SAN JOSE, Calif. — A  survey commissioned by eBay Motors revealed that consumers are planning to spend more of their tax refunds on auto-related purchases this year than last, and many of these purchases will be for standard maintenance or repairs they have delayed until their tax refunds arrive.

Of the more than one-third of American drivers who plan to spend a portion of their tax refund on vehicle-related items, the average amount of their refunds going toward their vehicles is more than $1,000. Survey results also indicate that 42 percent of those drivers who plan to spend at least a portion of their refund on automotive items will spend significantly more on their vehicle this year, relative to last year.

Drivers planning to spend a portion of their refund on their vehicles plan to spend an average of 35 percent of their total refund on automotive items. Of these drivers who will spend refund dollars on auto-related purchases, 25 percent plan to purchase a new or used vehicle. The remaining respondents planning to spend refund money on auto-related items reported they will spend money on: 

  • Vehicle maintenance (e.g., oil changes, wiper repair, etc.): 57 percent
  • Vehicle repairs: 51 percent
  • Purchasing new tires: 36 percent
  • Cleaning or detailing: 18 percent
  • Paying off existing car loan: 13 percent

“With cars on the road remaining at historic ages, the data indicating that many Americans are spending more of their tax refunds on their vehicles this year makes a lot of sense,” said Bryan Murphy, head of eBay Motors. “We traditionally see activity on eBay Motors rise during this time of year as people have additional funds to shop from the more than 30 million parts and accessories available on eBay Motors to make repairs, maintain or accessorize their vehicles, or to buy a new or used vehicle.”

Forty-six percent of drivers using refund dollars for auto-related purchases indicated that the way in which they purchase these items is changing, due to the technology they use. For instance, 35 percent of respondents using refunds to purchase automotive items said they are likely to make the purchase online with a computer, and 16 percent are likely to purchase these items using a mobile device. 

This survey was conducted online in March 2013 among 5,000 U.S. adults between 18 to 60 years old. Key findings are based on 1,000 respondents who indicated they would spend their tax refund on auto related items. Surveys are not specific only to eBay customers or eBay app users.