Is it worth buying a new car to save gas?

As Americans pay record prices for gasoline, many drivers are considering more fuel-efficient options. One of these options may include buying a new car. But is it really worth saving gas?

Is it worth buying a new car for better gas mileage?

Fuel pump | Getty Images

According Autobyte, it might not be worth it. Buying a new car to save gas is a knee-jerk reaction. It does not take into account the costs of owning a car in general. If you want to save money on your car, it may be best to look at all the expenses associated with it.

Many costs concerning your car are not even related to gasoline at all. Insurance, license fees, car loan costs and repairs are probably more important than what you spend on gas.

There is also depreciation, which is the value that a car loses over time. Autobytel says it could lose 35% to 50% of its value over five years. Selling your old car to buy a new one to save gas could easily result in you paying more than the gas price difference.

As jerry states, the average small car holds about 12 gallons of gasoline. And according to AAA, the average cost of gas in the United States is $5.01 per gallon for regular fuel. Using the average regular gasoline price in June 2021 of $3.07 per gallon, it will cost about $23 more to fill a tank. Trying to find a way to save on gas alone will get you nowhere if you end up buying a new car with higher insurance costs or monthly loan payments.

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Are older cars becoming less fuel efficient?

By Scotty Kilmer, older cars become less efficient if not properly maintained or driven. If you don’t change the oil enough, dirt can build up over time and keep your engine from running at peak performance. Fuel injector damage with dirt buildup, dragging brakes, or transmission wear can also cause poor mileage.

Depending on the age of the car, it may use carburetors. These can wear out over time and lead to lower gas mileage. By Autotrader, the last car sold in the United States using carburetors was in 1994. By the late 1980s, most cars used electronic fuel injection, and this system could operate without problems for hundreds of thousands of miles. In Kilmer’s explanation, his 1993 Toyota Celica is still approaching the same mileage it did over 200,000 miles before.

Autotrader also explains that many older cars are lighter than their modern counterparts. A 1988 Honda CRX could easily do 50 miles per gallon on the highway, but it weighed less than 1,700 pounds. A 2022 Honda Civic weighs over 2,800 pounds. This means that an older car that weighs significantly less can still achieve similar fuel economy figures to modern cars.

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Is it worth buying an electric car?

Autobytel says not to rush into buying an electric vehicle just yet. An electric vehicle (EV) means you can save gas without needing it. But it can be expensive depending on the electric vehicle you buy. It will also cost you to charge at a charging station.

Charging an EV at home costs around $21.60 per month in March 2021. Installing a home charging station can cost thousands of dollars. Charging in public may depend on the type of terminal you use. It is important to consider other costs associated with a normal car, such as registration, insurance, loan repayments, as mentioned before, before making this decision.

Which new cars are the most fuel efficient?

Buying a new car just to save gas is not a good idea. The overall cost of a vehicle and the value of a used car for sale or trade-in should be considered before making this big change.

If you decide to buy a new car, many stand out for their energy efficiency. American News names the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq as the car with the best gas mileage at 59 miles per gallon combined. Close behind are other gasoline-electric hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius with 56 mpg combined and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid with 54 mpg combined. The Kia Niro SUV gets 49 mpg combined, and the luxury Lexus UX 250h gets 42 mpg combined.

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