Publications and media outlets everywhere have recently been covering a topic we all dread: an even larger increase in gas prices. Even in my 2010 Prius, the increase will be significant if current prices go up to the predicted $5 a gallon by summer. It means about $15 a fill-up that will add up to about an extra $30-40 a month difference in my budget. What about the people that drive a large truck, van, or SUV that only gets 14 MPG? I’m sure people are already planning for a larger chunk of their entertainment or grocery budget to be redistributed to compensate for the increase and are not very happy about it.
If you haven’t thought about calculating it out yet, here are a few examples to help. These assume that most people have a car that is not brand new and they are going to the cheapest gas station in town. In Reno, NV today the lowest price is $3.84 a gallon.
- 2010 Chevy Tahoe 4WD gets 17 MPG: Cost to fill up now $99.84; by summer $130.00
- 2010 Hyundai Elantra gets 29 MPG: Cost to fill up now $53.76; by summer $70
- 2010 Toyota Prius gets 50 MPG: Cost to fill up now $45.70; by summer $59.50
Now consider how many times per month you fill up your tank and you can already see the extra amount you need to plan for stacking up. That summer increase may mean one less road trip out of town and less A/C use in town for a lot of families.
As the price of gas continues to be unpredictable and not likely to get any better, even skeptical individuals and families are likely to start considering the fuel-efficient hybrid and EV options available. With that, at least they can avoid or minimize the unpleasant impact gas prices are having on the average household during a time in history that is already economically unstable.
Are you dreading the likely increase this summer? What impact will it have on your budget? Share your thoughts and feelings below!