According to lots of news over the past couple of weeks, that’s what a lot of folks are doing. Forbes, for example, had this feature on “pump-busters”, where they showcase fuel efficient vehicles of all types and sizes. They also break down the component costs of a gallon of fuel:
But what exactly are you paying for? According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), every time you slip a nozzle into your gas tank, 43% of your outlay is for crude oil. Taxes are the next biggest chunk (26%), followed by refining costs (23%). The remaining 8% is to pay for distribution and marketing.
And in St. Petersburg, Florida, gas prices are leading consumers to shop for hybrid vehicles.
Knox Wimberly, sales manager for Palm Harbor Honda, said interest in the gas-stingy cars has surged along with gas prices, which hit another record high Friday in the Tampa Bay area: $1.717 for a gallon of unleaded fuel, according to the Automobile Association of America.
Purchases of the Civic Hybrid at the Palm Harbor dealership have increased 300 percent in the last month, and auto shoppers who want one will have to wait about 45 days, Wimberly said.
“We have environmentally conscious people who come in looking for hybrids,” Wimberly said. “But most of the time, it’s people who figure out that they can actually lower their monthly expenses by buying one of them — particularly now that (gasoline) prices are approaching $2 and they don’t appear to be going down any time soon.”
David Trachtenberg, a sales consultant at Precision Toyota in Tampa, said the number of people inquiring about the Prius, which can go up to 650 miles on its 11.9-gallon tank, has doubled in the last year. About a dozen people are on Precision’s waiting list for the hybrid.
“We’ve given away every single brochure we have on the vehicle,” Trachtenberg said. “And every single Prius built for the next eight or nine months nationwide has already been sold.”
The American International Automobile Dealers Association confirms this experience.