Following recent fuel-price hikes, the Polk Center for Automotive Studies says consumers
report that fuel prices are now a bigger factor in their vehicle purchases.
The latest Polk
Center study found that 88 percent of respondents believe that U.S. dependency on imported
oil has gone up dramatically in the last five years. As a result they are buying fewer
large vehicles, down 27 percent last May compared to a year ago. Among the respondents,
approximately 59 percent are driving less and 84 percent said they would consider a hybrid.
Polk also found that those with lower incomes were about 50 percent more likely to be
looking to replace their vehicles with a more fuel-efficient one, and 40 percent were more
likely to delay their next vehicle purchase, if prices continue their climb.