Remember the grim days of 2011-2014? Sure, they weren’t as grim as, say, 2008-2009, but if you remained employedÂ â€” and owned a carÂ â€” during both of these periods, you’ll remember the cratering of gas prices during the recession and the subsequent upswing. That upswing turned into a plateau, where lofty prices at the pump compelled many Americans to rekindle a romance with a small, fuel-efficient car.
The early summer of 2014 brought relief. A lot of it. Prices plunged, remaining relatively low ever since. Everyone and their mother rejoiced, then rushed to their local dealer to buy an SUV.
As of late, though, prices are again on the riseÂ â€” especially if you live on the West Coast or north of the border. The national U.S. average pump price for regular unleaded hovers around $2.70/gallon this morning, but take a trip north and you’ll find a country where wallets are hoovered at every gas station in the land. National average price in Canada? Rising above $4.80/gallon today.
It’s enough to make you take a long, hard look at what’s sitting in your driveway.
Most people have a mental gas price threshold that, once crossed, grates on their psyche every time they fill up. Maybe it’s $3/gallon, maybe it’s $4/gallon, but for drivers who aren’t loaded to the gunwales with cash, there’s a limit to what they’ll happily pay for a gallon of 87 octane. Any higher, and thoughts of efficient little economy cars fill the mind.
Damn oil companies, damn government, damn OPECÂ â€” I’ll stick it to all of ’em by sipping this stuff like it’s single malt scotch, not Pabst.
Prices are expected to continue their ascent as summer driving season approaches and OPEC nations continue suppressing supply in a bid to elevate the price of a barrel of crude. That road trip you’ve got planned in July will almost certainly drain more dough from your bank account than last year’s.
In the spring of 2014, as local gas prices hit roughly $5.15/gallon, I said screw it and bought a Chevy Cruze Eco. Diesel-like highway mileage ensued. Take that, jerks. Of course, it would take some sort of cataclysm for such a price to appear outside a Sunoco station in America’s heartland, you never know what the future holds.
What’s your limit? How expensive does gasoline have to become before you consider any type of vehicular change? What would it take for you to supplement your Ram 1500 with an Accent, or switch your impending new car purchase from a V6 Charger to a four-cylinder Fusion?