Business, Syracuse

Rising Gas Prices Could Change People’s Car Buying Habits

Radler Pkg 3
By Josh Radler SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Despite national concerns over global warming, people aren’t buying more hybrids. Instead, the popular car today is the SUV. The New York Times released an article in early March stating that SUV sales are on the rise. Bryon Byer, a wholesaler at Alan Byer Volvo, thinks the growth in the number of SUVs on the road is partially due to the quality of the cars and partially due to necessity. “I think SUVs have gone up as a status symbol. People want the bigger size and with bigger families, people need the size. You can also look at gas prices going down as a cause of it,” said Byer.

This trend could be changing soon. Gas prices are expected to hit $3.00 this spring in New York. It would be the first time since 2015 that gas prices were over $3.00. Bryon Byer thinks the benchmark number that prices will reach this fall will scare car buyers into changing their purchasing habits. “When gas is hovering around $3.00 or more, we do see a bigger push of people who are looking for a Prius or a hybrid,” said Byer.

The amount of money a car owner loses on gas over a year from a .30 cent jump in price adds up to a lot. James Kimmel knows this all too well. Kimmel went from a sedan to an SUV and saw the difference it had on his wallet. “It may only look like a couple of cents, but after a year or so it could pile up to hundreds of dollars. It’s very costly,” said Kimmel.

Byer expects the SUV’s popularity to go down as a result of the rising gas prices. “A sedan could save 10 miles per gallon. For somebody on a budget that is a lot of money,” said Byer. For people who aren’t getting a car anytime soon, there are ways to save money at the pump. Driving slower, not filling your trunk up and carpooling are all good ways to use less gas when driving.