The cost of gas is affecting how drivers shop for new cars, according to the pricing mavens at Kelley Blue Book.
The latest Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research study reports that shoppers have already changed their behavior, and will keep defecting from less fuel-efficient vehicles if gas prices keep rising.
In the latest survey, some 60 percent of 1100 shoppers surveyed admitted that gas prices have changed which car they purchased or will purchase. And of those polled, 43 percent said they would consider a more gas-miserly car if gas prices rose another 25 cents over today's prices. Kelley says both those figures have risen 11 points since the previous month.
Some shoppers are sticking to their guns, but their numbers are dropping. In February Kelley asked shoppers if they were unaffected by gas prices as they looked for a vehicle, and 34 percent said yes. In March that number fell to 25 percent. The numbers of those interested in alternative-fuel vehicles, too, are growing.
“The cost of gasoline is continually hitting new record highs, forcing consumers to reevaluate their spending,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. “This study shows just how many are willing to make better economic choices in order to save money and increase fuel efficiency. More fuel efficient models are available on the market and now consumers have that choice.”