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New Research: One Third of Consumers Plan to Hit the Road for Winter Holidays; One in Six to Put Over 1,000 Miles on Odometer

With gas prices at five-year lows, a new survey from DMEautomotive shows that car travel is the way to go for 35% of travelers over the winter holidays; and these consumers are making sure their ride is safe: 90% plan pre-trip maintenance


b273453a777d4d37c95a0047a6bd2f85.jpg?t=1Daytona Beach, FL – December 2, 2014 – With gas prices at five-year lows, new research from DMEautomotive (DMEa) reveals that a whopping one-third of consumers plan to drive out of town for the 2014 winter holiday – and the vast majority (79%) of those will be hitting the road in their own wheels versus renting a car. These 2014 winter holiday travelers are driving far: over 50% say they intend to drive 400+ miles round trip, with one in six planning to rack up over 1,000 miles on their odometer.


“Gas prices are the lowest they have been in five years, so it makes sense that a large number of consumers are reporting that they plan to drive long distances over the winter holidays,” said Mary Sheridan Ph. D., DMEa Manager of Research and Analytics. “We are pleased to see that consumers are taking care to ensure their vehicles are ready to hit the road. Auto service centers should take note: 90% of these travelers plan some pre-trip vehicle prep, including oil changes, fluid and tire checks, and, for more than one third of those driving over 600 miles, a full vehicle inspection.”


The findings from the study of approximately 2,000 consumers[1] come at a time when gas prices have been on a non-stop 60-day decline, with the current national average price of a gallon of gas at $2.81 a gallon[2] – all just in time for the holidays.


Plan to Drive Out of Town for Winter Holidays










Pre-trip maintenance appears to be a priority for these road travelers, with nine out of ten planning at least some vehicle prep before hitting the road.  Checking tire air pressure, topping up fluids, getting an oil change and cleaning the vehicle rank as their most performed pre-trip tasks. Not surprisingly, those consumers who are driving the longest distances are the most likely to perform pre-trip maintenance, with nearly 80% of those driving over 600 miles planning to check air pressure in their tires, 66% filling up fluids, 53% getting an oil change and over one-third planning a full vehicle inspection.



Planned Services Prior to Driving Vehicle for Winter Holiday Trip

Check tire air pressure


Clean vehicle


Fill fluids


Get oil change


Check tire treads


Check spare tire air


Rotate tires


Replace wiper blades


Full vehicle inspection


Test battery


Check heating system


Flush antifreeze


Put on winter tires


Do nothing







The survey also indicates that rental companies should see a spike in business, with one in six consumers reporting that they plan to rent a vehicle for the trip. The long distances planned by these holiday travelers are contributing to this trend, with those traveling over 600 miles round trip more likely to rent a vehicle than those driving under 600 miles.



About DMEautomotive
DMEautomotive (DMEa) is the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing, and provides turnkey marketing to the largest and most innovative automotive organizations, from automobile dealerships to many of the largest aftermarket companies in the U.S. DMEa's uniquely panoramic view of the complete automotive sales and service market, combined with its cutting-edge, science-based marketing programs, increases customer yield, conversion and retention. 

DMEa does not take marketing performance on faith, and each product and service is measured by a simple, precise scientific approach: Is it true? Prove it. Will it work? Test it. Does it generate results? Show it! Supported by DMEa’s proprietary, cloud-based Red Rocket Technology Platform, the DMEa product suite includes science-based, data driven, multi-channel customer acquisition and retention marketing programs; best-in-class campaign reporting; data management and analytics; auto-focused Customer Interaction Center solutions, and complete on-site mail and email fulfillment services. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, DMEa also has major operations in Jacksonville, Florida. 


Media Relations

Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340,
Crystal Hartwell, mWEBB Communications, (714) 987-1016,



[1] Online survey of approximately 2,000 U.S. drivers who serviced their vehicle within the prior 12 months.  Survey conducted by DMEautomotive in November 2014.

[2] AAA


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