Consumers Run Out of Gas When It Comes to Changing Their Driving Patterns

REDMOND, Wash., May 24, 2001 — A new survey conducted by the MSN® Carpoint™
service, the most visited car-buying and car-ownership site on the Web, revealed that many Americans are slow to change their driving behavior despite high gas prices.

66 percent of those polled in the MSN Fast Facts May 2001 survey said that the rising cost of gas has not influenced their driving patterns, including driving more, driving less or carpooling.

When those surveyed were asked what vehicle they were considering purchasing or leasing in the next 12 to 18 months, 33 percent indicated an SUV, which is among the least fuel-efficient autos on the road. Sedans ranked second at 30 percent, and compacts, which usually get the best mileage per gallon, gathered one of the smaller percentages of consumers with 19 percent.

Although few surveyed are willing to alter their patterns to drive less often or carpool, consumers would drive farther to save 20 to 30 cents per gallon on their gas purchase. Here is how far they would drive for that savings:

  • 10 percent would drive up to 1 mile.

  • 19 percent would drive 1 to 2 miles.

  • 27 percent would drive 3 to 4 miles.

  • 32 percent would drive more than 4


Here are some fuel-saving tips available at

  • Keep vehicles well maintained with regular servicing for efficient operation. Fouled spark plugs, dirty air filters and low tire pressure can affect fuel economy.

  • Accelerate gradually and drive at a smoother rate to gain as much as 20 percent in fuel economy, compared with aggressive driving.

  • Do not let your engine idle too long.

  • Look at alternative transportation options — even if it is just for one or two days a week. Walk, bicycle, carpool or take public transportation and leave your vehicle at home.

MSN Fast Facts is a monthly online survey conducted via, which provides consumers with feedback on car-related topics. The May 2001 survey was derived from a random sample of more than 2,000 users.

About Carpoint

Launched in October 1995, Carpoint ( ) is the leading online automotive marketplace, visited by more than 7 million consumers each month. From product reviews and surround video features to new- and used-car pricing, Carpoint helps consumers find the car they love, at a price they can afford. With details on more than 10,000 car models and 100,000 used vehicles, visitors can research and compare cars of virtually every make and model, identify local dealers, and receive instructions for post-purchase service and maintenance. With a network of more than 5,000 affiliated dealers nationwide, Carpoint generates more than $8 billion in auto sales each year and is exclusively endorsed by the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN and Carpoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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