What to consider if you’re shopping for a more fuel efficient car

For people in the market for a new vehicle, the sky high gas prices may be playing a role in deciding on your next make and model.

The options include the gas-less option, an electric car, though Benjamin Preston, an auto reporter for Consumer Reports said electric cars may not be for everyone because it’s best if you can charge the car while parked at home.

“If you’re living in an apartment somewhere that doesn’t have off-street parking, or if the off-street parking doesn’t have a place we can plug in your car, that might be a problem,” Preston said.

Preston said another consideration should be the distance you plan to drive. While the range of electric cars continues to increase, for long road trips you may need to plan ahead to make sure you have places to charge up along the way.

Another option for people who may not be totally on board with electric vehicles are hybrid cars, which Preston said are becoming more affordable.

“The price gap between hybrid and gasoline cars has shrunk a bit over the past few years as they’ve become more prevalent,” Preston said.

Preston also said gasoline-only cars are becoming more and more efficient as well, with some stereotypical gas guzzlers, such as pickup trucks, going a lot longer on one tank of gas.

Preston also said not to go overboard with gasoline-powered cars. You can save on fuel costs by choosing a car that just meets the needs of your lifestyle when it comes to the size of the car and the size of the engine.

“If you’re going for something bigger and more powerful that maybe isn’t necessary, then you’re going to end up spending more on fuel and at times like this, you really feel the pinch on it,” Preston said.

No matter which model you choose, do prepare to also choose some alternative models that would suffice.

Preston said a semiconductor shortage continues to plague new car inventories around the globe. Even if you find the car you want, Preston said many of the most sought after cars are selling well over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

The low inventory for new cars is also impacting the used car market, according to Preston. With some used cars selling for the same price or for more than they cost brand new.

“Used car prices are almost 40% higher than they were last year,” Preston said

His recommendation is looking at used cars that are more than five years old, because the best price tags will be found on those vehicles.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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