Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Few Articles On The Impact Of High Gas Prices

We've seen a number of articles in the past few days that discuss the rising cost of fuel and the impact on drivers' behavior and car-buying patterns. Here's the run-down.

Automotive Digest cites a Kelly Blue Book study that talks about where drivers plan to save money now that they're paying a lot more for their gas. At the top of the discretionary spending list are shopping, eating out, and entertainment. They also report that because of rising fuel costs, 59% of new vehicle shoppers are considering vehicles they wouldn't otherwise consider. That sounds like good news for those manufacturers with the most fuel-efficient offerings and bad news for the fuel-economy laggards.

The Driving Woman talks about a USA Today analysis that concludes that Americans are cutting down on their driving for the first time in 26 years. Would you believe 10% of survey respondents have actually changed their jobs to shorten their commutes? The graphics alone at the beginning of the USA Today analysis are worth a click-through.

And Jalopnik cites an article on msn.com claiming that higher gas prices have increased the cost of operating a passenger car in the U.S. an average of $146 so far this year. That's $20 billion total. And Jalopnik reminds us that if gas hits $4.00 per gallon by this summer, as many have predicted, the total cost per vehicle will be in the neighborhood of $400 this year, the same amount as the Bush tax cut from a few years back.

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