Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)

December 18, 2014 06:00 ET

Christmas Plans Unaffected by Low Gas Prices, CAA Survey Finds

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 18, 2014) - Despite gas prices falling to five-year lows in most parts of the country, Canadians say they won't be altering Christmas plans even though their wallets are a little thicker now. And many expect prices to rise again by spring, a new poll by the Canadian Automobile Association has found.

A majority of Canadians say they are closely watching falling gas prices, but the low gas prices are not affecting their plans or spending this holiday season, the poll found.

"Although they are enjoying the savings, the majority of drivers are reluctant to change their behaviour this Christmas," summed up Jeff Walker, vice president of public affairs at CAA. "Many don't expect the savings to last much longer."

The national average for retail gas prices dropped below $1/litre today, yet four out of five drivers (82 per cent) are not planning to drive more this holiday season to visit friends and family. And most Canadians (71 per cent) will not be using their recent savings on gas to spend more on gifts, they say.

"The drop in gas prices we have seen in the past few months is unprecedented and is something that happens once in a generation" Walker says. "But a lot of Canadians don't seem to trust it."

Fewer than half of Canadians (45 per cent) predict even lower gas prices in the coming months, while 43 per cent expect they will move higher. And of those predicting higher prices, over half (53 per cent) expect gas prices to begin rising by spring toward the levels they were at a few months ago.

The national average was 99¢/litre as of the morning of Dec. 18, a drop of 5¢ since last week and the lowest price in almost five years, according to CAA's Gas Price Monitor, located at or on the CAA app. The last time the national average was 99¢/litre was on Jan. 11, 2009.

The monitor provides daily, weekly, monthly and yearly average prices for Canada, all provinces and over 110 cities. The CAA app for mobile devices shows prices at over 11,000 individual gas stations across Canada, updated at least nine times a day.

The CAA poll surveyed 1,027 Canadians between Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing over 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

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