Toronto, ON - While a majority (71%) of Canadians who own or lease an automobile install winter tires on it for the winter months, three in ten (29%) say they do not, according to a new Ipsos survey for LowestRates.ca.
Winter tire habits vary significantly by age and by region. Younger drivers aged 18-34 (79%) are the most likely to install winter tires, compared to 72% of those aged 35-54 and 65% of those 55+. Viewed differently, older Canadians are most likely not to install winter tires (35%), compared to just 21% of those aged 18-34 who don't use winter tires.
Differences at the regional level are likely due to the perceived severity of winter conditions in different parts of the country. British Columbia, well known for its milder winter temperatures, registers the highest proportion of automobile owners or leasers who do not install winter tires (52%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (42%), Alberta (39%), Ontario (32%) and the Atlantic provinces (22%). In Quebec, where installing winter tires is mandated by law, just 3% of owners/leasers admit to not using them during the winter months.
Attitudes Towards Winter Tires
The data reveal that while seven in ten (72%) agree (29% strongly/43% somewhat) that `having winter tires can help lower insurance rates', three in ten (28%) `disagree' (9% strongly/20% somewhat) that winter tires can save money in this way. Despite this, more than three in four (77%) agree (49% strongly/28% somewhat) that `winter tires are a must have.160
Support for legislation on winter tires is also strong, with fully two in three (66%) agreeing (36% strongly/30% somewhat) `it should be mandatory for all automobiles in Canada, regardless of province, to use winter tires from November through March'. Still, one in three (34%) Canadians `disagrees' (12% strongly/22% somewhat with this proposed policy. British Columbians (48%) are most likely to disagree that it should be mandatory, followed by those living in Alberta (46%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (39%), Ontario (37%), Atlantic Canada (30%), and Quebec (14%).
Skeptical views about winter tires also exist, though they appear to be far less common. For instance, one in three (32%) drivers agree (7% strongly/25% somewhat) that `winter tires are a cash grab' - leaving 68% who disagree (36% strongly/32% somewhat). Similarly, one in four (26%) agree (6% strongly/20% somewhat) that `winter tires aren't that much better than all-season tires', while 74% disagree (35% strongly/39% somewhat) with this point of view.
Women (70%) are more likely than men (62%) to support making winter tires mandatory across Canada throughout the winter months, while men (31%) are likelier than women (21%) to say winter tires aren't that much better than all-season tires.
Millennials tend to hold stronger views about winter tires than any other group - both positive and negative:
|To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?|
(% Strongly/Somewhat Agree)
|Baby Boomers (55+)|
|I believe winter tires are a must have||84%||77%||73%|
|Having winter tires can help lower insurance rates||79%||70%||67%|
|It should be mandatory for all automobiles in Canada, regardless of province, to use winter tires from November through March||74%||65%||62%|
|Winter tires are a cash grab||37%||34%||26%|
|Winter tires aren't that much better than all-season tires||29%||27%||23%|
Regionally speaking, opinion in Quebec is by far the most favourable to winter tires being seen as a must have: 96% of those who own or lease an automobile in the province agree, followed 85% in the Atlantic provinces, 74% in Ontario, 73% in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 66% in Alberta and 59% in BC.
In British Columbia, where winter tires are the least prevalent, drivers are most likely to agree winter tires are a cash grab (39%, tied with Alberta and Ontario, where winters tend to be harsher), and that they aren't much better than all-season tires (35%, tied with Alberta). They are also most likely to disagree that winter tires are a must have (41%).
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 4 and November 8, 2016, on behalf of LowestRates.ca. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Canadians who own or lease an automobile from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting160was then160employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. 160In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults with a car been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Ipsos Public Affairs
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