Our Northwest

Few NW drivers willing to part with their car

Wednesday, August 19, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Northwest residents are known to be a “green” crowd, protective of their scenic environment.
     Just don’t expect them to give up their beloved fossil-fueled cars.
     I often hear people groan about gridlock, carbon emissions, and sky-high parking fees. So our work team decided to address this topic in one of our monthly PEMCO Polls: Could you make do without a car? Would you actually give up owning one?
     The answer, essentially: not so much.
     PEMCO learned that 62% of Washington and Oregon households own two or more cars, and nearly one-third of drivers said it would be easy to make do with fewer cars.
     When asked why they’d consider giving up a car, the 1,200 poll participants said their biggest benefits would be to cut owner and maintenance costs, to lessen the environmental impact, and because it’s better to walk, bike or ride mass transit.
     But when it comes down to it, just 9% said they’d like to actually give up owning a car.
     In contrast, 87% said they like having their own vehicle and “can’t imagine not having one.”
     We also learned Northwest drivers like to hang on to their cars for awhile. They shop for a new one about every 10 years, on average. And when they do, the top factors in choosing what to buy are, in order: price, miles per gallon, style, and safety.
     As you might expect, PEMCO would like to see drivers rank safety higher when choosing a car. But we also realize consumers simply might expect today’s auto-makers to automatically build in safety features.
     Read our full results to learn more, including whether Northwest drivers are comfortable with negotiating the price when buying a new car.

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Comments on this post

personLibby Seidel08/19/2015 09:10 PM
Giving up a car for us is impossible. Unless you live in the CIty and have mass transit available you need a car. The Puget Sound area does not have a lot of Mass Transit options for us non city dwellers.

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