Thursday, June 05, 2008

Beating the pump


The price of gasoline is increasingly on many people’s minds. A couple of folks I know have purchased more fuel efficient autos recently. One of them traded a large SUV for a smaller, more fuel efficient SUV, and got a style upgrade as a bonus. The other one managed to find a great deal on a “legacy” small car; one that is on the Consumer Reports list of fuel efficient cars under $10,000.

For the time being, we are going to stay with the vehicles we already own. Due to hubby liking motorcycles we have more transportation choices than some families might have. Hubby owns a large scooter as well as a motorcycle, so I can drive his car and leave my van sitting, thus saving some gas, while he is out having fun on his scoot. I grew up with two wheeled transportation, and if you consider the fact that almost all of the energy used by vehicles is used moving the vehicle and not the cargo, then using a smaller, lighter vehicle makes a lot of sense. Scooters generally have automatic transmissions and lower centers of gravity, making them friendly for newer riders, and the fuel economy varies widely, from over 100 mpg to around 40 mpg, which crosses over the line to what might be expected in daily driving for a hybrid car. But, a scooter is fun, and hubby reports 40 to 50 mpg, depending on the driving situation. His scooter is large, with enough cargo capacity to bring home a couple of bags of groceries, and it will go really fast!

If you have little choice as to what you will drive today, here are some tips for making the gas in your current vehicle go farther. Certainly, driving smoothly and a bit more slowly will help you beat the pump.

For those who are considering buying a different vehicle, purchasing a used one can make a lot of financial sense. My friends did just that, and both of them were pleased with their "new" wheels. Buying used can be fuel efficient as well as cost efficient.

Last month’s car sales stats just came out, and the Honda Civic was on top. That is surprising, in that the Ford F-150 (translation, full sized pickup) has been at the top since 1992, I believe. However, my daughter drives a used Civic, and it deserves to be a top car. We have found it to be fuel efficient and fun to drive. The newer one is more powerful and easier on the eyes, so I do understand that folks who are making a shift toward better gas mileage have good reasons for choosing it. To close this entry, Consumer Reports has a yet another list of new cars which deliver fuel economy, so here a a link to that.

While y'all are car and scooter shopping, I need to grade some papers....

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