Inflation, other economic factors weigh heavy on car buying attitudes

Inflation and other economic factors have an impact on the attitudes and actions of Canadian consumers looking to buy a vehicle, according to Canadian Black Book’s latest Ipsos poll.

The report, which was released on May 23 and aims to dissect car buying trends, found that 44% of consumers said the purchase price is the key consideration for them when buying a vehicle. That is compared to only 12% of car buyers, who see brand preference as the most important consideration.

“Inflation has not left the auto industry alone as prices have seen unprecedented increases in the last year, and consumers are taking note,” said Daniel Ross, Senior Manager of Industry Insights & Residual Value Strategy at Canadian Black Book, in a statement.

In the past 12 months, the average vehicle price jumped by around 20% — something only 15% of consumers are aware of. At the same time, 34% of respondents thought prices were up 15% to 25%, and 16% thought they increased from 30% to 50%.

“So, it is safe to say that consumers are aware of price increases,” said CBB in its news release. “It should be noted, however, that 12% of respondents said that they believed prices have not increased at all.”

Only 28% of Canadians are likely to buy a vehicle within the next year, while 47% are unlikely to do so. Many consumers (four in 10 Canadians) said the price of vehicles is too expensive — particularly for the 55-plus age group, as only 19% plan to buy. That number rises to 40% for 18-34 year-olds.

By province, 38% respondents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are most likely to buy, compared to 26% in Ontario and Québec.

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