Canadian cars are sitting idle 96 per cent of the time, guzzling money. Canadian car owners are behind the wheel for just 380 hours per year. For the remaining 8,380 hours, cars are sitting idle.

The study found that the average market value of cars in circulation in Canada is $27,236 at the time of purchase, with Canadians spending thousands of dollars every year on car payments ($5,149 per year on average for those who lease or finance), insurance ($1,499 per year) and upkeep ($821 per year).

Significant differences were found in the cost of car ownership by province: for example, Quebec car owners pay on average 47 per cent less for insurance than Ontario car owners ($74/month in Quebec vs. $140/month in Ontario). In general, 45 per cent of Canadian car owners think the cost of owning a car is too high, while British Columbia residents are more likely than the rest of the country to say this (51 per cent).

The overwhelming majority of Canadians (90 per cent) take some sort of action to offset the mounting expenses including washing their own car (65 per cent), hunting for deals on gas (63 per cent), doing their own car repairs (36%) and carpooling (22 per cent).

At a time when individual car ownership is challenged by the rise of mobility services and the progress in the field of autonomous vehicles, the study paints an ambivalent future for car ownership in Canada. Many Canadians (41 per cent) wish they had better options so they wouldn’t need a car, and 39 per cent of respondents indicated that, at some point in their lives, they would prefer to not own a car. A large proportion of Canadians (43 per cent) also expressed concerns over their car’s impact on the environment, with a significantly higher proportion of environmental concern among 18-34 year olds and in Quebec.

However, only 11 per cent of Canadian car owners have plans to get rid of their car within the next 10 years.
The study was fielded February 12 -15, 2019 among a representative sample of 2,017 Canadians. It was sponsored by Turo, the peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace, and conducted by Angus Reid Global.

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