Daily Dupaco

Friday, May 18, 2012

The financial impact of gas mileage

If you're shopping for a new vehicle, you might want to make high fuel efficiency a priority in your "must-have" list of features.

Consider this: Gas prices are up 18 percent, increasing from $3.29 in mid-December to $3.87 by mid-April, according to www.fueleconomy.gov. This means that the average driver will pay about $32 extra each month to fuel his or her vehicle.

As you narrow down your field of vehicle contenders, compare them side-by-side. Select to find out how they stack up against each other when it comes to gas mileage and environmental ratings. Not only does the site break down how much it costs to drive each vehicle 25 miles, it also compares annual fuel costs.

And the costs can vary dramatically - making it worth your time to do your homework.

For example: A vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon will cost you $968 less to fuel each year than one that gets 20 miles per gallon (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $3.87). Over a period of five years, the 30-MPG vehicle will save you $4,840.

If you're not in the market for a new vehicle, follow these tips to conserve fuel in the meantime:

  • Put the brakes on revving. When your car speeds up, its aerodynamic drag increases exponentially, according to the automaker Toyota. Increased drag means decreased fuel economy.
  • Shut the windows. Another way to help reduce drag is to keep your windows up, especially on the freeway. 
  • Think gradual. Gradual starts and stops help preserve your engine's life and consume less fuel.

By Emily Kittle

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