Inflation causing more vehicle owners to perform basic maintenance

Study also reveals an overwhelming majority (78 percent) say rising gas prices are now impacting daily driving

From Aftermarket Matters

Nashville, Tenn.—As Americans continue to navigate an evolving economic environment, new data from Hankook Tire’s Gauge Index reveals the impact of these pressures on everyday driving.

Inflation Inside Art

The latest survey found:

  • Just as driving frequency approached pre-pandemic norms, an overwhelming majority (78 percent) say rising gas prices are now impacting daily driving.
  • More than half (54 percent) of Americans say that in the last 30 days, they have driven less often as a result of the cost of gas — up 28 percent from March 2022, when gas prices first began to tick upward.
  • Gas prices are also proving a powerful incentive for those considering an electric vehicle. One-in-four (26 percent) say because of current prices, they plan to purchase an electric vehicle in the future. Further, 51 percent say less money spent on gas is the most appealing benefit of making the switch.
  • Rising costs are not just impacting gas prices and how often people are driving. More than a quarter of Americans (26 percent) say inflation is causing them to perform more basic maintenance tasks at home.

“After two summers of pandemic-fueled uncertainty, the latest Gauge results show that drivers who are eager to get behind the wheel are facing a new roadblock,” said JJ Park, vice president of Marketing, Hankook Tire America Corp. “While we can’t control the price of gas, staying on top of regular vehicle maintenance, including the tires, can help mitigate additional costs along the way and maximize fuel efficiency.”

Vehicle purchasing yields to supply chain struggles

Supply chain pressures also continue to impact Americans’ automotive decisions. More than one-third (35 percent) say that due to supply chain issues, they are trying to make their current vehicle last longer. Additionally, 22 percent are considering holding off on purchasing a new vehicle altogether.

When the time does come to make a purchase, supply chain concerns could influence what drivers are looking for in their next vehicle. The shortages are impacting what technology is available in new cars, so some buyers may need to sacrifice the latest tech. The Gauge found one-third (32 percent) say they would be most willing to give up self-parking technology in order to purchase a new vehicle. Drivers are least likely to give up their tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) or automatic braking — only six percent are willing to do so.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans’ attitudes and opinions about driving. The latest survey, conducted May 11-16, polled 1,060 randomly selected Americans age 18 and older who have a valid U.S. driver’s license.

From Aftermarket Matters