Car Shoppers Itch for Road Trip, Edmunds Survey Finds | Edmunds

Car Shoppers Itch for Road Trip, Edmunds Survey Finds


Just the Facts:
  • A recent Edmunds survey found that 75 percent of Americans plan to take a road trip by Labor Day.
  • The survey results show that 80 percent of drivers specifically had road trips in mind when they shopped for their vehicle.
  • "Road trips are the ultimate test for any new vehicle," said Edmunds CEO Avi Steinlauf.

SANTA MONICA, California — In a recent survey of 1,000 Americans by Edmunds, 40 percent of drivers said that they definitely plan to take a road trip by Labor Day and another 34 percent are considering it.

Whether it's a major expedition on historic Route 66, an end-of-summer getaway to the Jersey Shore or simply a trip back to college, U.S. drivers are proving that car travel is still the preferred means of transportation.

Better than 92 percent of respondents say they'd drive up to 500 miles for a vacation and 49 percent of them would head cross-country for the right destination.

In fact, the survey found that 80 percent of drivers specifically had road trips in mind when they shopped for their vehicle, with cargo space being the primary consideration for 22 percent of them.

"It's not surprising to us that more than 80 percent of respondents had road trips in mind when they were car shopping," said Edmunds CEO Avi Steinlauf. "Road trips are the ultimate test for any new vehicle; if the car can be reliable and comfortable while handling all the loading, unloading and hauling with adequate fuel efficiency, then it'll definitely make a great long-term vehicle."

When Americans head out on the open road, traditional accompaniments like amiable travel companions (25 percent) and music (24 percent) help ensure an enjoyable ride. But 27 percent say they're ditching the customary road map in favor of its modern equivalent, GPS navigation.

Itching to head out on the highway but unsure of where to go?

Road Trip USA can help. Available in print and as an interactive Web site, it has suggestions for a variety of geographical routes — "Pacific Coast," "Atlantic Coast," "The Great Northern" — as well as some intriguing alternatives, like "The Road to Nowhere" and "The Loneliest Road."

Another useful resource is the National Geographic travel site. It includes a list of "Ultimate Road Trips," as well as a variety of destination searches, Top-10 lists and lots of photographs showing what to see along the way.

DiscoverAmerica.com has a "Hit the Road" section that not only allows browsing by region and provides a ton of helpful travel information, it also lets users map a route to any destination and displays all the best sights en route. DiscoverAmerica.com will even pony up a free song download if users agree to share their road trip on Facebook.

But wherever road-trippers head between now and the end of the summer, and whatever modern vehicles they drive or technology they use to navigate routes, it's obvious that some things never change: The survey found that of the respondents with children, 45 percent say they will threaten to "turn this car around" at least once on a road trip.

Edmunds says: Sounds like it's time to load up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and hit the Holiday Road.

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