Getting the best bang for your buck

Another option that could help save money and gas is creating different driving habits.

Rob Hobbs, the General Sales Manager at Benna Ford in Superior, shares how Northland compares to other cities when people think about trade-ins. “Run about a month behind the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Mankato region, and what happens is people who have the big SUVs or the big trucks; what they do is they find the better way to get better gas mileage. A lot of times we’ll do a full self-assessment and a total cost analysis to see if it makes sense, and that trend is starting to hit as we move toward $5 a gallon gas prices.”

Because things might change in a few months, but for now there are some pros and cons to consider. “For five dollars a gallon, people in big SUVs come to the dealership and see if they can get into a Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, or a Chevy Malibu just to downsize the car themselves,” says Hobbs. Now 30 miles per gallon, that’s a lot of savings.”

The potential of downsizing into the summer months is attracting the attention of some car owners. If you’re wondering whether you should do it, here are a few other options Hobbs shares to keep in mind. “You have to do a total cost analysis. What will it cost you now? What will it cost you if you get into a smaller SUV? You have to look at it all; what do you owe on your vehicle? is the payment?”

If trading in your car is not an option, that is allowed. Another option is to create different driving habits that can help save money and gas. Neighbors Zachery Wright and Bridget Wallien help each other and give both the chance to save. “We try to travel once a week if possible because the prices are way too high now! I give her gas money to take me to places I need it because it’s so expensive,” Wright says.

There is one important thing to remember when deciding whether to make a trade-in. “Vehicles are depreciated, so acting quickly isn’t always the best option, and so you need to do that total cost analysis to make sure it’s working correctly, Hobbs said. Is this the smartest choice for the consumer to to do this trade?”

Although gas prices are high, it is advisable to take your time and consider all the consequences of downsizing your vehicle. Especially with what could happen in a few months.