Make no mistake – we’re gear heads and love all things automotive. And since we love cars, we’re big fans of being able to get the biggest bang for our buck when it comes to our vehicles. That’s one of the reasons we encourage buyers to consider the hidden factors in buying a car.
After all, once you factor out the price we pay for our cars, and the cost of our car insurance policy, the biggest expense most of us have is keeping fuel in the tank.
The cost of gasoline hits our bottom line, no doubt. And over the last year, we’ve been paying more for gasoline each time we fill up at the pumps. Even as cars sold in the United States are hitting their highest average fuel economy ever recorded.
Gas prices are up 9 percent over this time last year and look to be well on their way to breaking $4 per gallon by summer. According to motorist group AAA, the current national average price of $3.56 a gallon marks the 13th consecutive weekly increase.
There are a number of factors that could see gasoline reach even higher prices, with some pundits calling for $5 a gallon in the same period of time.
Gas prices are extremely volatile, pun intended. Sabre-rattling by Iran, the rebounding stock market and even the shutdown of a single refinery are all capable of raising the price consumers pay at the pump.
How much is too much?
Will $4 a gallon gasoline make you change the ways you drive? How about $5 a gallon gasoline? At what point will the cost of gasoline have you choosing to carpool or use public transportation? Or force you to change other budgeted items in order to keep driving?
How high do you think gasoline will get this summer? Will we still have prices in the $3.50 range, or will we be paying a dollar or more extra when the summer rush begins?