High fuel prices park cars

OTTAWA — It turns out, the price of fuel does play a part in the driving habits of Canadians.

A recent report form Statistics Canada reveals Canadians drove their vehicles less during the second quarter of 2008 compared with the same quarter of 2007, and use of large passenger vehicles dropped by nearly 20 percent.

Nationally, the number of kilometres driven declined 7.1 percent. Light vehicles (weighing less than 4.5 metric tonnes) were driven 7.6 percent less than in the second quarter of 2007, while the use of heavy vehicles (weighing 4.5 tonnes or more) decreased by 2.1 percent.

The total use of large passenger styles of light vehicles (vans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks) dropped by 17.7 percent compared with the second quarter of 2007. The use of these larger styles has declined compared with the previous year in three out of the last four quarters.

Smaller style light vehicles, including cars and station wagons, were driven 3.4 percent more in the second quarter of 2008, compared with the same quarter of 2007.

Fuel efficiency for light vehicles using gasoline was 10.2 L/100km, an improvement of 3.3 percent compared with the second quarter of 2007, and a 5.8 percent improvement from the second quarter of 2006.

While vehicle-kilometres were lower, there were more vehicles registered compared with a year earlier. Registrations rose for both light vehicles — 2.5 percent — and heavy vehicles — 5.1 percent.

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