Even though there has been relief at the pumps, gas prices are still elevated. Add in higher interest rates and overall inflation creating challenges everywhere they shop and car shopping appears to be low on the list of many consumers.
Car owner app Jerry released findings from its annual State of the American Driver Report. It surveyed more than 1,200 people in the U.S. across four generations to gauge the financial burden they’re facing and how their purchase patterns have changed.
Fewer than a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents said they plan to car shop. Vehicle prices and interest rates were listed as the biggest obstacles. If prices and interest rates come down, that could send about another 27 per cent of people to showrooms. Still, about half (49 per cent) said they had no interest in buying a new vehicle.
“The disruption we’re experiencing in the car market is likely to continue for at least another year or two,” said Henry Hoenig, data journalist at Jerry and the study’s author. “Supply-chain problems that have hit vehicle production are not fully resolved and the supply of newer used vehicles likely won’t return to normal until at least 2025. This means used-car prices will probably remain elevated, even if they fall somewhat from the recent highs.”
Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents said they’ll look at buying or leasing an electric vehicle as their next car. That’s a jump of 10 per cent from its last report, which Jerry attributes to record high gas prices consumers saw in 2022. For those who want to stick with their traditional gas-powered vehicles, the majority cited concerns about charging inconvenience and high vehicle prices as their main reasons to do so.
While Tesla remains the top choice of EV among consumers, more are willing to look elsewhere. About two-thirds said another brand would be their first choice, with Ford, Chevrolet and Hyundai being the top picks after Tesla.
One-third of drivers surveyed who bought a vehicle in 2022 said they ended up buying used instead of new because of limited supply at dealerships. A quarter of respondents said they bought a make or model that wasn’t their first choice, while 24 per cent paid more than they first budgeted. Another 15 per cent felt they paid more than the car was worth and nearly 10 per cent said they’ve taken on an uncomfortable debt level to pay for the vehicle.