Do Smaller Vehicles Really Save Money on Gasoline? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/9/08

Do Smaller Vehicles Really Save Money on Gasoline?

Rows and rows of trucks and SUVs sit at Shamrock Chevrolet, it doesn't quite compare to just one row of small cars, and general manager Tommy Stallings says customers are quickly driving them off the lot.

"They're concerned about gas mileage now. They want to know if what they see on the window sticker is pretty accurate," said Stallings. 

In the last six months Stallings says instead of selling 10 passenger cars a month they are now up to 30, but if you are thinking about trading in your SUV or truck to save on gas, Stallings says you might want to reconsider. 

"You have to weigh your options, I mean to go out and buy a whole other vehicle to save nine to 10 miles a gallon on gasoline.  How long are you going to have to keep that vehicle to justify itself?  So for some people if they are driving 40, 50, 60 miles a day it might work out, but who knows how long this is going to last so to go out and buy a $20,000 piece of merchandise to save on gas mileage is a pretty big step to take," said Stallings. 

Stallings says with the demand for the larger vehicles dropping, you might not get the trade-in price for your gas guzzler that you would expect. 

"Supply and demand has a huge impact on what something is worth, so when we have a considerable amount of trucks and SUVs on the lot, it's going to make a difference of what we can give you for it," said Stallings.

People that need a larger vehicle are resorting to other options to cut costs or just suffering through the pain at the pump. 

"The other options I have thought about were taking the bus or even walking but in the heat in Texas I can't really do that and so we just have to drive the car, there's no other way right now," said SUV driver Jami Kirkland. 

"We've probably quit driving as much, but I've considered trading it in, but we have it paid for so that's kind of not an option right now. But I guess I'm not driving as often," said SUV driver Alana Rodriguez.    

Despite gas prices Stallings predicts people will continue buying and driving SUVs and trucks.

"There's lots of soccer moms in Lubbock, but you can't put a mom in a Malibu. As great a car as it is and as good gas mileage it gets you just can't do it," said Stallings. 

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