.


© General Motors

19.4% of consumers chose to finance a Vauxhall over any other vehicle

Could we tie this in with the ‘money conscious’ consumer and say that these types of people choose to finance a cheaper vehicle rather than the likes of a BMW or Audi because the risk is lower and therefore reduces the risk of something going wrong or them not being able to afford the repayments, cheaper to repair, etc.

A massive 61.1% of all cars financed were medium-sized vehicles or bigger

With many consumers trading their vehicles in, in favour of smaller more economical vehicles it was surprising to find that a massive 61.1% of consumers that shared their birthdays with Friday 13th opted for medium-sized vehicles and bigger. Could this be because they feel unlucky within themselves and therefore need the reassurance of a larger vehicle to make them feel safe on the roads?

Some interesting facts about Friday 13th

The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months

Neither airports or hospitals have a gate or a room 13

According to the British Medical Journal there is a significant increase in traffic – related accidents when the date is Friday 13th

The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, 12 is considered a complete number. 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas

Navy built a ship named ‘HMS Friday’ – The ship set sail on Friday 13th and was never seen or heard of again

So why does Friday the 13th superstition stick so firmly in our minds?

According to Thomas Gilovich who chairs the department of Psychology at Cornell University

“Our brains are almost too good at making associations”

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