Cars.com Survey: Mileage Matters Part I

Civichybrid

Gas prices are getting to consumers, we’ve found in a new survey, and even we cynical automotive journalists, found the other results pretty enlightening. 

Cars.com surveyed 1033 men and women to find out how high gas prices are impacting how they live with their car and how it will influence the next car they buy. The surveyed group was split evenly among men and women as well as location. Nearly half (48%) considered themselves suburban, while 29% said they were urban residents and 23% said they lived in a rural area. Twenty-eight percent said they drove more than 16,000 miles per year – 9% drove more than 24,000 miles per year — which greatly overwhelms the 15% who say they drive 8,000 miles per year.   

What did these folks say about sky high gas prices and what it means to them? Keep reading to find out.

  • 56% said that if gas remained from $3.50 to $3.75 a gallon they would buy a more efficient car the next time they purchased a car, while only 10% said they would by a more fuel efficient car “right away.” And 34% said they wouldn’t be influenced by gas prices at all.
  • Those numbers change slightly if gas cost from $3.75 to $4: 63% said they would buy a more efficient car, 16% would buy that car right away, and 21% wouldn’t change a thing.
  • The big jump comes when gas hits from $4 to $4.25. At that point, 28% of people will look to buy a more fuel efficient car right away. 57% will wait for the next purchase and only 15% of folks saying it wouldn’t affect them. 
  • What if gas costs more than $4.25 a gallon? 39% of folks will look for a fuel efficient car right away converting the folks waiting for the next purchase which dwindle to 48%. Those with their heads in the sand stay pat at 13%.
  • Why are these numbers important? Because 70% of all the respondents think their current car isn’t efficient enough.
  • 59% said they would consider a hybrid for their next purchase. 30% said they weren’t sure about hybrids, 10% were anti-hybrid and only 1% of the 1033 folks — which with our poor math skills sounds like 10.3 people — currently own a hybrid. 
  • 64% of the positive or uncertain hybrid respondents listed saving money at the pump as the No. 1 reason to buy a hybrid, with helping the environment a distant second, 19%.
  • The No. 1 reason the anti-hybrid crowd gave for their stance was the cost (29%). Not being comfortable with the technology was a close second at 26%.
  • When asked about other fuel-saving technology most folks thought hydrogen was the most attractive alternative out there, 18%. That was more than plug-in electric, 12%, ethanol, 11%, or clean diesel 6%. Most experts consider hydrogen to be the least viable alternative technology in the short term, while clean diesel and ethanol are currently available at the pump.


*
The survey was conducted online for Cars.com by Impulse Research Corp., with a random sample of 1,033 men and women 18-and-older who own cars. The survey audience was carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics and the respondents are representative of American men and women 18-and-older. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3 percent.

Comments 

When gas hit $2.00 I started thinking about doing something. When gas hit $2.50 I acted. For the past year I have driven a Plug-In Hybrid that gets over 100mpg. I charge up each night using 60 cents of Clean Domestic Wind Energy to offset the amount of Dirty Foreign Oil I use. Now I do these conversions of Prius into Plug-in Prius for other People. What price does gas have to get to for you to act?

When you will charge less then $2000 for plug-in conversion instead of $10000....
Besides, who guaranties that when I plug in, I use wind power? At this time, if we all plug-in, the usage of fossil fuel will continue at the power plant. Besides, we will create grid problems.
I think, it will be good start if people drop Explorers and get into Civics...
May be by then our government will realize that ethanol is BAD and hydrogen infrastructure will be in place.

J

I wasn't chosen.

Util-man

Dems limit drilling and Repubs offer no real Energy plan. Both parties suck-up to the Ethanol farming scam which ultimately will cause water issues not to mention the environmental damage it's causing.
As much as things change they really don't. Dems lie (ie Al Gore), Repubs lack any spine, and Independents are to small in number to make a difference.
As a proud Ford Explorer owner who drives 3k a year (back and forth to the boat slip, I work from home) here is my simple 6 step solution free of charge:
1. Start being honest by telling the truth. Obama, Clinton, McCain cannot lower the price of gas. It's a supply and demand issue. Thank the gutless Dems for making it nearly impossible to build any new refineries.
2. Start building nuclear reactors yesterday. Look at the France - enough said. Thank the spineless Cons for not standing up to the environmentalists who block nuclear reactor development.
3. If Government wants to do something offer $10,000 tax rebates on every hybrid. You would be surprised how quickly the likes of Ford go from building the Explorer to pumping out hybrid Escapes and maybe even Fusions.
4. Get-off the plug-in bandwagon as it cannot work on even a reasonable scale due to the state of our nations electrical grid. Don't tell me it can, I work in the 'Grid' industry.
5. Work at home, buy a boat, and fish when you want too because when all is said and done you will be disappointed as that's what politicians do - they live to disappoint.
6. Look at the bright side, you always have Cars.com to read and post on.

Cheers,
Util-man

Tony wrote: At this time, if we all plug-in, the usage of fossil fuel will continue at the power plant. Besides, we will create grid problems.

Tony, Only problem with that is we can all plug-in at this time...We don't all have plugs on our cars. It will take decades.
Also why should people give up big cars? Plug-in cars can be built to be any Size, Speed, or Power. However unlike gas cars, Plug-in cars use energy from 100% domestic sources. Basically we all need to conserve anyway we can. Just so you know Plug-in cars are more about producing less air pollution than saving money.

Util-Man wrote: 4. Get-off the plug-in bandwagon as it cannot work on even a reasonable scale due to the state of our nations electrical grid. Don't tell me it can, I work in the 'Grid' industry
----------------------.

How much power do you think these things use, and how many do you think we could put on the road in the next ten years? Look my plug-in only uses 4kwh per night to charge after midnight. Also in an emergency, I can
1. Run on electricity only to drive around.
2. Produce electricity at home via wind power or solar panels if there is a fuel shortage.
3. Use my Prius as a mobile generator if there is a power outage.

I enjoy knowing I could do these things to help my family and my community if the need arise. When I just commute back and forth to work I do get over 100mpg.

And on the fishing...What time in the morning can we head out?

"59% said they would consider a hybrid for their next purchase. 30% said they weren’t sure about hybrids, 10% were anti-hybrid and only 1% of the 1033 folks — which with our poor math skills sounds like 10.3 people — currently own a hybrid."

This 1% number is about right since last year, hybrid sales were less than 3% of all sales. It is sad that "10% were anti-hybrid" but understandable given how automotive magazines have covered the subject. There is a lot of FUD out there and mostly due to those who repeated or made-up nonsense in the past. But that is OK by us hybrid owners ... it keeps our purchase prices lower.

Bob Wilson

Bob,
Hybrids are a hot commodity right now. I don't think prices are low what so ever as we've covered here very recently. Most folks can't even find a hybrid Highlander if they want one.

Infosaur

I traded in my WRX (18-20 mpg of premium) for a used MR-S (22-28 mpg regular)

I use my wife's Sable wagon for long trips and get about 21 mpg. But most days it sits parked.

I don't have the credit to buy another car right now. Trading these cars in in this market to buy a Prius wouldn't help (the Sable has no resale value and the Spyder's to impractical in a depressed market) so I'm kinda stuck with them.

To bad I have to insure both of them even though I only drive one at a time (wife went back to mass transit) A dealer plate would probably save me as much money in a month as $.50 a gallon.

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