Fuel efficiency still important to new car buyers, survey says
Even in the current period of low gas prices, more than 80% of consumers surveyed said gas mileage will be important in their next vehicle purchase, and more than half said it will be very important. The weekly average gas price for the two weeks in February when the survey was conducted for the Consumer Federation of America was $2.14. By the end of the two weeks, the price was $2.26.
In January 2009, a CFA analysis found consumers who bought lower mileage vehicles because of low gas prices ended up spending thousands more than the fuel-efficient buyers during the time they owned the vehicle. During the first five years of ownership, buyers who bought a 15 mpg vehicle in 2009 would spend more than $6,400 more on gas than if they had bought a 25 mpg vehicle.
Buying an inefficient vehicle during periods of low gas prices condemns the consumer to wider swings in monthly costs, much higher monthly peaks and a whopping overall increase in lifetime gas costs, said Dr. Mark Cooper, CFAês director of research.Download Bulletin PDF