Driveway readers are in the mood to splash out an astonishing $3.6 billion-plus of their hard-earned cash to buy new vehicles this year…

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Driveway readers are in the mood to splash out an astonishing $3.6 billion-plus of their hard-earned cash to buy new vehicles this year.

This is not some wild, optimistic prediction, but rather a solid forecast based on what our readers revealed in a comprehensive survey conducted on behalf of Black Press by Pulse Research, a company with 30 years of experience in asking the right questions of consumers.

In a series of wide-ranging interviews, Black Press newspaper readers from all over the province gave Pulse a comprehensive account of their spending plans. Their intention to spend $53.1 million on fish and chips, $45.8 million on tooth whitening, $13.1 million on tattoos or piercing, $9.1 million on pet toys and $1.9 million on tuxedos, raised some smiles.

But the auto spending intent grabbed our serious attention. A massive 123,275 households will take vehicles for a spin and sign on the dotted line. A massive 51,895 will park a new car on their driveway, 32,312 will house a sport ute in their garage, while another 28,395 will opt for a truck out front.

Most people surveyed knew what kind of wheels they would be looking for and what they were prepared to pay. The sticker price range for most folks is $25-$30,000. However, premium car sellers will be pleased that 13,708 plan to spend an average of $45,000 on one of their products. Another 7,883 will shell out an average of $64,413 for refined vehicles in the $50-$75,000 price range. In addition, 2,937 more will spend an average of $82,448 on luxury marques.

An eco-conscious 11,750 households will fork out more than $30 grand for a hybrid or electric vehicle. Utilitarian minivans top the shopping list at 9,791 homes, with budgets a shade under $30,000.

We even discovered that readers would spend another $2 billion on car servicing, preventive maintenance, oil changes and after-market products. Good news for used car sales: 105,750 households are prepared to spend $1.69 billion on pre-owned, nearly new, or whatever the current parlance is for second-hand vehicles as they used to be called!

Last week, Blair Qualey, the president of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, talked about the importance of his industry to this province in his column here about the Vancouver International Auto Show, which runs until Sunday,

Reacting to the Black Press/Pulse report, he said: “Customers today are clearly taking advantage of one of the most exciting times in automotive history. Dealers across BC are focusing like never before on creating a better buying experience – a more enjoyable, more informed and entertaining experience on-site and online. It’s almost as if dealers are putting on mini Auto Shows every day of the week!”

He continued: “There are more than 350 new car dealerships across the province, and new ones popping up all the time, making this industry one of BC’s most important. Not only because they generate more than $10 billion annually in economic activity, but also because they employ directly and indirectly, more than 34,000 full-time people in the more than 50 communities that they serve. The buying intent of Black Press readers is terrific news for our members and the BC economy.

“I can hardly wait for the next few years. Buckle up; it’s going to be an exciting ride.”

Meanwhile, the Driveway team will continue to supply the information to help readers make the right decision for themselves in their car purchases.

Contact: kmorgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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