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Gas Prices.........
Old 04-11-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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Gas Prices.........

Will you drive less, more, or the same, in lieu of gas prices. I have actually seen cars and SUVs driving slower on the highways around me, had not seen that since $4+ gas a couple years ago.

Lots of speculation and money going into energy stocks and ETF's. Maybe we have finally hit "grin and bear it" territory??
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:27 AM   #2
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All I know is that oil speculation is effectively killing any chances we have of a strong and meaningful recovery.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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Back when prices were over $4, I remember seeing semis going 65 or even less on highways where they had been driving 70.

At those prices, I was slightly more sensitive to speed and trips. But we've always been cautious about gasoline costs (no SUV, bought a house 2 miles from work, almost always shopped within a couple miles of home). I've been looking for a new car, and gas mileage is definitely one of my criteria, but not the only one.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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We have been driving a little less due to gas prices, but we still go on drives several times a week for no reason but recreation. However, these drives are less frequent and shorter drives than they were last year. These have been local drives - - we haven't taken any road trips lately due to the price of gas. We drive the same speed as always and do not exceed the speed limits.

We have also discussed the topic of what we may do if gas prices double or worse. We can conserve quite a bit more than we are at present.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:35 AM   #5
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All I know is that oil speculation is effectively killing any chances we have of a strong and meaningful recovery.
It ain't speculation, Zig. It is the future. Increasing demand and limited supply. No conspiracy required. Speculators can lose money, by the way. Bought any gold lately?
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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Technically, slower speeds give better gas mileage. I would imagine commercial drivers know the economics of their business and balance time vs fuel economy.

I recall, the price point for changing driving behavior during the last price spike was north of $4.50/gal. In my case, at the time, I changed my mind about buying a BMW Z4 to buying a Prius. (Big change but I also have a motorcycle for fun driving).

Even though this is a much different economy (worse than during the last price spike) I don't expect driving patterns to change much. Traffic is down just because people don't have jobs. For those left on the road it seems pretty much the same to me.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:45 AM   #7
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Since I average maybe 10k mi/yr, fuel cost is not a large percentage of my budget. Still at 16 mi/gal in town, it starts to add up at $4/gal.

My next vehicle will be MUCH easier of gas than my 16/20 pickup. TBD...
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #8
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All in all we are in conservation mode. I am still getting 4% cashback on gasoline purchases, so that helps out a little bit.
I use cruise control as much as possible.
Mr B and I are riding together everywhere we need/want to go. We live 10 miles from the nearest small size town. If he had medical appointments downtown, I sit and wait or go do short distance (< 5 miles) errands.
We are using the 92 Accord (> 20 mpg) for any driving outside the immediate area (> 10 miles) because it has the best gas mileage of all our vehicles.
Now that bad weather is pretty much over, I drive the Jeep (15 mpg) once a week to ensure the rotors don't accumulate too much surface rust. Otherwise it sits in the driveway. His Impala (> 20 mpg) is still in the shop.
My Mustang (> 20 mpg) is still in the garage. I will be taking fewer leisure rides to keep our gas costs down. I didn't say zero rides, just fewer.
I have to launch my powerboat (unknown gpm) by July 1st to retain the walkup slip. We will use it very sparingly this summer, i.e. more floating on than cruising around the lake.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #9
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If it's like last time, the price will just keep creeping up a few bucks per week, while people will be saying all sorts of contradictory things about why it is going up. I think this time it will go up to just under $200 per barrel, unfortunately, before coming back down to around $100 per barrel. I traded in my 20 mpg V8 guzzler in 2009 for a 4 cylinder which gets 30 mpg on my commute. Will not change driving habits. Already driving as little as possible.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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We still drive where we need to go. My commute is only 7 miles a day.

I remember last time that the prices got so high I calculated whether it was worth it to drive to Cleveland (75 miles round trip = 3 gallons) for a parts purchase or to pay the shipping cost. It was cheaper to pay the shipping cost unless we were out that way.

If we are driving that way to see my parents (Cleve suburbs) we'll stop and pick up things (Crate and Barrel or MicroCenter) instead of paying for shipping.

DH just paid $3.859 last Friday. I shop at a grocery store that gives you fuel discounts per gallon when you buy groceries so I accumulate the discounts and pay $1-2 less per gallon.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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I drive maybe 300 miles per month so gas prices have no effect on my driving habits.

However, if higher gas prices keep some of those gas-guzzling SUVs and other big PITA vehicles off the roads like they did in 2008, then I do see a small benefit.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
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However, if higher gas prices keep some of those gas-guzzling SUVs and other big PITA vehicles off the roads like they did in 2008, then I do see a small benefit.
You mean like fire trucks and ambulances?
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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It ain't speculation, Zig. It is the future. Increasing demand and limited supply. No conspiracy required. Speculators can lose money, by the way. Bought any gold lately?
Actually there is not increasingly tight supply - it's the fear or belief that in the future there will be tighter supply relative to increasing demand. And the fear that some unrest in producer nations will *possibly* eliminate a sufficient supply. It's based on what one thinks will happen to the economy and oil supply, not the current reality. Like the stock market, it is a forward-looking mechanism, not a present-condition mechanism.

Nevertheless it shows the dangers of being addicted to, and dependent on, a commodity subject to wild price swings. It's simply not good for the stability of the economy, and the sooner we can get off of it and toward more stable energy supplies that don't have these huge price fluctuations, the better. Not depending on unstable and/or hostile nations for much of our economic lifeblood would be a good start.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
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Gas prices are unlikely to affect my driving habits unless they get north of $8/gallon.

They may affect my choice of vehicles down the road.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #15
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You mean like fire trucks and ambulances?
Um no. I mean those countless SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans blocking my view and creating a hazard from their mere size and presence (and for the pick-up trucks, blinding me at night even when the headlights are not on high-beam settings).
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:14 PM   #16
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Um no. I mean those countless SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans blocking my view and creating a hazard from their mere size and presence (and for the pick-up trucks, blinding me at night even when the headlights are not on high-beam settings).
Ah, "size envy".
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:19 PM   #17
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Gas demand has fallen as reported today:

Quote:
With the price of gas averaging $3.77 a gallon Monday, there are signs that Americans are cutting back on driving, reversing a steady increase in demand for fuel.
Gasoline sales have fallen for five weeks, first time that has happened since November, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending at 140,000 service stations nationwide.
Gas sales drop as prices rise and more drivers shift to 'Park'
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #18
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I notice oil prices dropped 3% today. Probably a coincidence...
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:05 PM   #19
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I'll try to drive less and slower (not that I speed in the first place). Also, I'll keep my tires inflated to the proper pressure.

All this gas price hike news! I'm gonna go and get my car's gas tank filled while the price is below $5/gallon
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #20
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I shop at a grocery store that gives you fuel discounts per gallon when you buy groceries so I accumulate the discounts and pay $1-2 less per gallon.
Same here. Plus, DH and I try to combine trips as much as possible. Now that he's retired too, I do need an occasional solo trip though...
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