Over Eighty Percent of U.S. Drivers More Focused on Extending Life of Current Vehicle, Only Half Follow Regular Maintenance Program

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CarMD.com Corporation survey has found a disparity in vehicle owners' desire to keep their cars healthy, and willingness to invest time and money on actually doing so.

It's concerning to see that drivers would risk their vehicle's health and their own safety.

CarMD.com Corp., today announced it has found a disparity between drivers’ desires to keep their vehicles healthy longer and a willingness to invest in making it a reality, according to a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive® on behalf of CarMD.com Corp. The survey indicates that 82 percent of U.S. adults who own or lease a vehicle and had a vehicle prior to their current vehicle are more focused on extending the life of their current vehicle than they have been in the past with a prior vehicle. However, only half (52%) of those who’ve ever owned/leased a vehicle follow a regularly scheduled automotive maintenance program. The survey also found that one-quarter (25%) of of those who’ve ever owned/leased a vehicle like to take care of their vehicle but have been stretching out the time between services lately to save money.

“This study offers a revealing glimpse into the minds and behavior of consumers as it relates to their second largest purchase after a home,” said Art Jacobsen, director of business development for CarMD.com Corp. “We already know from industry reports that consumers are keeping their cars longer due to the economy, yet this report indicates they’re not doing everything they can to protect that investment with preventative maintenance. It’s one thing to put off a hair cut, car wash or manicure when money is tight, but it’s concerning to see that drivers would risk their vehicle’s health and their own safety.”

CarMD has released the survey to help communicate the role regular, preventative maintenance programs play in extending the life of a vehicle and saving consumers money.

The survey found that among those who’ve ever put off auto maintenance/repairs, the main reason is due to a belief that repairs would cost more than they wanted to spend or could afford to spend (65%). Other reasons include: didn’t have time (34%), didn’t think it was serious (28%), were afraid to find out what the problem was (12%) and didn’t have a mechanic/repair facility they could trust (11%). Additional survey findings include:

  • Those with household incomes of less than $75k who had a vehicle prior to their current vehicle (85%) were more likely to indicate they are more focused on extending the life of their current vehicle than those who had a vehicle prior to their current vehicle with household incomes over $75k (77%)
  • 85 percent of those aged 35-44, who had a vehicle prior to their current vehicle, are more focused on extending the life of their current vehicle than they have been in the past with a prior vehicle
  • 64 percent of U.S. adults who ever owned/leased a vehicle have ever put off automotive maintenance/repairs
  • Women (72%) are more likely than men (58%) to indicate that they have put off automotive maintenance/repairs because they were afraid it would cost more than they wanted to spend or could afford.

CarMD.com Corp. distributes the award-winning CarMD® Vehicle Health System, which gives drivers a quick and easy way to analyze their vehicle’s “Check Engine” health from home and detect hidden engine problems before they result in expensive repairs. When a problem is found, CarMD gives vehicle owners peace of mind by letting them know what the problem is and what they should expect to pay for repairs in their zip code. Through CarMD, the vehicle owner can understand how serious the problem is, budget to have repairs made and make educated decisions to help extend the life of their vehicle. The CarMD support line provides customers live support for diagnosing vehicle repair requirements and costs from Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians based in the U.S.

Survey and Sample Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive® on behalf of CarMD.com Corporation from April 21 – 23, 2010 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,449 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, 2,340 of which have ever owned/leased a vehicle and 2,242 currently have a vehicle. Results were weighted as needed for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

About CarMD.com Corp.
The mission of Fountain Valley, Calif.-based CarMD.com Corp., is to empower consumers by providing the tools and information needed to make better-educated decisions about their vehicles’ health and maintenance. Distributed by CarMD.com Corp., CarMD is priced at $98.99 and is available in the U.S. direct to consumers at http://www.CarMD.com. The product is supported Monday – Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) by live Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians based in the U.S.A.

(Media Notes: Available upon request are tips from CarMD’s ASE certified technicians to help consumers extend the life of their vehicles. Also available are the complete survey results, including a detailed methodology. CarMD has experts on staff that are available for media interviews to discuss this data and tips).

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KRISTIN BROCOFF
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