More and more Canadians less likely to own a car due to inflation: study

Apr 4 2023, 3:58 pm

Canadians are becoming less likely to own a car due to the high cost of living and inflation. This is according to the second annual Car Ownership Index by Turo, a Canadian peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace. 

The index surveyed 1,500 English or French-speaking Canadians aged 25 or older. In the survey, 39% of respondents said they were less likely to buy or lease a vehicle this year due to inflation.

Inflation is currently at 5.2%, following a deceleration from the 5.9% rate in January.

Of those surveyed, 24% said they were concerned that they could not afford the monthly payments to lease a vehicle and cited this as the primary reason for ending ownership.

This is double the figure reported in 2021, highlighting Canadian households’ increasing financial strain. 

Car ownership is a significant expense for Canadians, and while many might consider it a necessity, the reality is that cars are often underutilized. The survey found that while the average car owner in Canada pays $4,810 a year for their vehicle, it will sit idle for 96% of the year.

For many, car ownership is essential for their daily commute. More than half of working car owners surveyed said they would have to change their job if they did not have a vehicle.

Owning a vehicle is also a symbol of independence. In addition to the daily commute, 31% of Canadian car owners cite convenience, and 20% cite the desire for freedom as their top reason for having a car.

However, due to financial pressures, Canadians increasingly must seek alternative transportation solutions. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they were open to ride-sharing services, while 52% said they were open to public transportation. 

The survey results highlight how inflation and the cost of living crisis have forced Canadians to make deeper cuts to their spending habit. As a result, many are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing, energy, transportation and essential goods.

Is the public transit system in your city affordable, reliable, and expansive enough to ditch your car? Let us know in the comments.

Harry LinleyHarry Linley

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