Over four in ten Canadians are driving less as a result of rising gas prices.

  • Atlantic Canadians are more likely to have reduced their driving than residents in the rest of Canada.
  • One in three Canadians have not changed their behaviour since gas prices began to increase.

May 10, 2022

Over the past few months, fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, have been on the rise across the country. For many Canadians, increasing gas prices combined with general increases in cost of living on everything from groceries to housing creates a heavy financial burden. To determine if Canadians are taking matters into their own hands to alleviate some of these costs, we asked about how driving behaviours have changed, if at all.

As a result of steep price increases at the pump, over four in ten Canadians (44%) are now driving less – limiting either number or distance of trips. Meanwhile, one-third of residents (35%) have made no change to their behaviour as a result of rising prices. A limited number of Canadians have made other changes to their habits or lifestyles. One in ten (8%) have started buying gas in smaller amounts, and the same proportion have begun walking or riding a bike. Fewer than five percent mention changes including taking public transit (4%), using a more fuel-efficient vehicle (4%) or carpooling (3%). One in eight Canadians do not have a car, don’t drive or don’t buy gas (13%).

Across provinces, Atlantic Canadians are notably more likely to indicate they are driving less (59%), and less likely to say they have made no change to their behaviour (26%). In contrast, British Columbians are most likely to disclose they have not changed their behaviour as a result of increasing gas prices (43%) but are also more likely to have started taking public transit (8%). Meanwhile, Quebecois are most likely to have started using a more fuel-efficient vehicle (8%) compared to those in other provinces.

The cost of gas prices is affecting residents disproportionately, with younger and lower income adults more adversely impacted. The likelihood of walking/biking, taking public transit, or carpooling decreases with age. Meanwhile, behaviour is more likely to remain unchanged as household income increases, and those with a household income of up to $59,999 are less likely to own a car at all. Additionally, compared to women, men are more likely to say they have not changed their behaviour and are also more likely to have started using more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Results shown are from a survey conducted in partnership between Narrative Research and the Logit Group. The survey was conducted online between April 12 and 19, 2022 with 1,239 Canadians 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied.   

The question included in this press release included the following:

How, if at all, have you changed your behaviours since gas prices began to rise steeply in last few weeks?

  • Driving less – limited number or distance of trips
  • Began carpooling
  • Driving as much but not filling up the tank (just buying in smaller amounts)
  • Began taking public transit
  • Began walking/riding bike
  • Using a more fuel-efficient vehicle
  • No change to my behaviour – still buying just as much gas/driving just as much
  • I don’t have a car/don’t drive/don’t buy gas

For more information, contact:

Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca


Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company was recently certified as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. 

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented. 

Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative and @LogitGroup

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