July 4, 2007

High gas prices affecting summer road travel, says BCAA

Burnaby, British Columbia – A poll conducted by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) found that 60 percent of drivers surveyed say current high gas prices are causing them to rethink their summer vacation plans. Of the 5,900 drivers who participated, 61 percent say they will be altering summer road travel plans due to inflated gasoline prices.

Of those, 44 percent say they are changing their plans to reduce the amount of driving required, while 42 percent have decided to postpone or forego their road trips. The remaining 14 percent say they will trim other travel expenses to accommodate an increased gasoline bill.

The survey found that half of the participants have reduced general discretionary spending over the past three months to accommodate gas prices, including entertainment, recreating, eating out, gifts and charitable contributions, clothing, and personal care. They are also changing their driving habits, with 59 percent reducing their average weekly driving for personal use, by combining several trips into one, eliminating unnecessary trips, and walking more. Alternatives included 10 percent who cycled, nine percent who carpooled, and eight percent who used public transit, while 13 percent have switched to a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

“Paying up to $1.30 per litre this spring clearly caused drivers to rethink what they drive, how they drive and how much they drive, not unlike when prices first edged up over a dollar a litre,” says Trace Acres, BCAA Director of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs. “BCAA encourages drivers to continue their fuel-efficient practices regardless of fuel prices, not just in response to price spikes.”

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