Fuel-Efficient Doesn’t Always Mean Cost-Effective

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s hard not to notice that gas prices are on the rise, again.

Around the Twin Cities, prices range between $3.49 and $3.59 a gallon.

The average for the state is $3.50, a little less than the $3.64 national average.

If these numbers have you thinking about a new, fuel-efficient ride, dealers say you might want to do the math.

Most people buy cars based on their lifestyle.

“We have a family of 3 and now we’re expecting another, so this is the right car for us, an SUV,” says Sankar Jena, who was shopping Friday at the Toyota dealership in Bloomington.

For others, lifestyle can get crimped when you’re short on cash.

“I want a lower gas mileage, period,” says Lorraine Brasket another shopper.

This isn’t the first time car dealers have seen buyers come in once fuel prices go up.

“The first time I think it hit 4 bucks a gallon, we saw a fair number of people panic and trade in big SUV’s for small fuel-efficient cars,” said Doug Sprinthall of Walser Automotive Group. “As quick as gas went up, it went back down in that fall, then people wanted their SUV’s back — that’s a really expensive way to shop for cars.”

Even if you’re sold on getting a new car, Sprinthall says look at all the numbers and what you’ll use the car for.

“There’s a $6,000 or $7,000 difference between a Corolla and a Prius, so you have to figure out how expensive you think gas is going to be and how much driving do you do,” Sprinthall said.

Kelly Blue Book says the average consumer will spend just $11.50 more per week if gas prices go from 3.60 to 4.60 a gallon, but even that can add up.

That price hike will hit hard for people like Jamie Sibley, who drive 20,000 miles a year (84 miles a day).

“I fill up once every four days,” Sibley said.

She bought a new, fuel-efficient car Friday.

“I wasn’t even looking at a Honda until I was steered toward it and then saw that 35 miles per gallon sticker,” Sibley said.

The Honda made the most dollars and cents in the long run.

Dealers also say to check your trade-in. Used cars are still pulling in big numbers.

Not looking for a new car, but want to find the cheapest gas?

Experts say track prices on your phone using apps like Gasbuddy or Cheap Gas and travel with cash.

Gas stations usually advertise prices for cash paying customers, if you use a credit card you’ll likely pay 10 cents more per gallon.

  • Murph

    The overwhelming, OVERWHELMING problem with gasoline prices is the lack of algae ! Algae fuel can be burned in diesel engines right now ,today .Plus it does not inhibit your abilty to breathe ! Algae grows by consuming deadly co 2 and produces oxygen in the process.Eons ago when life SPRANG up to dinosaur proportions there was a heck of a lot more oxygen in the air than in the air today.Ask the algae energy companies what they can do,what they and what you need to do to get this planet back on it’s feet again.One day VERY soon you may be crawling on your stomach to gasp that last gasp of oxygen that keeps you alive! Tell Exxon to get with it or stick it! Or perhaps die like the dinosaurs that those 450 pound oil magnates are growing into!

  • Guy

    Murph; you FLUNKED Chemistry 101. You have just confused Carbon DI-Oxide (CO2) which is the HARMLESS stuff you breath out with every breath and Carbon MON-Oxide (CO) – which is the poisonous stuff. Cars only produce large quantities of carbon MON-Oxide if their not correctly tuned up (alto even a properly tuned engine will produce SOME small amount of CO)

  • Guy

    Type corrections :

  • Hank Rearden

    0bama/liberals want to encourage/force consumers into small cars like the Chevy Volt or trains . $4.00 gas is what they want to push their agenda with. Why did 0bama kill Keystone pipeline?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live