Time to Downsize? Gas Prices Inch Up

2010 BMW X5 - A $140 fill up?

A $140 fill up?

Remember the panic instilled in all of us when gas prices inched over $4 per gallon? It was summer 2008, and you would’ve thought the apocalypse was upon us.

It was so bad, even the smart fortwo was flying off dealer lots.

But then things got better, with prices in my area falling all the way into the $1.40s and SUVs once again becoming all the rage while smarts were left to rot on the lot.

Today, the price at my nearest pump is $3.12 for regular unleaded, and it seems to increase slightly each day. Could we see $4 gas again? Maybe. Let’s just hope our prices don’t get anywhere near the UK’s new record price, which might be unsettling enough to frighten all of us into getting an early shot at an inexpensive and fuel-efficient used car.

The good people over at Autoblog caught wind of a BBC report and wrote,

According to the BBC, prices have hit an all-time high of 121.76p per liter in the United Kingdom. The numbers work out to $7.27 per gallon in American terminology, but the record doesn’t take inflation into account. To put the current British petrol prices into perspective, consider that it will now cost English soccer moms in Chelsea over $163 (!) to fill up their BMW X5s.

Ouch. While news like this certainly puts into perspective how lucky we are, it’s also scary that there’s so much room for a hefty spike in prices (gas tax, anyone?).

I say we should prepare now for the worst by buying and storing a small, economical auxiliary automobile. Keep it in the garage, in the backyard or in the closet, but have it ready for the day when you wake up and see that gas will cost you an arm and a leg.

Our DealFinder has millions of listings, perhaps one that can have you laughing all the way past the next gas pump.

If gas cost $7.30 per gallon here, would you buy a different vehicle?


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Used BMW X5
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1 Comment

  1. Probably not! Most of us are penny wise but dollar foolish. Here you simply have to relearn from the hybrid lesson. It takes lots of gallons of gas, no matter what the price, to break even on the purchase of a hybrid. As I remember, something like 5-7 years depending on how much you spend on the hybrid. The question posed here is no different.

    Assuming prices double, as is suggested here, the $40 fill up now costs $80. For me, that’s about $2K more per year. So what would a new car purchase save me? Well, it depends on what you buy. A hybrid? electric?? natural gas?? diesel?? All these would cost more. So you have to do the math. Depending what you choose, it’s going to pretty well likely be a wash over a 6-7 year period.

    Hypermilers and sardine can drivers will certainly almost always do better than people that refuse to give up comfort and utility. European drivers have been in this position for years and for the most part, don’t drive or choose living in the central city where prices are more than in the outlying areas. So they walk or use bikes and scooters. So here, it is pretty much a wash as well.

    The author’s suggestion to buy a more fuel efficient auto and store it somewhere seems like the hybrid dilemma. There are ancillary costs that have been forgotten. Storage, insurance, deterioration, time value of money, depreciation, all must be added to the cost of the vehicle. On the surface this would seem to contradict simple laws of economics. This seems like the panic reaction mentioned above. So when its over said and done, it seems like a wash to me. Do the math!!

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