December 3, 2003

Higher insurance rates won’t change driving habits – survey

Toronto, Ontario – Despite well-publicized complaints by drivers about soaring insurance rates and gas prices, an Environics/General Motors of Canada survey of Canadians who own or have regular access to a car reports that few would be prepared to change their driving habits even if costs double.

According to the Environics survey released at the Canada, Cars and Culture conference in Toronto in November, almost half (48%) of Canadian drivers say they would continue driving the same vehicle even if insurance rates doubled. Similarly, a 100% increase in gas prices would not deter almost a third (31%) of Canadian drivers from driving as usual.

“Canadians cherish the mobility provided by their cars, and are willing to pay dearly for this freedom and independence,” said David MacDonald, Vice President of Environics Research. “Clearly, the role of the automobile in Canadian society is deeply entrenched.”

Despite this drive-at-any-cost mentality, the survey revealed that the vast majority (60%) of Canadian drivers say fuel efficiency will be their number one consideration when buying their next car. One third of Canadian drivers say clean emissions will be their top priority. Just 5% say they will be looking for more power.

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