Sixty Percent of Consumers Have Cut Back on Driving Due to Higher Gas Prices, NPD Reports

Houston, TX (Vocus/PRWEB) April 18, 2011

As the national average for a gallon of gas edges closer to $4-a-gallon consumers have cut back on their driving, reports The NPD Group, a leading market research company. NPD s motor fuels research shows that consumers have cut back on their gas purchases from a year ago, which means they are driving less.

According to The NPD Group's Motor Fuels Index, which continually tracks consumer motor fuel purchasing behaviors and attitudes, gallons purchased are down 1.2 percent from a year ago. In addition, a consumer survey conducted by NPD in January to gauge what price level would be required to cause consumers to drive less suggests that at today's gas prices approximately 60% of consumers are cutting back on driving now.

If the current uptick in gas price is sustained, we can expect consumers to begin implementing some key changes like reducing or consolidating shopping trips, taking more mass transit, and carpooling, says David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD s automotive aftermarket business. In the case of a prolonged spike above $4.00, we d expect even more significant changes like working from home, relocating or changing jobs, or driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Based on recent history in 2008 when gas reached a high of $4.16-a-gallon, NPD research shows that drivers made significant changes in driving behavior including 49% who reduced or consolidated shopping trips, 29% cancelled or modified vacations, and 25% found alternate means of transportation including mass transit, carpooling, and riding a bike. These are the very changes consumers are likely implementing once again.

It comes down to the simple economics of share of wallet, Portalatin says. Most consumers have limitations in their budgets. If they are spending more on gas, they either need to cut down on their driving or spend less on other things. History has told us they begin by cutting down on their driving.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or join the Linked in NPD Aftermarket Discussion Group.

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