Discover Financial Services recently conducted a survey asking consumers what they would be willing to do to save money during this time of high gas prices. According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, the survey found that 80% of Americans say their car or truck is very important to their everyday lives.
Nearly half of the nation’s car owners would be willing to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle if gas prices were to rise by $1 or more. Seventy percent of those surveyed said they would cut back on entertainment spending first, while 66% indicated they would change vacation plans in order to combat fuel prices.
The survey was conducted as part of the Discover Spending Confidence Monitor. It was completed via telephone by 1,000 adults and had a margin of error of +/- 3. Ed Stolbof, senior vice president of marketing for Discover Financial Services, said that, “It appears the first line of defense to lessen the impact of rising gas prices is expense management.” Consumers would rather cut back spending in other areas than change driving habits. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said that they were not likely to walk or ride a bike as an alternative form of transportation. Less than 25% of those polled said they would use public transportation.
Although this survey included responses from only 1,000 consumers, it is a good indicator of one thing: Americans love their cars, and would reduce discretionary spending on things such as vacations rather than give up their car.
Source: Bodipa-Memba, Alejandro. (June 26, 2007). “Americans Would Rather Pinch Pennies Than Get Around Without Car.” Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 2, 2007, from www.freep.com.