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AAA Survey reveals Americans still Budget-Conscious despite Lower Gas Prices

52% are more likely to consider driving vs. flying

AAATampa, FL – Gas prices are entering the volatile spring season, but motorists are still seeing the cheapest pump prices since May 2009. On average, Americans are saving $22.00 for a full tank of gas compared to when the national average price was at its highest last spring ($3.70). Click here to view current average gas prices in your area.

“Gas prices shot up last week, but are leveling off for now,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Gasoline typically rises 30 to 50 cents in the spring. Even if that does happen, AAA does not expect prices to reach $3.00 this year.”

AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey Summary Majority Response
More likely to take an extended road trip this year? 52% – Yes
More likely to drive vs. fly? 52% – Yes
Less concerned with fuel efficient driving habits? 65% – No
Still search for gas stations with cheapest gas? 60% – Yes
How do you spend your savings at the pump? 36% – Bills
Click here to view the full survey

The Energy Information Administration estimates the average American household could save $500.00-$750.00 this year. What are Americans doing with those savings? According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey conducted in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee; 36 percent will pay bills, 29 percent put it in savings, and more than 10 percent will spend it on dining, shopping and travel.

Click here to view the full AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

“Lower gas prices could create a major boost for the travel industry this year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “When gas prices plunged last fall, a record number of travelers were expected for the year-end holidays. That momentum is likely to carry-over to the busy summer travel season as low gas prices make it easy to hit the road on a whim.”

More than half (52%) of consumers say they are more likely to take an extended road trip this year now that gasoline prices are cheaper. The majority (52%) also point to low pump-prices as the reason they are more likely to consider driving instead of flying to their destination.

“The current state of gas prices can make road trips much more cost-effective especially for large families who would otherwise likely spend thousands of dollars on air fare alone,” said Jenkins.

Gasoline is more than a dollar lower than this time last year, yet the majority of consumers (60%) still seek out gas stations with the cheapest price. Even though, the cost of driving is substantially lower this year, fuel efficiency remains top of mind for nearly two-thirds (65%) of people on the roadways.

“Motorists are cautiously optimistic that $2.00 gasoline is here to stay for some time,” said Jenkins. “AAA forecasts that gas prices should remain below $3.00 a gallon this year. With that said Americans are still very budget-conscious and will drive the extra mile save a few bucks.”

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in the Southern Region of The Auto Club Group (Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee) from January 26th, 2015 – February 4th, 2015. A total of 1,216 residents completed the survey.

The survey has a maximum margin of error of ± 2.8 percentage points. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.

About The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.


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