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Gas Prices Hit New Record

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The price of gas headed higher yet again today -- no surprise there -- but now analysts are wondering if $4 a gallon gas will be the national average before long.

The AP reports today that the price of a gallon of unleaded passed $3.51 today, setting a new record, while diesel prices rose to a new record of $4.20 a gallon.

"I wouldn't rule out the possibility that we could get to $4," analyst Antoine Halff told the news service.

The current spiral of prices is, er, fueled by high demand and the fall in the value of the dollar. It's a rough lesson for consumers as prices for everything are rising, especially food, because of transportation costs.

Consumers may be responding in a grass-roots way, however. Cars.com's latest survey of shoppers reports that $4-a-gallon gas for an extended period of time would be enough for 85 percent of consumers surveyed to buy a more fuel-efficient car. Already, the Cars.com survey found, 80 percent of drivers are making sure they do everything to squeeze more miles from each gallon of gas, like properly inflating their vehicle's tires.

What do shoppers think qualifies as a "fuel-efficient" vehicle? Some 73 percent of those polled by the Cars.com survey said 30 miles per gallon would be a good starting point -- and 60 percent said they'd pay $2000 extra for a 40-mpg vehicle. Twenty-one percent said they wouldn't pay any more, though.

It's easy to see the effect of high gas prices on the wallet. But TheCarConnection wants to know -- what are you doing to save money and boost your fuel economy? Tell us in a comment below and let us know if $4 a gallon gas would get you to trade in your guzzler for a sipper.
 
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