Smart Drivers, Big Savings: Dennis Bull, Loma Linda CA

When Dennis Bull decided to retire his 2003 Accord last year, there was no doubt in his mind which car to buy next – a Prius. Fuel efficiency was one factor. Personal feelings were another. “I was getting tired of supporting OPEC,” Bull says. “It really angers me that our country could have done something about this 35 or 40 years ago, and nothing ever really changed.”


Bull, a psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Loma Linda, California, had been eyeing his wife’s 2007 Prius for years. (She had bought it in Chicago, when she had to commute nearly 70 miles a day for work.) For longer trips, Bull would commandeer his wife’s car instead of driving his own. “The Prius was more fuel-efficient,” he says. “And I really liked driving it.”

Now Bull is the proud owner of his very own 2010 Prius. The car gets about 46 to 48 miles per gallon on his 20-mile commute to work, and closer to 50 mpg on longer trips – a big improvement even over the fuel-efficient Accord, which earned about 32 mpg on long trips.

Bull estimates he fills up his tank about once in two weeks, instead of every week. With gas at about $4 a gallon, he saves more than $33 a month on his commute alone. And he doesn’t have to ask his wife for her car keys. 

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