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News   October 22, 2013   by CARS Magazine

Canadian drivers are more image conscious than global average

Still think Canucks are the most modest people around? Think again. An international study of more than 10,000 drivers from 10 countries for the classified website Kijiji places more Canadian drivers in the category of "Image Seekers" than any of the report's other driver personas, and above the global average in this category.


Still think Canucks are the most modest people around? Think again. An international study of more than 10,000 drivers from 10 countries for the classified website Kijiji places more Canadian drivers in the category of "Image Seekers" than any of the report’s other driver personas, and above the global average in this category.

The Kijiji report categorizes Canadian and international drivers among seven different personas based on driver habits and opinions, as follows:

Image Seekers (27 per cent) – brand, design and styling are more important than among other personas. Global average: 23 per cent

Reliability/Efficiency Seekers (22 per cent) – brand is less of a priority, but reliability, efficiency, and running costs matter. Global average: 22 per cent

Performance Seekers (17 per cent) – handling and power are higher up on the list of priorities. Global average: 17 per cent

Necessity Drivers (19 per cent) – say a car is just a tool to get from A to B. Global average: 17 per cent

Risk Takers (five per cent) – parks carelessly, more likely to drink and drive. Global average: 11 per cent

Cautious Drivers (five per cent) – rarely has accidents or damages their car. Global average: four per cent

Accident Prone (five per cent) – despite less obvious risk taking they are still prone to accidents. Global average: six per cent

"When it comes to Canadian drivers, image seekers have overtaken efficiency seekers, though many stereotypically modest Canadian traits continue on the road," says Scott Neil, head of Kijiji Autos Canada.

While image seekers and performance seekers combined account for close to half (44 per cent) of Canadian drivers, as a nation, we are still understated when it comes to the cars we covet.  When asked to list their "dream vehicle", Canadians gravitate to more modest luxury brands such as BMW (14 per cent), Mercedes-Benz (11 per cent), or Lexus (nine per cent) versus supercars like Lamborghini (six per cent), Ferrari (four per cent), or Rolls-Royce (four per cent).

Notwithstanding our tendency to value style slightly above substance, when it comes to colour, Canadians prefer classic, neutral tones over bright and bold. Sensible silver is the most popular car colour in Canada, preferred by 18 per cent of drivers, followed by basics blue and black (15 per cent each) and good old grey (14 per cent).  Just 11 per cent of us opt for racy red.

As a nation, Canadians also approach car buying pragmatically, with nine out of 10 (89 per cent) acknowledging that a new car’s value depreciates when driven off the lot.

When it comes to new versus used vehicle purchases:

*Five out of six Canadians (83 per cent) have owned a used vehicle

*Sixty-three per cent of Canadians would buy a used vehicle because they feel that new cars are too expensive

*Three out of 10 Canadians (29 per cent) feel that used vehicles are just as good as new ones, and that new vehicles are not worth the extra money

*One in five Canadians (19 per cent) would buy a used car in order to get their particular dream vehicle

The Kijiji study also reveals that, once behind the wheel, Canadians are more careful and conscientious on the road compared to the global average:

*Just five per cent of Canadian drivers fall into the "Risk Takers" persona compared to 11 per cent of drivers globally

*While 17 per cent of Canadians report scraping or scratching their car in a minor accident over the last year, 21 per cent globally say they’ve had a fender bender

*Ten per cent of Canadian drivers admit to getting a speeding ticket over the last year compared to 16 per cent of the global population surveyed

Kijiji’s top tips for Canadians when buying a vehicle online:

*Know the History – Always ask the seller for a car’s Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), CarProof Vehicle History Report, mileage, and repair history

*Inspect – Have a professional inspection done by a licensed technician to save money down the road, and look for potential issues with the tires, body or interior

*Test Drive – Don’t buy a car before taking it for a test drive, preferably when the engine is cold.  Try various speeds, different types of roads, parking and idling. Make sure all of the lights and electronics are working.  Even a short test drive can help identify problems.