Price Trumps Safety Record For Car Purchase


Price vs safety

NEW YORK -- July 16, 2014: Price is trumping safety record when it comes to choosing the next car, according to the latest YouGov Omnibus survey.

When asked which factors were important to them when choosing a new or pre-owned car, car owners and leasers put the safety record of a particular make of car behind price, fuel efficiency, and mileage as their most important consideration.

Price is the key driver for 96% of car owners and leasers with 75% considering it a very important.

Although the safety record of the brand is of some consideration to the majority of Americans (89%), only 59% believe it is very important. Women appear to be more concerned about the brand safety record than men, with 64% of women drivers finding it very important compared to 43% of men.

The factors, which seem to have a secondary impact on choice, are luxury features (52%), brand loyalty (51%) and "the image it projects of me" (34%). Millennials are far more likely to be conscious of image, with over half (54%) admitting it was important and one quarter (25%) thinking it a very important factor – higher than both older age groups and higher income families. Millennials (55%) are also more likely than Baby Boomers (50%) to be swayed by luxury features.

Despite the many recalls Americans seem to have short recall memories. Only 35% of Americans had heard of safety concerns for Chevrolet in the last three months and 18% for Toyota. GM has made multiple recalls for Chevrolet and other GM marks in the last few months, Toyota recalled over 800,000 vehicles in June, and over two million back in April.

Although they don't seem to be impacting sales, the recalls may be having an impact on perception. Toyota and Chevrolet owners don't give their cars the highest marks for safety. 28% of Chevrolet drivers gave their cars the highest rating for safety compared to 23% of Toyota drivers. Honda and Nissan rated rather higher with 35% of Honda drivers and 36% of Nissan drivers awarding their cars a 10 out of 10 for safety. 30% of Ford owners gave their car the highest ranking.

For more information and full tables visit: Price More Important than Recalls

Note on Methodology

Total sample size was 1169 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 6th July 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

YouGov is an international full-service research and consulting company, which has pioneered the use of technology to collect higher quality, in-depth data for companies, governments, and institutions so that they can better serve the people that sustain them.

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