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High gas prices drive customers to buy smaller cars with better gas mileage

10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Sunday, March 20 2022 Mar 20, 2022 March 20, 2022 11:36 AM March 20, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Gas prices are at an all-time high, and drivers are looking to cut the cost by purchasing smaller cars with better gas mileage.

Sales associate at Gerry Lane Chevrolet, Robin Stills, says the high gas prices are affecting which car models customers want.

“Most of our customers are now coming in asking for something fuel-efficient,” Stills said.

She says buyers are accelerating to purchase smaller cars with smaller tanks.

“That is one of the first things they’re going to ask for,” Stills said. “The compact, smaller engines to fit their budgets.”

The Chevy Trax, Equinox, and Spark cars are some of the smaller car models customers are choosing.

These cars’ gas mileage ranges from 24 to 30 miles per gallon.

Car salesmen say most people rely on vehicles as their everyday source of transportation, so they have not seen a fluctuation in sales.

“Vehicles are something that people always need, so it's a need and sometimes a want, but everybody needs a vehicle,” Gerry Lane Chevrolet Sales Associate Andrew Price said.

Jeremy Oxley is one customer who purchased a vehicle for personal needs.

“We decided to upgrade a vehicle going from a smaller vehicle to an actual large size vehicle for family purposes,” Oxley said.

He purchased a bigger car, a Chevy Traverse, to accommodate his family.

“Every year we might take two or three trips,” Oxley said. “By me having a growing family, I would love to have a larger vehicle, especially for luggage.”

The car comes with fewer miles per gallon. To fill up a Traverse with gas prices as they are now, it would cost Oxley about $117.60. To fill up a Spark, it would cost about $37.80.

An expensive stop at the pumps may affect how often Oxley drives the car.

“I'll be very cautious on driving it just because of it,” Oxley said.

No matter the high gas prices, Stills says car prices and daily sales remain consistent.

“Our sales have been actually steady even with the hike in gas,” she said. “Our customers are just more concerned having us help and guide them on getting a car that's fuel efficient.”

Stills does suggest buying a new car if you are concerned about tracking mileage per gallon accurately.

Both sales associates say that now would be a good time to buy a used or new fuel-efficient car to save money on fuel, as it is unknown when gas prices will return to normal.

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