TUSTIN, Calif. --- With gas prices remaining higher than last year, a new survey confirms that many consumers plan to change the type of vehicle they drive. However, the number of people planning such a change isn't as high as it was just a month ago. The October 2005 Fuel Price Impact Survey, conducted by AutoPacific's Vehicle Voice, is based on online surveys from 1,145 respondents. The surveys were completed between Oct. 17-22. While over half (63%) of the respondents indicated that they will not change the type of vehicle they drive, there clearly is impact on the sport utility vehicle category. About 22% of SUV owners said they will shift to another type of vehicle next time they buy, down from 27% a month ago. The vehicle class most likely to benefit from this migration is small cars (up 33% this month, compared with a 41% increase last month). While the data do not show a direct relationship of drivers moving from SUVs to small cars, there is a tendency to move from less fuel-efficient classes to vehicle types that get better gas mileage. About 25% of drivers who have vehicles powered by V8 engines say they will shift to more fuel-efficient engines, the same as reported last month. Vehicles with hybrid powerplants will be considered by 15% of the respondents, virtually unchanged from the prior survey. There is also somewhat more interest in diesel engines, though significantly less than the level of interest in a gas-electric hybrid. When asked whether high fuel prices are good or bad for America, 80% say that high fuel prices are "bad for America," unchanged from the prior survey.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials