Driving Addiction: 63% of Canadian car owners say they can't live without
their wheels

Canadian Tire survey reveals the truth about Canadians' relationship with their cars

TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadians are having a love affair with their cars, according to a survey released today. The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll commissioned by Canadian Tire found that 63 per cent of Canadian drivers say their vehicle is like an extra appendage that they can't live without. Survey results also show that Canadians are spending considerable time in their cars as nearly half (46 per cent) spend four to nine hours behind the wheel and another 18 per cent spend between 10 to 15 hours each week. That time in the car does not seem to bother car owners though - almost 60 per cent say their car is their sanctuary.

Despite love, owners neglect car care

Despite feeling the love for their cars, however, results reveal that some owners are less devoted when it comes to caring for their vehicles. While the majority (79 per cent) of Canadians like to keep the exterior of their cars shiny and clean by washing them at least three or four times throughout the year, only half of drivers give their interiors the same TLC, despite admitting that they regularly eat and drink in their cars.

"With winter driving behind us and summer road trips on the horizon, it's time for Canadian car owners to show their cars some love by shifting into spring with the proper cleaning and maintenance," said Tony Kuczynski, Vice-President of Accessories, Tires & Auto Service for Canadian Tire. "Cars can become a breeding ground for germs, especially if there's frequent eating or pets in the car. Canadian Tire has the widest selection of products for cleaning and organizing cars, inside and out, helping owners make the most of their driving experience."

Winter tire removal, owners split on when is best

When it comes to winter tire removal, owners were split on the best time of year to do so. Nearly one third (30 per cent) of respondents remove them as soon as the snow melts, while 28 per cent wait until at least May, just to be safe.

Kuczynski suggests that car owners who are waiting until May might be causing unnecessary damage. "With experience installing and removing hundreds of thousands of winter tires every year, we recommend that in order to avoid excessive tire wear, winter tires should be changed when the temperature outside rises above 7 degrees celsius - which in most of Canada is between mid April and May. Winter tires left on too long in warm weather can accelerate wear and tear to the treads, which could impact grip on the road next winter."

Accessories spice up driving time

When asked what most spices up their relationship with their car, respondents put technology accessories at the top of the list. The top two choices were music players, such as MP3 players or satellite radio, and GPS devices. Interestingly enough, despite recent legislative changes in many provinces, Bluetooth gadgets were tied with floor mats as the third most popular accessory option.

Other Interesting Survey Findings:

    
    -  Pet Names: 14 per cent of car owners admit to naming their cars, with
       "Baby" or "Mon Bebe" topping the list as most popular names
    -  DIY Approach: Canadian car owners are hands-on when it comes to
       washing the exterior of their cars, whether doing it at home (40 per
       cent) or at a drive-through (49 per cent). Only six per cent have
       their cars professionally cleaned.
    -  Total Car Protection: 22 per cent of owners say they will not let
       anyone eat or drink in their car at all, in order to keep it looking
       great.
    

About Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC.a, CTC), Canadian Tire is one of Canada's most shopped general retailers with 479 stores across the country. Our core retail and automotive operation is strengthened by PartSource, an automotive parts speciality chain; Canadian Tire Petroleum, one of the country's largest independent retailers of gasoline; Mark's "Clothes That Work" is a leading retailer of men's, women's and work apparel; and, Canadian Tire Financial Services, which has issued over five million Canadian Tire MasterCard credit cards. More than 58,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise's retail, financial services and petroleum businesses.

Survey Methodology

From April 14 to April 15, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,002 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

For further information: For further information: Rebecca Mills, Canadian Tire, (416) 480-8031, Rebecca.Mills@cantire.com; Lauren Grant, High Road Communications, (416) 644-2237, Lauren.Grant@highroad.com

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Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

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