Trading in Trucks for Cars as Gas Prices Continue to Rise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trading in Trucks for Cars as Gas Prices Continue to Rise

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--     Gas is more than $3.60 per gallon in the Tri-Cities. Gas station owners say they're prepared with extra 4s to prepare for rising costs.  Drivers are preparing for those costs too.    

Many drivers are trading in their trucks.  They're selling their big gas guzzlers for smaller, more fuel efficient cars.    Many sedans and compact cars get more than twice the miles per gallon as SUVs and bigger trucks. That means you have to fill up half as many times and save double the money. Drivers are starting to realize this and are heading to car dealerships to buy those smaller cars. 

Now with the economy slowing, you may wonder how people afford new cars, but the money saved on gas is usually enough to make the full month's car payment.  General Manager of Lithia Ford, Cliff Smith, says, "you can actually save as much money to make the payment on a new car by driving a brand new car and not driving the old one."

Smith says he normally has 2/3 trucks and 1/3 cars on his lot, but now he has more than 2/3 cars and only 1/3 trucks to reflect the trends of car buyers.   

So when gas prices continue to rise, and you're still spending what seems like a fortune at the pumps, no matter how slow you accelerate or how little you drive, consider a more fuel efficient car or even a hybrid.