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Consumers Reach Tipping Point on Gas Prices Spike: Survey Reveals Dramatic Behavior Changes

Published Dec 29th 2007, 5:47am by

Womensboard_2 With gas prices heading for $4 a gallon, consumers are making dramatic changes in driving and vehicle care behavior to save money, according to results of a new study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

Nearly six in 10 people surveyed claim their driving behavior has changed due to rising gas prices. One-third of motorists surveyed stated that they would make changes when the price of gasoline reached $3 a gallon, and another 32 percent would invoke driving behavior changes if prices reach $4 a gallon, according to the survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.

When asked how their driving behavior has changed because of rising gasoline costs, 90 percent said they are driving less and 75 percent revealed that they are better maintaining their vehicle. Other specific behavioral changes were carpooling more (31 percent), purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles (30 percent) and making greater use of public transportation (24 percent). Additionally, more than half of consumers claim they are capable of performing light maintenance and repair jobs themselves.

"The fact that motorists are more aware of how proper vehicle maintenance will improve fuel efficiency is great news for the automotive aftermarket," said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. "Properly maintained and operating vehicles are not only more fuel efficient, they are safer and more environmentally friendly.

"And we are delighted to see that 54 percent of consumers consider themselves do-it-yourselfers with light maintenance and 12 percent feel they are capable of doing medium maintenance and repair jobs. This counters claims that the DIY market is dying."

Interviews were conducted online with 500 people, 21 years of age or older, who are responsible for the purchasing of fuel and the maintenance and repair of the vehicle they drive. The data was weighted according to gender, age and geographic region. The maximum error range is plus or minus four points at a 95 percent confidence level.

For more information on the survey, e-mail Rich White at rich.white@aftermarket.org or call 301-654-6664.

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