I think I've found one of the underlying cultural influences that makes a difference between British and American culture. Here in the U.K. there are a lot less garages.
I was chatting on a bus with Canadian and British friends about the difference license rules for the three countries. It came up that some states in the U.S. require a license for driving a boat and I realized that out of all the times that I have driven a boat I never had a license. My British friend was amazed that driving a boat was a normal activity, as she had never even been on anyone's personal boat. The conversation then turned to jet-skis, of course kayaks, ATV's (she didn't even know what it was), and Dune Buggies. She didn't know anyone that owned one but my Canadian friend was just like the U.S.
Then it hit me. There are no garages here. People don't buy all the recreational vehicles because they don't have garages. Living in New York City most people didn't grow up there so they had experience with having a garage. Most of my friends here in London didn't grow up here either but the cities they grew up in were old enough that they didn't have garages there either. The lack of a garage means other things too. I think this might also influence the difference about consumerism. There is less motivation to buy new stuff when you don't want to put the spare in the garage. Having kayaks for so long has required me to have a garage for some time. Now that I have my own flat the instinct has hit me again but without storage it has become a weird sensation.