Should Rising Gas Prices Make You Buy a New Car?

cars and gas

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that gas prices are soaring sky high. As a result, many people are rushing out to trade in their older, larger, inefficient cars for newer smaller, more efficient models. But is this rush to trade really necessary, or even a good thing?

Certainly if you’re driving a Hummer (or other large or extra large SUV/truck) that gets, at best, 13 MPG on the highway, you would be better served financially by switching to something smaller and more efficient. It’s not difficult to find a car that can double that MPG. However, what if you own a smaller SUV or a mini-van? Can you really do a lot better financially by switching?

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11 Responses to Should Rising Gas Prices Make You Buy a New Car?

  1. Lisa says:

    I keep my cars 8-12 years. When I was married we had 3 vehicles for 2 people because in the cycle of vehicles. We had to be ready for one of the 2 older vehicles to be in the shop and then we still had vehicles to drive to work. We did the numbers and it was still cheaper to keep the 3rd vehicle. The third vehicle now is a 19 year old truck. It went to the dump, hardware store, and once or twice a year to work for 8 years. Now it goes a few miles a day to my son’s HS.

  2. Lizzard says:

    I have a SUV that will be paid off in July of 08. I have looked @ trading for similar vehicle that uses ethanol (E85). The cost benefit just is not there due to the decreased MPG that ethanol based fuel offers. (About 25% LESS MPG) So in my case, sticking with my Current SUV makes better financial sense than investing in a newer smaller better mileage vehicle.

  3. Annie J says:

    I wrote this post a while back. It illustrates nearly every point you made in your post.

    We’ll be keeping our minivan.

  4. D. Bolesny says:

    I own a Toyota Sienna minivan (23 mpg) and a Yamaha 650cc V-Star Classic motorcycle (50 mpg). Now that the weather has gotten nice, I’ve just parked the van and am using it only on the weekend when I run errands. The motorcycle works great as my ‘commute vehicle’ (I live 50 miles away from my job). I’m female, so I was definitely considered a bit “strange” when I first started coming to work on the motorcycle (before the high fuel prices). But now my co-workers have realized I might be ‘strange’ but I’m not stupid!
    Oh – and using the motorcycle for my primary to/from work vehicle also saves me money on my insurance. When they ask that question: Do you use this vehicle for commuting to work or school? I can honestly answer (for the van), “No!”
    But of course, if one is going to commute on a motorcycle they must be very comfortable doing so – they must ride conservatively and always, always be aware of the other cars around them. I used to race motorcycles, so I have a bit of an edge, as I was trained from the get-go to drive defensively. Bottom Line: Not recommended for everyone, but good if you feel comfortable with it.

  5. chris says:

    If you have to buy a car to save $$ in the future, then you have no right to buy a car now. My rule is this….unless it is an emergency:
    a.)don’t buy anything unless you have the $$ to completely replace it if it is stolen….or repair it if it needs routine repairs. Only good insurance(as opposed to “shady” insurance companies with unrealistically low rates) will apply.

    Basically, if my boss or job doesn’t pay enough to justify the luxury of owning/renting a vehicle, then I will not get one. I will walk, bike, or bus it to the job. WE should not allow the elites at the top to make us scratch & fight for the tiny morsels of $$ to buy things we can barely afford(cars) with such a low salary. They live on (?well earned) large amounts of $$$ and should dispense it with great joy to their employees(and competitors, which I won’t get into)

  6. devon says:

    Rising gas prices should get you off your butt and onto a bicycle.

  7. oenon says:

    Also, I think it’s about 30% of the fuel used by a car is actually used during it’s production. We need to use our cars as long as possible.

  8. Cindy M says:

    I agree with Chris above. Just got rid of my 10-year-old car because of transmission troubles I didn’t want to pay to fix. I donated it to the Salvation Army. Since I’m actually managing quite well so far without a car, I’m not planning to buy another one soon, and I frankly truly don’t miss having a car. I work from my home in the evenings and am fairly close to everything plus have 3 bus routes within walking distance of me that will take me nearly anywhere I need to go. I’m walking more. I could care less what anybody thinks. I get that they feel sorry for me, thinking I must be broke. I don’t see any negatives to my decision at this point but could always change my mind. I feel a sense of freedom I haven’t had since I was a teenager.

  9. Bazman says:

    Move from England to America for real savings. gas costs 10 bucks a gallon and diesel 11 bucks.
    You don’t believe me do you?
    1 mile from my house. Large letters
    Diesel 110.9p Petrol 112.9p (In liters)
    70p is tax.retailer about 4p and the rest profit. The petrol is actually quite cheap.
    Cigarettes are 11 dollars.
    To fill up a 2.0 Ford Mondeo Called Contour or Mercury Mystique in America I think. A common car here. 30 mpg would cost you with 20 reasonable quality fags 129 US dollars Or 66 quid. Buy a Burger meal (fries and small Cola) add another 8 dollars.
    Expensive lunch break huh?

  10. Kate Morris says:

    I am so happy to hear about posts like this. And Annie’s as well. Sometimes the best thing isn’t buying a new car but using the one you have that much better. Great job!

  11. carlinfrank says:

    As far as looks goes, if your buying the Civic EX-L sedan, then i would just say go with the Accord EX-L. To me, and to many people, the Civic sedan has an awkward looking rear end, and the Accord looks a lot more elegant then the Civic sedan. If you don’t mind getting a coupe, get a Civic coupe! I love the coupe, i get a lot of compliments on it, it looks great. I do like the look of the Accord coupe, but its not worth the price if you ask me. With rising gas prices today, i’d rather save that money for gasoline. I think most people would, and when the Civic EX-L coupe gets better gas mileage and still looks good, why not?

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