British Columbia

Are soaring gas prices affecting British Columbians' vehicle choices?

Registration statistics from ICBC show a split between efficient cars, cross-overs and more fuel-thirsty trucks and minivans.

ICBC statistics from 2017 and 2018 show split between efficient cars and fuel-thirsty trucks, minivans

Industry insiders say the Ford F150 is still a popular vehicle in British Columbia — despite the cost to run it — because it's a good match for those who need it for work or accessing rural areas. (Ford Canada)

Despite soaring gas prices, British Columbia's single most popular insured vehicle by make and model in 2018 was the Ford F150 XLT Supercrew 4-wheel-drive truck, according to ICBC statistics.

CBC News requested the top 10 insured vehicles with ICBC and the data provided gives a snapshot of the types of vehicles people are driving throughout the province.

The list shows the most popular vehicles are split between heavier fuel users like trucks and vans, and cross-overs and small sedans, which have better fuel economy.

Blair Qualey, president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia, says Ford F150 trucks have historically been the most popular vehicles in B.C. and North America.

"It's doing very, very well as it has for many, many years," he said.

He says the vehicle is a good match for people who need it for hauling, other work, or for accessing non-urban areas.

"It's a very practical vehicle for many folks although the gas prices recently [are] really making people pay attention," he said.

Toyota Corollas, seen here being assembled in Canada in 2018, are some of the most insured cars in B.C., according to ICBC. (Toyota Canada)

In 2017 there were nearly 2.5 million insurance policies for passenger vehicles in the province.

The top 10 data from ICBC highlights only a fraction of the vehicles — fewer than 500,000 — because the corporation records insurance policies by specific model, for example a Honda Civic LX, not just Honda Civic.

On lists from 2017 and 2018, smaller vehicles outnumber trucks and minivans by almost two to one.

There are multiple models of Honda CR-Vs, Honda Civics, and Toyota Corollas on both lists, which ultimately makes them more popular overall than the bigger vehicles.

Qualey says he expects a dramatic shake-up of the list in years to come as most manufacturers are working on producing electric versions of popular vehicles, even trucks.

A federal rebate of $5,000 on new electric vehicles kicks in May 1.

A new federal rebate will take $5,000 off the price of a zero-emission vehicle, adding to the B.C. incentives already in place, but only on vehicles under $45,000. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Meanwhile, B.C. already has two programs that could save buyers $11,000 off a new electric vehicle, meaning people could save as much as $16,000 on an electric vehicle as of next month. 

"I think with the gas price and all of these incentives available now, people are getting very serious about electric vehicles," he said.

His association estimates that about five per cent of all cars in B.C. are electric vehicles.

The lists below show the top 10 vehicles insured by ICBC for 2017 and 2018, according to make and model. The number in brackets identifies how many of those vehicles are insured in B.C., rounded to the nearest thousand:

2017

  1. Toyota Corolla CE 4 door (34,000)
  2. Ford F150 XLT Supercrew 4-wheel-drive (31,000)
  3. Honda Civic LX 4 door (27,000)
  4. Dodge Grand Caravan SE (23,000)
  5. Toyota Tacoma V6 double cab 4-wheel-drive (21,000)
  6. Honda CR-V EX-L 4 door all-wheel-drive (18,000)
  7. Honda CR-V EX 4 door all-wheel-drive (18,000)
  8. Toyota Matrix wagon (18,000)
  9. Toyota Corolla LE 4 door (17,000)
  10. Honda Civic EX 4 door (16,000)
     

2018

  1. Ford F150 XLT Supercrew 4-wheel-drive (36,000)
  2. Toyota Corolla CE 4 door (33,000)
  3. Honda Civic LX 4 door (27,000)
  4. Dodge Grand Caravan (24,000)
  5. Toyota Tacoma V6 double cab 4-wheel-drive (24,000)
  6. Toyota Corolla LE 4 door (19,000)
  7. Honda CR-V EX-L 4 door all-wheel drive (19,000)
  8. Honda CR-V EX 4 door all-wheel-drive (19,000)
  9. Toyota Matrix (18,000)
  10. Honda Civic EX 4 door (16,000)

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