Summer’s here, and gas prices are on the rise. This year, experts say, prices could top 2008’s record-setting national average of $4.11 per gallon. But many Americans are driving smarter this time around, as demonstrated by the booming market for hybrids and small, fuel-efficient cars, whose growth is far outpacing traditional SUV sales. These smart drivers are getting a lot more bang for their gas bucks, and easing their pain at the pump. We’re featuring them in a series of posts in this space.
Much to her daughter’s disappointment, Susan Myers, a business owner in Northport, New York, traded in her Lexus for a Toyota Prius in 2007.
“My daughter said, ‘Oh, Mommy, keep it!’” Myers recalls. “But I told her I don’t like giving my money to the gas companies. I would rather spend it on clothes.”
The hybrid won her family over quickly. On a road trip to Pennsylvania, where her daughter worked at a sleepover camp, the new car got about 50 miles per gallon. “The place was 100 miles away, and we made it home on like, 2 gallons of gas. My husband was in shock,” says Myers.
“When I go to get gas now, I go less often, and it doesn’t hurt as much,” says Myers. “I don’t think, oh, that’s another really nice shirt I can’t buy.”