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Anyone altering their driving habits due to outrageous gas prices?

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Old 05-04-2007, 08:45 AM   #1  
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Default Anyone altering their driving habits due to outrageous gas prices?

I was curious whether anyone else besides me is altering their driving habits with these crazy gas prices. Even the cheap stuff is now $3+ a gallon with premium selling for $329-335 since thats what I have to use. For me, i've started driving my old Focus as hard as it might be. Not only can't I afford $65-70 fillups in my SUV, but I figure using less gas is a way to give OPEC and the gas industry my big middle finger. Since i'm doing what I can to cut down gas usage, what are you guys doing? I've also started buying more stuff online and having it shipped as i've found that its cheaper than actually spending the gas to drive to a store to buy it.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:15 AM   #2  
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We have a Honda Civic Hybrid and use to have a smart fortwo Pulse.

The Civic Hybrid gets 49 to 52 mpg in the city and up to 56 on the highway, I sold the smart to pay medical bills and it got around the same gas mileage.

I just cannot understand people buying SUVs that get 14 to 18 mpg, especially when they are the only one driving in it.

Hybrids still only account for around 1 to 3% of new car sales.

And if you buy a new Honda Civiic Hybrid you get right now $2100 deduct off of your 2007 federal tax return, so why are people not buying the more fuel efficient vehicles?
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:40 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by unotis View Post
And if you buy a new Honda Civiic Hybrid you get right now $2100 deduct off of your 2007 federal tax return, so why are people not buying the more fuel efficient vehicles?
Here are a couple reasons that I have noticed:
1. Even though they are growing, in many cases there are still waiting lists on the more popular hybrids. But they are producing more and more now, so that should subside.
2. I recently read a report stating the average savings of hybrid owners based off the price increase of the base model (non hybrid). This included 10% gas increase year over year and the deduction. Some of the cheaper hybrids like your Civic saved a decent $ in the end. But many of them appeared to be little to none. And some estimates on the more expensive models (the Lexus for example) had a slight estimated loss. Either article in no way was discouraging hybrids but just showing some overall cost savings. Not sure how accurate this article was, but I did see another similar article in the Sun-Times..

But I have the best Hybrid of them all. A company car.

Last edited by Bigloww; 05-04-2007 at 09:42 AM..
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:49 AM   #4  
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I had a Focus, I really liked that car!

I don't understand why since the gas prices are so high that I don't see anything in the press about it. No political motivation anymore?
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:41 AM   #5  
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Not me. I dont care. Even more so this week coming as Ive been without my car all week,so when I get it back saturday its on like donkey kong. WOT or nothing at all I just cant help it,not even like Im flying around on the highway,I just have a habit of rolling it up into the redline area.....probably about 30-50 times per day
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:36 PM   #6  
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Here in So. FL the price of regular is $3.03. I used to go to the beach at night to walk the boardwalk all the time - especially now before the FL summer is upon me.

Not anymore. Even with a Camry which gets about 24 city and 28 highway .. . what a shock to the wallet when i gas up and see the price for a tank of gas at over $50!

I see these people with HUGE SUV's and large 4x4's and they remind me of the 1960's driving my SS396 Camaro - drove from gas station to gas station at about 8 MPG.. . .if I kept my foot out of the gas. . . at 25 cents a gallon though.

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Old 05-04-2007, 01:06 PM   #7  
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There is supposed to be a 'no pump day' on May 15th. I have doubts how much that will ever help, but like to see it happen just once.
Of course, everyone will buy even more gas on the 14th or 16th.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:33 PM   #8  
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Default The effect on my driving

I have a 4 cylinder 2000 Dodge Caravan and get almost 24 MPG with the driving I do here in Little Rock. I plan ahead and make my stops (gas, groceries, etc.) on the way home from work.

In 2006 I spent a little under $1,800 on gasoline.

My original plan was to get 10 years out of this car, so I am starting to look at the new cars to get an idea of what to buy. Will start making a "car payment" to my money market in June for two reasons:
(1) Get used to making a car payment again.
(2) Have more to put down on the car. If I do hold off till 2010, I will have a nice tidy sum to put down.

I have looked at the "economy" cars, but unless you get a hybrid, the mileage is only marginally better than my paid-off Caravan. So what I am now looking at is the clean diesels that will start arriving in 2008. For example, the Volkswagen Jetta is projected to get 40+ in the city and 60+ on the highway, and it is capable of burning bio-diesel. The Japanese cars are projected to have clean diesels starting in 2009 & 2010. As usual, the US car makers are totally out of the picture and will get their rear ends kicked again.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:53 PM   #9  
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I have a 4 cylinder 2000 Dodge Caravan and get almost 24 MPG with the driving I do here in Little Rock. I plan ahead and make my stops (gas, groceries, etc.) on the way home from work.

In 2006 I spent a little under $1,800 on gasoline.

My original plan was to get 10 years out of this car, so I am starting to look at the new cars to get an idea of what to buy. Will start making a "car payment" to my money market in June for two reasons:
(1) Get used to making a car payment again.
(2) Have more to put down on the car. If I do hold off till 2010, I will have a nice tidy sum to put down.

