In a recent survey conducted by Cars.com regarding gas prices and their effect on consumers' buying and driving habits, 66 percent said they are driving less today because of the record gas prices at the pump and 76 percent said they are cutting back in other areas of their household budget, with entertainment (81 percent), dining out (80 percent), recreation (67 percent) and groceries (30 percent) being the areas most likely cut.
According to the survey, some consumers say they are willing to sacrifice some creature comforts like vehicle size and acceleration to increase fuel-efficiency, but most consumers don't want to pay a lot more for efficiency and the vast majority (more than 80 percent) believe that the government isn't doing enough to drive fuel-efficiency standards and manufacturers aren't doing enough to make current vehicles more fuel-efficient.
"Unfortunately, gas prices change a lot faster than manufacturers or the government can effectively make changes to bring more fuel-efficient cars to the market," said Cars.com editor-in-chief Patrick Olsen. "Most manufacturers, most notably the Big Three, were SUV happy in the 90's when gas prices were low and consumers couldn't get enough of the gas thirsty vehicles. Now that gas prices are breaking records, manufacturers, are rapidly trying to bring more fuel-efficient vehicles to market in order to meet consumer demand and stricter government fuel-efficiency standards that need to be met by 2020; however, with gas prices continuing to break records, the changes can't take place fast enough and consumers will continue to be impacted by higher fuel-prices."
Many consumers are simply seeking alternatives modes of transportation as a result of the increase in gas prices with 23 percent stating they carpool more, 12 percent said they take public transportation, 11 percent said they bike and 7 percent saying they have enrolled in a car sharing service.
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 US 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.
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).