Car Purchases Could Depend on Gas Prices

As the price of gas keeps climbing closer to the inevitable $4 a gallon mark, consumers are starting to look at more fuel-efficient cars as a reality. At first, hybrid cars, for example, were trendy and were driven by environmentally-conscious hippies and celebrities. Now it seems like a very realistic option for buyers who want to save some much-needed money.

According to a recent survey from, 85 percent of 1,033 car owners aged 18 and older said a prolonged period of $4 gasoline prices would prompt them to buy a more fuel-efficient car. Of that 85 percent, 28 percent said they would buy a more fuel-efficient car immediately and 57 percent said they would buy a more fuel-efficient car the next time they purchased a car.

Remember the days when gas cost less than $1 a gallon? I remember paying 10 bucks to fill my tank from empty, now it costs me at least $45 to fill it. This reality shock is prompting consumers to cut back wherever they can in their budgets. The survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents said they are doing whatever they can to save gas, like making sure their tires are properly inflated, going easy on the breaks, not flooring the acceleration and combining multiple errands into one trip.

“The survey is consistent with what we are seeing when it comes to searches for fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief at “When gas prices surged past $3 a gallon, searches for fuel-efficient vehicles skyrocketed. With no end in sight to soaring gas prices, I would expect that we are going to see more people seeking out cars that get better than 30 miles to the gallon.”

If you’re a consumer who is researching cars for a purchase in the near future, I’m guessing that you’re definately looking at how many miles per gallon your next car will get as one of the major factors in your decision.