Real World Impact If your commute is long or fraught with traffic, and you’re driving a gas guzzler, you may save money at the pump depending on what the lease payment is for a compact.
The recent upswing in fuel prices is a shock to the system because it happened so quickly. Last June 13, a typical 25-mile daily commute in a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe would have cost California drivers around $4.50, based on an average gas price of $2.33. Two months later, on September 12, the same commute cost almost $6 as gas prices crested $3.00 per gallon. Look at it this way: What was once a small, inconsequential expense on a daily basis suddenly became significant.
And that’s without that awful bloated feeling. Fact is, gas prices are so bad it makes people want to go out and buy a new car. Seriously – if your commute is long or fraught with traffic, and you’re driving a gas guzzler, you may save money at the pump depending on what the lease payment is for a compact. If you have a typically long, 70-mile commute at current gas prices, you’re paying around $18 a day if your SUV makes 12 miles to the gallon. You can save around $12 per day if you switch to a compact car that gets 35 miles per gallon – it costs only $6 a day to get to work and go home. Spread out over a 20 day month (Monday – Friday) that’s a $237 dollar savings – not enough to warrant the purchase of a third vehicle, perhaps, but enough to put large SUV owners in the unenviable position of having to choose between losing money at the pump or by dumping their vehicle. Indeed, those who recently got great deals on large SUVs may find themselves stuck paying hundreds of dollars more at the pump.