Study Shows Most Canadians Own Cars, Have No Plan to Ditch Them, Water Still Wet

A newly released study regarding car ownership and vehicle usage in Canada shows a few interesting facts. First is that 83 percent of Canadians own or lease a vehicle, and 81 percent of car owners felt it would be "impossible not to have a car." The same percentage has no plan to stop owning one in the future.
Vehicles on a road between buildings in Toronto, Canada 7 photos
Photo: Andre Furtado on
Selection of cars available on Turo in CanadaSelection of cars available on Turo in CanadaSelection of cars available on Turo in CanadaSelection of cars available on Turo in CanadaSelection of cars available on Turo in CanadaSelection of cars available on Turo in Canada
The study we are referring to is the first annual Car Ownership Index made in this country, and it was done by Turo Canada in partnership with Leger.

According to the same study, Canadians are behind the wheel for 400.6 hours (ca. 16.6 days) per year. When compared to another study commissioned by Turo in Canada on the matter, back in 2019, it was revealed that Canadians drive for just 380 hours (15.8 days) per year.

In other words, while the survey underlined the fact that cars in Canada had less time sitting unused in 2021 when compared to 2019, they still wind up being parked 95 percent of the time.

According to the same survey, car ownership costs an average of $4,937 a year, but those who have no plan of ditching their cars say that convenience is the most important factor in their decision to keep it.

Moreover, the second most significant factor, just one percent less essential according to the survey, is commuting, which makes sense just as much as convenience does.

The third factor is the desire for freedom, which gets 17 percent of the votes. The rest of the factors were not mentioned, but it is safe to assume that all owners have their reasons to keep owning their vehicles.

The survey revealed the fact that 86 percent of Canadians have never driven an electric car, but 66 percent did say that they were more likely to buy one if they could try one for a few days a week before making a decision. Despite that, 79 percent of the 1,520 people who took part in the survey said that they are reluctant to buy a fully electric car for their next purchase.

The main reasons behind the decision are high cost and range anxiety. At the same time, 58 percent of Canadians who are planning to buy or lease a new car will look for a hybrid or an EV.

As Cedric Mathieu, Vice President and Head of Turo in Canada, noted, "alternatives are limited for Canadians who still need access to a vehicle." He also described car ownership as "an inefficient model," while also underlining the fact that owning a car is "still a central part of Canadian life."

We should point out that Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental service, which would not work if people did not own cars that they could afford not to use while they are rented to other drivers. In other words, while inefficient, people must own cars so that others can rent them from the owners at an affordable price. According to Turo, owners of cars that are on the platform earned an average of $798 per month in the year between October 1st, 2020, and September 30th, 2021. That means that the average cost of ownership could be offset in about six months of renting, without including wear and tear.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows screengrabs from the Turo website in Canada.

press release
About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories