Soaring gas prices creating shortage of fuel-efficient used cars - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Soaring gas prices creating shortage of fuel-efficient used cars

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Pain at the pump continues with gas prices in Iowa now averaging $3.81 a gallon.  That's almost 32 cents higher than just one month ago.  As you might expect, the price spikes are pushing many to buy smaller cars that guzzle less gas.  But downsizing might not be easy, especially if you're looking for a used vehicle.

The lot at Dan Deery Motors in Waterloo is fairly full, but all kinds of small cars are flying off the lot fast, as customers look to cash in on fuel savings as gas prices keep climbing.

"You could save a ton of money by switching over to one of these other vehicles that are going to get a lot better fuel mileage, save a lot of money on the bottom line," said Jamie Thompson with Dan Deery Motors.

After all, EPA estimates suggest a new pick-up truck will cost you $3800 a year in gas, while a smaller car like will run an annual fuel tab $1500 less than that.  Trouble is, if you can't afford a new, small gas-saver, you might have a tough time finding a used one since they're such hot commodities right now.

"You're going to find out that most dealers around are going to be a little short on some of these smaller vehicles," Thompson said.

So since that supply is low, if you currently own a smaller, fuel efficient car, trading it in could give you the best bang for your buck.

"Basically with these smaller vehicles, most of our customers bring them out here because you're getting a ton of resale value out of them.  Then they can upgrade for just a little bit of money.  And it's just a great deal for everybody," Thompson said.

And increased auto sales help pump money into the local economy and can help you bring fuel savings into focus.

Overall, US auto sales have climbed 16 percent in just the past month, largely driven by people switching to smaller cars.  Those sales are helped by many Detroit automakers rolling out new, small cars like the Dodge Dart, Chevy Cruze, and the revamped Ford Focus.

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