Summer Road Trips Are a Great American Tradition According to an AutoNation Survey

Findings suggest that most consumers will take a summer road trip this year, but nearly one in five will hit the road in a vehicle that is 10+ years old, underscoring the importance of pre-road trip car safety and maintenance

As consumers gear up to hit the road this summer, AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN), America’s largest and most admired automotive retailer, has released the results of a new online survey which examines who’s taking road trips this summer, the age of their road trip vehicles and decisions about pre-road trip car maintenance.  The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of AutoNation among over 2,000 U.S. adults.

The survey found that 80% of Americans will take a summer road trip this year, with nearly one in five (19%) planning summer road trips in a vehicle that is 10 years old or older. The survey also shed light on plans consumers have to service their vehicles before they leave on their summer road trip, with nearly one in six (15%) planning to skip a vehicle check-up entirely.

“This survey indicates that those taking a road trip could be adding significant mileage, along with wear and tear to their vehicles, throughout this summer,” said Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer for AutoNation. “The all-American road trip should be memorable and enjoyable and taking simple pre-trip maintenance measures, especially when traveling in an older vehicle, will ensure that highly anticipated road trip plans don’t derail. We were surprised to see that some will forgo the necessary preventative safety measures, and we want to remind summer travelers that a quick service check is always advisable.”

AutoNation’s survey also uncovered that 74% of those planning to take a summer road trip will travel with their families. Unsurprisingly, safety seems to be a high priority for parents of children under 18 years, with the survey finding that this group is nearly 20% more likely to bring their vehicle in for service before leaving on their road trip than those without children under 18 years (75% vs. 57%).

“No matter when you travel or who you travel with, AutoNation recommends that at the minimum road warriors get their tires, oil and fluids checked if they are traveling more than 500 miles and planning to be out of town for more than two nights,” Cannon said. “AutoNation locations around the country offer a free and fast ‘pit stop’ service that anyone can take advantage of.”

Other findings include:

  • married couples are significantly more likely to be planning to get their vehicles serviced before the road trip than those who are unmarried (70% vs. 57%);
  • 10% of those who plan to take a road trip will bring their pets;
  • more college graduates are planning a summer road trip this year that those without a degree (86% vs. 77%); and
  • 68% of adults 65 and older are taking a road trip this summer

AutoNation recommends the following tips for those going on a road trip this summer:

  • tuck an emergency & car care preparedness kit into the center console or trunk;
  • stop by AutoNation for a fast and free “pit stop,” which includes tire pressure checks and fluid top-offs, as well as multi-point inspections by certified technicians;
  • download AutoNation’s Summer Road Trip music playlist on Spotify or Apple Music to keep the drive upbeat and fun;
  • consider a portable Wi-Fi device to keep the family entertained during the long drive;
  • pre-download a few audiobooks for everyone to enjoy together;
  • don’t forget headphones and phone chargers;
  • pack medications for nausea, fever, pain and allergies and keep them handy;
  • remember to bring hand sanitizers, masks, tissues and a car trash bin;
  • pack a cooler with healthy snacks, water and juices, and don’t forget a collapsible dog bowl if traveling with a pet; and
  • plan fun rest stops in advance, and don’t be afraid to take the scenic route and enjoy the adventure that lies ahead!

Survey Method

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of AutoNation from May 9 – 11, 2022 among 2,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,609 plan to take a summer road trip this year. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval.  For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact