Rising gas prices, insurance costs among reasons Canadians rethinking new car purchase: poll

By Dani-Elle Dubé

Canadians are thinking twice before dropping cash on a new car.

The reasons? Rising gas prices, as well as repair and replacement costs.

That’s what a survey from Leger and RATESDOTCA has found after they surveyed over 1,500 Canadians earlier in April.

According to the survey, about one-third of respondents say they purchased a car in the past year or plan to do so soon.

Buyers who bought in the past 12 months were mostly men (18 per cent), those between the ages of 18 and 34 (22 per cent) and Canadian living in suburban (18 per cent) and rural (20 per cent) areas.

“Rising gas prices and access to public transportation may be driving urbanites to take the subway, while many others might have the privilege of parking their wheels and working from home,” the survey’s report says. “Unfortunately for those int he market for a car, supply chain issues are creating months-long wait times for new vehicle orders.”

With demand outpacing supply, the survey says buyers are also facing a shortage of used vehicles.

As of early April, the average used-care price in Canada was just below $37,000, according to Canadian Black Book.

In some cases, price tags for used cars were equal to that of new cars.

While most Canadians say they will stick to their plans to buy a new ride, many also say they will have to make concessions.

Sixty per cent of Canadians report that they spent or will spend within their budget.

However, 43 per cent have made or will make adjustments to their plans.

In fact, 13 per cent said they delayed or would need to delay their purchase due to high prices, while 12 per cent say availability issues are the reason they’re taking their time.

As well, some buyers have changed, or expect to change, their choice of vehicle because of cost (12 per cent) or availability (nine per cent).

Almost 70 per cent are also considering the impact their purchase will have on their vehicle insurance premium, and six in ten will consider a vehicle’s safety record or crash rating before buying, while about half will look at the likelihood of accident or theft.

Women, however, are more likely to compare all the factors considered in the survey than men, especially regarding crash rating and the probability of an accident.

Earlier this year, DesRosiers Automotive Consultants estimated that light vehicle sales were 1.64 million, which is up 6.6 per cent from the depressed level of 2020.

In fact, 2020 was the 11th best year on record but was down 19.6 per cent from the market high of just over two million units in 2017.

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