Rising Gas Prices Affect Vehicle Purchase Decisions

5 Gas Saving Tips From the Editors of Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif.

Gas prices in the U.S. are climbing steadily again with the national average already more than $2.00 a gallon. Experts in the industry are currently forecasting that gas prices will reach the $3.00 mark by summer. A recent study from Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research indicated that 41 percent of in-market car buyers have either changed their minds or are thinking strongly about vehicles they normally wouldn't consider due to high gas prices. And in February 2005, 30 percent of car buyers indicated that if gas prices rose a mere 25 cents (based on a national average of $1.99 per gallon for regular unleaded), they would seriously consider a more fuel efficient vehicle.

"Over the last five months we have seen a slow and steady decline in large SUV consideration. Additionally, shoppers have been telling us that even small increases in gas prices will lead them to consider more fuel efficient models," said Rick Wainschel, Vice President, Marketing Research, Kelley Blue Book. "We have never hit the $3.00 a gallon mark. If we hit that mark, it could be an interesting sales season. We will continue track purchase intentions and vehicle sales as fuel prices climb."

If you do a good amount of driving, you might as well save a few dollars on gas this year. Here are a few things the editors of Kelley Blue Book recommend, no matter what type of vehicle you own.

   1.  If your vehicle does not require premium grade gas but you use it
       anyway, it is ok to change to a lower grade to save a few dollars.
       In fact, you may find that you get better fuel economy with a lower
       grade of gasoline. Try two tanks of each of the lower grades and see
       for yourself.  (Check your owners manual first, if your vehicle
       requires premium grade gasoline, stay with a premium grade.)

   2.  Four tanks of gasoline with an engine and valve cleaning additive
       like Techron or V-Power can clean your fuel injectors as well as most
       professional grade cleaners.  Clean injectors will help your vehicle
       get better gas mileage.

   3.  Turn off or lower your air conditioning, but don't roll down your
       windows.  Both create drag on your car, requiring more gas to keep up
       your speed.  It takes about 5-8 horsepower to run the air
       conditioning.  Using the recirculation feature is another option.  Of
       course if it's more than 80 degrees outside, you may want to run the
       air intermittently.

   4.  Check your vehicle's air filter and tire pressure.  A clogged or
       dirty air-filter can slow your vehicle down and use more gasoline.  A
       clean filter will promote less gas waste.  Under-inflated tires could
       also cause excessive drag, slowing the vehicle down and using more
       gas.  This could become a safety hazard as well.

   5.  Accelerate normally from a fully stopped position and avoid flooring
       or stabbing the gas pedal.  The flooring or stabbing action pushes
       more fuel to the engine than is needed to move forward.

And, if you are in the market for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, Kelley Blue Book's editors recommend logging on to kbb.com for New Car Blue Book pricing, reviews and further shopping research of the following 2005 model year vehicles.

     RANK                  MAKE/MODEL                       CITY       HWY
       1                   2005 Honda Insight                61         66
       2                   2005 Toyota Prius                 60         51
       3                   2005 Honda Civic Hybrid           48         47
       4                   2005 Volkswagen Golf              38         46
                           2005 Volkswagen New Beetle TDI
                           2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
       5                   2005 Toyota Echo                  35         42
       6                   2005 Toyota Corolla               32         38
       7                   Scion xA                          31         38
       8                   2005 Honda Accord Hybrid          29         37
       9                   2005 Dodge Neon                   29         36
       10                  2005 Hyundai Accent               29         33

In contrast, there are several great looking vehicles on the road today, but they don't get the greatest gas mileage. Some of those vehicles include the Hummer H2, The Dodge Ram SRT 10, which both get about 10 miles per gallon. Other great luxury vehicles get few miles per gallon like the new Volkswagen Phaeton, Mercedes S-Class and G-Class. Keep in mind, most high-end sports cars get fewer miles per gallon because of their high performance engines.

  For more information on new vehicles, log on to www.kbb.com.

  About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Kelley Blue Book is the most trusted vehicle information resource by both consumers and the auto industry. The company provides research tools and up-to-date pricing on thousands of new and used vehicles, including the company's New Car Blue Book Value, which reveals what a new car is actually selling for. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company reports vehicle prices and values via products and services including the famous Blue Book Official Guide™, software and Internet site, kbb.com. Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings as well as No. 1 and first visited automotive site by J.D. Power and Associates seven years running. No other medium reaches more in-market car-buyers than kbb.com; one in every four American car-buyers complete their research on kbb.com.

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard of Kelley Blue Book, +1-949-268-3049,

Web site: http://www.kbb.com/

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