Rising fuel prices are influencing the powersports community's commuting preferences and travel habits, as revealed in two surveys conducted by EPG Specialty Information in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023—utilizing their proprietary omnibus consumer panel called MyVoiceRewards. This analysis delves into the insights and major trends that have emerged due to fluctuating fuel costs, providing a comprehensive understanding of how the industry and its enthusiasts are responding.
A Shift in Transportation Preferences. The surveys indicate a slight decrease in car usage for commuting (from 67% to 65%), alongside an increase in the use of motorcycles and scooters (from 52% to 56%). Moreover, there is an uptick in bicycle use (from 7% to 11%), suggesting that powersports enthusiasts are seeking more fuel-efficient alternatives for their daily commutes in response to rising fuel prices.
Recreational Powersports Usage Holds Steady. Despite rising fuel prices, the usage of powersports vehicles for recreation, travel, or work remains relatively stable. In Q1 2023, 96% of respondents said they used their powersports vehicles frequently, compared to 87% in Q4 2022. This demonstrates the resilience of the powersports market and the commitment of its enthusiasts.
Adapting Spending and Travel Habits. Both surveys show that consumers are adjusting their spending and travel habits due to increased fuel costs. When fuel prices increased or decreased by more than $1, 40.1% of Q1 2023 respondents and 48.6% of Q4 2022 respondents said they would change their travel behavior. A significant number of respondents reported adjusting their spending budgets and future travel plans as fuel prices rise, with 72.4% in Q1 2023 and 70.1% in Q4 2022 stating that their current travel habits remained the same compared to three months prior.
The Search for Alternatives. As fuel prices increase, powersports enthusiasts have started seeking alternative ways to manage their fuel consumption. Interestingly, while the majority of respondents disagreed with statements such as using alternative forms of transportation or purchasing fuel in bulk, there was a noticeable increase in those looking for new places to purchase fuel (from 48% in Q4 2022 to 49% in Q1 2023). This suggests a growing willingness to explore different options in response to changing economic conditions.
The MyVoiceRewards surveys reveal that the powersports community is adjusting to the shifting landscape of fuel prices by modifying their travel habits, spending, and transportation preferences. While recreational usage remains robust, enthusiasts are actively seeking alternatives and adjusting their behaviors to mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs. As the powersports industry navigates this period of economic flux, understanding these consumer trends will be crucial for businesses looking to remain resilient and adapt to an ever-evolving market.