Americans Put Their Cars First

Two-Thirds Service Their Vehicle More Often Than They Go to the Dentist, Cars.com Survey Reveals




While the temperatures may be starting to cool down, things are just starting to heat up between Americans and their cars as the majority admit to having strong feelings of love toward their personal vehicles, according to a new Cars.com national survey. The survey uncovered that nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) love their car a lot, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) have a significant amount of pride in their vehicle.

But just how deep does Americans’ love for their cars run? The majority of respondents are more concerned with maintaining the health of their vehicle than their own oral health — nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) confess they service their vehicle more often than they go to the dentist. Americans’ preventive health care comes second, too, as more than half of respondents (57 percent) say they service their vehicle more than they see a doctor.

“Our survey supports what we already know: for many people, our cars are an extension of ourselves, and sometimes that means they get the majority of our attention and affection,” said Matt Schmitz, assistant managing editor of Cars.com. “But at Cars.com, we know finding the perfect car to fall in love with can be overwhelming. Our Matchmaker tool helps make the process easier and more fun by pairing car shoppers with the vehicle that best meets their needs and lifestyle preferences. We’re creating matches made in car heaven, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

The survey reveals that Americans are so enamored with their vehicles that the majority (57 percent) admit they would rather take their car to the car wash than book themselves a haircut. Furthermore, Americans don’t want to share their rides with anyone else — more than two-thirds (68 percent) would not allow their vehicle to be used for ride-sharing and 37 percent wouldn’t even loan their car to a friend or family member. However, some cities are more affectionate toward their vehicles than others:

  • A Is for Car Lovers: Los Angeles residents love their cars the most (76 percent) and have the most pride in their vehicles compared to residents in other cities. They are most likely (46 percent) to wash their vehicles more often than they water their plants, and more than half (56 percent) get their vehicle serviced more often than they go to the doctor.
  • Bostonians Don’t Find Pride in Their Ride: Bostonians are the least in love with their vehicles (64 percent). Compared to people in other cities, Boston residents have the least amount of pride in their vehicles and are more interested in getting a haircut than washing their car.
  • San Fran Forbids Fast Food: San Francisco drivers pay close attention to the condition of their cars. They are least willing to tolerate passengers eating fast food or drinking coffee or soda in their car, and they are some of the most likely (28 percent) to keep their vehicle’s floor mats cleaner than their kitchen floors.
  • Kid-Friendly in St. Louis: Of the cities surveyed, St. Louis residents are the most kid-friendly: they are the most willing to allow kids in the car and to tolerate fast food being enjoyed in the backseat.
  • Cleveland’s Staying Healthy: Cleveland residents pay more attention to themselves than they do their cars; of the cities surveyed, they are most likely to go to the doctor more often than they service their vehicles.
  • Atlanta Feels Overprotective: Atlanta drivers are extra-protective of their vehicles and won’t allow their car to be parked on the street or used for moving. They are also the least willing to put up with smelly atheletic gear being brought into their vehicle.

With a range of tools, reviews from experts and other shoppers, and millions of new and used car listings, Cars.com helps consumers find a car they’ll fall in love with. To find your next four-wheel companion, visit cars.com/matchmaker.

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The Locator Magazine December 2019
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