I have looked at the "economy" cars, but unless you get a hybrid, the mileage is only marginally better than my paid-off Caravan. So what I am now looking at is the clean diesels that will start arriving in 2008. For example, the Volkswagen Jetta is projected to get 40+ in the city and 60+ on the highway, and it is capable of burning bio-diesel. The Japanese cars are projected to have clean diesels starting in 2009 & 2010. As usual, the US car makers are totally out of the picture and will get their rear ends kicked again.
If you won't need more then 2 seats in your next car, you could look into the new 2008 smart fortwo, a Passion coupe will come fully equipped (Power windows/locks, A/C with climate control, ABS, AM/FM CD stereo, Alloy wheels, Automatic transmission, Glass roof w/sunshade, remote unlock/lock and 4 airbags) all starting at an estimated $13,900 even with dealer prep and delivery charges of maybe $600 for a fully equipped car for around $14,500 that gets anywhere from 40 to 46 mpg could be a very good alternative to most economy cars available that at the most will get up to 39 mpg on highway (with a manual transmission).

Also in 2010 we might get the diesel version which should get up to 67 mpg (est.).

Last edited by unotis; 05-04-2007 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:16 PM   #10  
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most economy cars available that at the most will get up to 39 mpg on highway (with a manual transmission).

You know, I never understood why manual trans. cars get better mileage than auto trans. cars. Can someone explain that to me please.
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #11  
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most economy cars available that at the most will get up to 39 mpg on highway (with a manual transmission).

You know, I never understood why manual trans. cars get better mileage than auto trans. cars. Can someone explain that to me please.
More loss using hydraulics to transfer power. They have got much better though. Still most computations I've seen for estimating power the drive wheels tags on an additional 5% loss for autos over manuals.
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:46 PM   #12  
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An automatic transmission has more internal parasitic drag plus a high pressure oil pump.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:36 PM   #13  
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UNOTIS,

The Smart Car is on my list to look at, especially as they (SMART) are starting a cross country tour. I am getting e-mails from their site and hopefully they will come to a city near me, if not to Little Rock itself.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:43 PM   #14  
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An automatic transmission has more internal parasitic drag plus a high pressure oil pump.

Thank you for the explaination. I would have thought it would be the loss of power using a clutch mechasim that a manual needs.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:25 PM   #15  
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We have a Honda Civic Hybrid and use to have a smart fortwo Pulse.

The Civic Hybrid gets 49 to 52 mpg in the city and up to 56 on the highway, I sold the smart to pay medical bills and it got around the same gas mileage.

I just cannot understand people buying SUVs that get 14 to 18 mpg, especially when they are the only one driving in it.

Hybrids still only account for around 1 to 3% of new car sales.

And if you buy a new Honda Civiic Hybrid you get right now $2100 deduct off of your 2007 federal tax return, so why are people not buying the more fuel efficient vehicles?
I still don't think that Hybrids are practical considering their cost premium over a regular car. A $2100 income tax deduction won't make much of a difference for most people, and it would take many years for the gas savings due to the hybrid to finally break even with the price premium for buying the hybrid technology. The time required to break even has been calculated to be between 5-8 years depending on what vehicle. As we all know, a rechargable battery's ability to hold charge diminishes as it ages. By that period of time, you may be getting close to possibly needing to replace the battery to maintain the same level of efficiency from the vehicle, not to mention to added costs associated due to wear and tear on the various hybrid components.

While they may cut down on pollution and CO2 emissions, you are also adding more toxic batteries with toxic metals to society that needs to be dealt with. Its a net effect depending on what people want in reality. The only hybrid that really interests me is the Ford Escape Hybrid as I believe that this is finally a real hybrid for your average person with real utility. Being able to get 33-35mpg is not bad along with also getting 4WD capability and the ability to comfortably haul people and their cargo. I just find the price premium a bit prohibitive as they generally cost $3000-3500 over the V6 gasoline version. It is a nice piece of technology though.

I also find nothing wrong with people who choose to purchase gas guzzling SUV's as it is a life choice decision that they chose to make. As long as they are aware of the fact that they have to fit a large fuel bill, its their choice. What I do have a problem with are these security moms and asian chicks who choose to drive an SUV because they are such horrible drivers and want to protect themselves from the hazard of their own driving. SUV's arn't toys and they require more responsibility to drive safely. I believe that a majority of people actually prefer to drive an SUV, but cannot due to their budget constraint. Afterall, it is rather nice having a nice higher up view of the road, the additional beefy feeling, and the fact that SUV's are rather comfortable to drive with their nice sofa like seats. I do not really want to judge decisions other people make, but I chose to buy an SUV that gets 10-12 mpg(hey, it has a 395hp 6.0 litre V8) since I knew that I have my old Focus to fall back on for daily driving. I also bought my SUV as a toy to have fun with(how many SUV's can go 0-60 in 6 seconds or less?), and for use when going on long trips or vacations since I have found that the more comfortable seats along with the command view of the road really decreases how quickly fatigue sets in.
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