Reader Paul sends in this photo of a sign he saw at a gas station in Texas. First people were upset that gas stations were putting “outrageously high” holds of $100 on their cards when they paid at the pump. Now $100 is just the most you can buy at the pump without going inside and having them swipe your card. Sad.
The price of oil dropped $2.19 today, to $117.91, spurring a stock market and dollar rally. Sounds like good news. Except that it’s dropping because the market thinks more people won’t be able to afford to drive their cars as much. Who’s up for a “staycation?”
SUVs are worth so little that it could take 15 years for a more fuel efficient vehicle to pay for itself in gas savings. Before rushing to trade-in your gas-guzzler, do the math and make sure it isn’t economical to hold onto your unfashionable behemoth. Here are three questions to consider…
According to Phil Flynn, Vice President and Senior Market Analyst at Alaron Trading, gas prices nationwide have been recently reduced about $.05 per gallon and he says this is just the beginning. He predicts that gas prices could go down to $3.50 a gallon by Labor Day (Sept. 1st).
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told congress today that he expects the economy to stay sluggish, and was extremely pessimistic about the price of oil in the future. Despite the the airline industry’s open letter to consumers claiming that speculators are driving up the price of oil and causing a commodities bubble, Bernanke doesn’t agree.
Some people think we don’t have a prayer of gas prices dipping below $3.00 for a good long haul. These parishioners holding hands around a Shell station beg to differ. They’re part of a group called “Pray At The Pump,” organizing prayer-circles at various DC area gas stations, hoping to goad divine intervention into lowering gas prices. I wonder if they carpooled to the rendezvous point.
A Consumer Reports study finds that 79% of consumers surveyed say they plan on buying a car with better fuel economy. [Consumer Reports]
A recent sweep of New Jersey gas stations by state and local inspectors resulted in over a third of them receiving citations for posting the wrong gas prices on road signs, changing the price of gas too often, and other other violations. The New Jersey Star Ledger made a very helpful map of the violator stations, available inside.
Sure, switching from a gas guzzler to a highly efficient (and probably much smaller) car is best for the environment, but it’s not a realistic solution for large families or people who can’t afford it. But don’t let the fact that you can’t buy a 40 mpg car turn you off of a trade up in efficiency anyway. A couple of economists have pointed out that “using ‘miles per gallon’ as a measure of fuel efficiency leads people to undervalue the benefits of replacing the most inefficient automobiles.” Their point: if you’re driving a gas guzzler, even a small improvement in fuel efficiency can generate significant savings.
A survey by Kelley Blue Book says that new car shoppers are giving up Starbucks to help offset the cost of $4 gas. Sorry, big green mermaid lady! The KBB study results reveal that 28 percent of new-car shoppers have stopped going to Starbucks or other coffee houses entirely, and 21 percent indicate they are going less often due to skyrocketing gas prices.
It’s not only the customer who is taking a hit from high gas prices, some gas stations’ profits are being entirely mitigated by credit card interchange fees. The AP reports that gas station manager Roger Randolph was fed up with losing money on credit card fees. His solution was to place new signs on his Chevron gas pumps that read “No more credit cards.” Details, inside…
When you fill up at the pump, how much of the wallet you’re emptying goes towards the actual gas, and how much goes towards other stuff? Blogger FiveCentNickel crunched the Department of Energy numbers:
Diane Craig from Danville, CA. faces arson charges after she set fire to 2 gas stations and a Starbucks to protest high gas prices. Police said they don’t know why she targeted Starbucks. [KCRA] (Thanks to Kristie!)
Very few of us, if any, can say they haven’t felt the strain associated with record high gasoline prices. To help ease some of the pain at the pump, Wisebread has put together a list of 8 promotions that that offer free gas or some money you can put toward gas. The promotions, inside…
The formerly mocked and neglected Geo Metro is finding new popularity amidst high gas prices. According to CNN, the Geo Metro is making a spectacular comeback, especially on eBay. You might be surprised to learn that the Geo Metro and Toyota Prius get nearly the same gas mileage. Now consider that a Metro can be found for about $7000 compared to a new Prius which costs $21,000+, it becomes easy to see the attraction. Details, inside…
This is ex-police officer, Craig Bucknor. KSLA reports that the Minden, Lousiana police officer has been arrested and is being charged with felony theft for stealing gasoline from the city. It seems no one is immune from the rising cost of gas. More details, inside…
Consumers promote boycott of Conoco and BP stations along I-80 that post low prices on their signs but then charge 25-50 cents higher on most of the actual pumps. Under state law, the practice is legal. [Lincoln Journal Star]