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As Gas Prices Rise, Kelley Blue Book Recommends Shoppers Weigh Options Carefully Before Making Vehicle Purchase
Experts Advise Consumers to Do the Math; Offer Recommendations, Pricing, Incentives Information for Fuel-Efficient Models

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today advises in-market car shoppers to weigh their options carefully before making vehicle purchase decisions, in light of rising fuel prices. 

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Fuel prices are up to $3.59 per gallon nationally and there are growing concerns that they will surpass $4.00 per gallon sometime this year.  Fuel and oil prices have surged amidst rising tensions in Iran and if a resolution is not reached quickly, the United States could see fuel prices approach 2008's record high of $4.11 per gallon, based on speculation alone.  In addition, if the Persian Gulf oil supply is disrupted for any reason, the United States could see fuel prices well beyond $4.00 per gallon, to levels that could potentially send the country back into a recession.

In-Market Car Shoppers Should Do the Math; Fuel Price Hike May Not Break the Bank for Everyone

While gas prices may surpass $4.00 per gallon in the short term, Kelley Blue Book experts advise consumers to determine the overall savings of swapping out their current ride for something more fuel efficient, versus the incremental increase in money spent on fuel. 

"Assuming the average consumer drives 12,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets 20 mpg, an increase of $1.00 per gallon, from $3.60 to $4.60 per gallon as an example, would only result in an approximate increase of $11.50 per week in fuel expenses," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.  "While in today's economic environment many families are on an extremely tight budget and $11.50 per week may be enough to break the bank, for others, it would amount to a small lifestyle change, such as bringing a sandwich to work rather than going out to lunch, or perhaps cutting back on Starbucks." 

Consumers Should Not Expect Significant Discounts on Fuel-Efficient New Vehicles

In today's market, there are plenty of options available in a variety of segments for consumers seeking to reduce their pain at the pump.  Those considering a mid-size sedan can look to the all-new Toyota Camry Hybrid, which offers 41 mpg on the highway, or the all-new 38-mpg Chevrolet Malibu Eco.  The Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent are excellent choices for budget-conscious consumers who do not need a lot of space.  Each of these subcompacts is available for around $15,000 and offer 40 mpg on the highway. 

If consumers are planning to purchase one of these vehicles in the next few months, they should not expect dealers to offer significant discounts.  In both 2008 and 2011, Kelley Blue Book saw monthly market share for compact cars increase by more than 3 percentage points when fuel prices peaked, and as more consumers flock to compacts, prices will remain firm.

New Vehicles Offering 30+ MPG for a Reasonable Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash

Price with

Finance

Fuel Economy

Make

Model

Trim

MSRP

FPP

Rebate

Incentive

APR

City

Combined

Highway

Hyundai

Accent

GLS Sedan 4D

$13,205

$12,602

 

$12,602

3.90%

30

33

40

Ford

Fiesta

SE Sedan 4D

$15,295

$14,605

 

$14,605

 

29

33

40

Nissan

Versa

SV Sedan 4D

$15,650

$14,778

 

$14,778

 

30

33

38

Ford

Focus

SE Sedan 4D

$18,295

$17,402

$2,000

$15,402

2.90%

28

33

40

Chevrolet

Sonic

LT Sedan 4D

$15,860

$15,448

 

$15,448

2.90%

29

33

40

Honda

Civic

LX Sedan 4D

$18,625

$17,498

 

$17,498

0.90%

28

32

39

Nissan

JUKE

SV Sport Utility 4D

$22,090

$20,524

$500

$20,024

 

27

29

32

Volkswagen

Jetta

2.0L TDI Sedan 4D

$23,295

$22,293

 

$22,293

1.90%

30

34

42

Honda

CR-V

EX Sport Utility 4D

$25,205

$24,262

 

$24,262

0.90%

23

26

31

Toyota

Prius

Two Hatchback 4D

$24,760

$24,636

 

$24,636

 

51

50

48

Toyota

Camry

LE Hybrid Sedan 4D

$26,660

$24,839

 

$24,839

 

43

41

39

Chevrolet

Malibu

Eco

$25,235

-

 

$25,235

 

25

29

37

All incentives listed are subject to change and may or may not be combined, check with your local dealer or manufacturer's website to verify local offers

Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price (FPP) relies on actual transactions from around the country

 

 

 

 

Values for Used Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Could Jump At Any Time; In-Market Consumers Should Act Quickly

Used-car shoppers can expect to see even more significant price increases in the months ahead if gas prices continue on their current upward trajectory.  Given the limited supply, used cars tend to be more volatile when fuel prices increase aggressively, especially values of fuel-efficient compacts and hybrids.  In both 2008 and 2011, values of used fuel-efficient vehicles increased by more than 20 percent, only to retreat once fuel prices cooled down.  If fuel prices surpass $4.00 per gallon again, Kelley Blue Book would expect to see similar gains this year.  Therefore, consumers seeking a used compact to combat rising fuel prices are advised to act quickly.  Values have been relatively stable so far this year but as fuel prices continue to climb, it is only a matter of time before values begin to pick up steam.  

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit http://www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), or like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry.  Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week.  The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies.  Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs.  Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

For further information: Joanna Pinkham, +1-949-268-3079, jpinkham@kbb.com, or Brenna Robinson, +1-949-267-4781, berobinson@kbb.com, or Natalie Kumaratne, +1-949-267-4770, nkumaratne@kbb.com, all of Kelley Blue Book
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nichole.mrasek@coxautoinc.com  

 

  

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