Most British Columbians Are Feeling the Pain at Gas Stations

A remarkably high proportion of residents think gas stations take advantage of motorists by hiking prices on long weekends.

Vancouver, BC – Residents of British Columbia are taking steps to deal with rising fuel costs, and many are skeptical of the way gas prices are established by service stations and governments, a new Insights West poll conducted in partnership with Black Press has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, two thirds of British Columbians (68%) say that recent price increases in gasoline have caused financial hardship in their household.

As a result of higher gas prices, more than half of residents (55%) say they are driving less than usual, while 38% are filling up their car with less fuel than usual. More than one-in-four (27%) are walking to destinations more often, while one-in-five (19%) are taking public transit more than usual.

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“Higher gas prices are definitely affecting the behavior of British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “The situation is particularly tough for motorists aged 18-to-34, who are already walking and taking public transit more often than usual to save some money.”

When thinking about the price of gas, British Columbians express a high level of animosity towards both fuel providers and governments. Nine-in-ten residents (91%) think gas stations take advantage of motorists by hiking prices on long weekends, and four-in-five (81%) say gas stations in British Columbia tend to charge motorists more for fuel than those in other parts of Canada.

In addition, a large majority of British Columbians thinks the gas taxes in the province are “too high” (85%) and “unfair” (77%), and 82% believe governments have a vested interest in keeping gas prices high.

Half of British Columbians (49%) say they do not see any difference between grades of gas and regard the issue as a “marketing ploy”, while just one-in-five (19%) have conducted research—either online or through other sources—about the ethical practices of their primary fuel provider.

More than half of British Columbians (53%) say they get their gas from a specific service station where they collect points or are part of a loyalty program, while one-in-five (20%) fill up close to home or work and 10% go to a service station when the car is running out gas, regardless of brand.

 

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 9 to May 11, 2014, among 801 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: gosheshe