Gas prices are rising out of sight these days. It seems every time you pass a gas station, the price has risen from the time before. Did you know that for the past 10 years, gasoline prices here in the US have risen an average of 15.62% per year? In 2002, a gallon of regular unleaded gas cost an average of $1.29 (that's averaging weekly gas costs on the east coast for the year). Today, that same gallon of gas is about $3.13 - an increase of 243% in just a little over 10 years.
Data courtesy of the US Department of Energy - Energy Information Administration
Unfortunately, our dependency on oil and gasoline not only hits us in our wallets every time we stop at the pump, but it increases transportation costs for everything - food, durable goods, even the snail mail. To make matters worse, here in the US we don't have enough domestic oil to meet those needs, so we are highly dependent on foreign oil.
So, what's a consumer to do? Well, if you drive a fair number of miles in your personal vehicle(s) and tend to keep them for quite a few years (7+), we're here to help. This web site's goal is to show you just how much it currently and likely will cost to drive your current vehicle 7-10 years down the road. If gasoline prices continue their 10-year trend, in 10 years (at 15.62% annual increase), it could conceivably cost us well over $10/gallon. If only a moderate increase occurs (say 7%), gas would still be over $6/gallon.
Our Fuel Cost Calculator allows you to answer a half-dozen questions and then see what your current vehicle gas costs might be. It also allows you to compare that fuel cost to a more fuel-efficient vehicle during that same period. You might be amazed at the cost differential in 7-10 years.
As a real-world example, our family of 5 (2 adults, 2 teenagers, 1 middle schooler) has driven a 1997 Ford Aerostar van for quite a while. It gets a whopping 16 miles per gallon (mpg). We drive about 25,000 miles per year. If gas prices rise at their previous 6-year rate of 15.62%, we would spend over $100,000 in a 10-year period on just fuel alone. Even at a modest 7% increase in gas prices, for this 16mpg vehicle at 25,000 miles/year, our family would still spend over $70,000 on gasoline. If I could get 45mpg and cut my fuel consumption (and fuel costs) by 66%, that's a differential over 10 years of mucho thousands of dollars (enough to more than pay for a brand new, high-efficiency vehicle).
I don't know about you, but to me, that's a ton of money to pay for a product that burns up, pollutes the environment, and increases the stranglehold of foreign oil nations on the US.
So, take a few minutes, answer a few questions,
and look at what a higher fuel efficiency vehicle might do for your long-term fuel costs.