ontario drivers

People in Ontario let their cars sit unused a shocking 95% of the time

A new survey has revealed some staggering numbers about drivers in Ontario, a province where urban design and policy is often criticized for prioritizing cars way more than pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.

A car ownership index released by Canadian market research firm Leger and vehicle sharing app Turo on Wednesday shows that despite the fact that Ontario motorists actually pay way more than the national average to own their cars, they let them sit idle nearly 100 per cent of the time.

The figures show that the average car in Ontario is only driven for an average of 407 hours or so each year, meaning they are parked unused for over a whopping 95 per cent of the time.

"This points to a paradox when it comes to car ownership — Ontarians are spending thousands on an expense they hardly ever use," the companies state, noting that drivers in the province spend approximately $5,250 on their vehicles annually.

Meanwhile, 82 per cent of Ontario car owners surveyed somehow said they felt it would be impossible for them to live without a car, and more than half (51 per cent) say that if and when they return to the office, they will be driving there, not taking buses, subways or other means of transportation.

Only 12 per cent plan to take transit to work daily.

Though the numbers are quite surprising, it is worth noting that the 95 per cent figure comes from the assumption that night time hours are included in potential driving hours for the year.

If one assumes most people get their full eight hours of sleep per night, that leaves only 5,840 waking and thus potential driving hours in a year vs. the 8,760 total hours the index considers to be in a year.

So, more realistically, Ontario drivers are not utilizing their cars 93 per cent of the time that they could be — which is still appalling given the expense.

Clearly, more car owners, especially in major cities, need to rethink their attachment to the idea of having a vehicle that they apparently don't need as much as they think they do.

Lead photo by

Zbigniew Samek

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