Local News

Fuel prices driving motorists to trade in autos

Posted June 23, 2008

Although they won't release specific numbers, some local auto dealerships say they are seeing an increase in the number of motorists looking to trade in and scale back on their vehicles for something more economical.

"We're seeing a shift from large SUVs to more fuel-efficient vehicles," said David Brown, sales manager of Carmax in Raleigh.

And it appears many drivers are heading to used lots to find a cheaper way to make the switch.

"We are seeing, actually, a higher sales volume because of that," said Bill Hooten, general manager of City Used Cars Inc.

Hooten says he keeps small foreign cars up front to increase traffic.

"Right now, the market is dictating a small gas-economy car," he said.

Some dealers say they have also seen some customers who plan to hold on to their SUVs but want to buy something used and smaller to drive to work.

"(They're just looking for) something just to commute or something with better gas mileage," Hooten said. "And (they) don't care how old it is, in some cases."

On the trade, large trucks and SUVs aren't worth as much anymore.

"I'm not going to be shocked, I think, when it comes back, and I see that its dropped quite a bit," said Delia Sturla, who is looking to replace her SUV.

She and others say it's all in the numbers and that it may be worth a loss if, in the end, the number on the sticker beats the number at the pump.


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  • bluford2 Jun 23, 2008

    June 23, 2008 8:11 p.m. --- England is over 9/gal. Other places in Europe are at over 7/gal. We are still holding at around 4/gal for prices.

    colliedave, from what i understand, England's fuel prices are 9/gal because more than 1/2 of the price includes fuel and other taxes.

  • InTheWind Jun 23, 2008

    Do any of you remember in the 70's the national speed was reduced to 55 on all roads. Recently we were on a trip we planned for a lifetime, we took a trip out west. While we were riding out we started talking about the 70's; so we slowed down to a maximum speed of 60 mph. We have a Honda Odyssey and we were getting 22.5 to 24.1 going 70-75 on interstates, by slowing down to 60 we got 28.5 to 30.2 mpg. Think about it!

  • colliedave Jun 23, 2008

    England is over 9/gal. Other places in Europe are at over 7/gal. We are still holding at around 4/gal for prices.

    Guess why? It isn't the because of any supply/demand issues but socialized medicine. Do you really want to pay $8 for a simple cup of coffee or $65 for a pizza? So much for "free" health care.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jun 23, 2008

    Bring back the Ford Pinto. It was a great car. Plus I loved the yeasted AMC Pacer, it was fast, reliable and lots of storage space for my soccer balls. Plus it was kewl to drive.....

  • bcc Jun 23, 2008

    Wow, Americans is some stoopid consumers to be blindsided by this...

  • denverbob234 Jun 23, 2008

    so it took $4.00/gallon gas to get those stupid "school bus" type vehicles off the road. Thank God for high gas prices then. They are still not high enough though, since I still see those "school bus" type vehicles running their air conditioning when it is 80 degrees outside like it has been lately. Again, thank god for high gas prices to get the "buses" off the road. Finally, those drivers wont look as stupid in the future.

  • DougWare.NET Jun 23, 2008

    Worland, I understand OPEC doesn't set prices. Your point is also valid.

    My point is that the global demand isn't going down just because we reduce our demand (slightly).

  • Worland Jun 23, 2008

    I'll never give up my gas guzzling V8 power. Personally, I prefer a 5 star crash rating that can withstand an impact from a semi... The 6 feet of steel between me and everyone else is comforting. My life is worth the extra few bucks a month in gas.

    Besides, my wife (Expedition) likes tail gating you soccer Mom's driving your little 4-cyl aluminum & plastic coffins. It's annoying how fast you all drive until you meet a hill and that little squirrel under the hood can't keep your coffin over 55.

  • Worland Jun 23, 2008

    OPEC doesn't set the price of their oil. Investers "bid" up the price to $136 a barrel (oil futures trading).

    Saudi was already pumping more oil than the demand. A small increase in production would/had no effect on oil prices. Supply is not the problem. China announced they will decrease their subsidy on gasoline, and oil prices dropped about $6. But, it rebound due to attacks on the oil network in Nigeria. The market is volitile, which attracks investers, which increases prices. Eventually, there will be an adjustment to the market. The bottom will fall out.

    Domestic production is the only thing keeping gasoline under $8 a gallon. It's rediculously expensive to drill test wells 200+ miles off the coast (as required by law), so oil companies are unlikely to do so. They also know the bottom will fall out eventually, and they don't want to get caught with their pants down (stuck with expensive deep ocean rigs making little profit).

  • Travised Jun 23, 2008

    England is over 9/gal. Other places in Europe are at over 7/gal. We are still holding at around 4/gal for prices.

    We traded in a 45mpg VW diesel Golf with about 42k on it for a larger size gas rig, less MPG more cargo space. I'm sure the VW is already gone. Getting 45 by driving normal even with the AC cranked is nice!

    Diesels a few years back were the hot ticket due to the fuel savings. Now people are looking at hybrids. It all depends on what a person is willing to live with and what size car they really need. If you are a single person the Golf would work fine. If you are a family of four, the SUV or slightly smaller types work nice when you have car seats and grocery bags to haul. Some of us need to consider head clearance as well if you are tall chested. We don't like scraping the roof of the cab.