The fluctuating price of gasoline continues to be a serious concern for many new and used car buyers. This results in more buyers researching the gas mileage of the makes and models that make their short list before looking at cars in person.
When I was an Internet Manager for a major car dealer, I used a straight-forward, user-friendly government website as my main resource to discover the gas mileage of virtually any vehicle I came across. This was particularly useful with many older cars that we offered for resale.
The easy-to-use website is www.FuelEconomy.gov. Keep in mind that beginning with 2008 models, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed how they calculate MPG for all vehicles. They now calculate the rating using:
- higher speeds and acceleration
- air conditioning use
- colder outdoor temperatures
The result of changing how the MPG is calculated has reduced the rating for virtually every car, truck, and SUV. The idea was to make the MPG closer to what drivers actually get. Buyers, however, continue to tell me that most EPA gas ratings are still lower than the actual mileage achieved.
If you are trying to compare one make or model to another, be sure that you compare "old" ratings to "old" or "new" to "new." Otherwise you won't be comparing them in an equitable manner. This is particularly important if you are looking to purchase a pre-owned vehicle and comparing the gas mileage of one vehicle to another. This is easily done using this site.
When you get to FuelEconomy.gov, click on “FIND AND COMPARE CARS…” in the upper-right corner. The process is simple from there. And remember that other resources are also available, including an explanation of alternative fuel vehicles, how hybrid vehicles work, new tax incentives for diesel vehicles, and more.
L. James Johnson's new book, HELP! I Gotta Sell My Car NOW! New Rules for Selling Your Vehicle Online! is available for download at BayAreaCarGuy.com. You can also download his FREE report, The 8 Biggest Mistakes Used Car Buyers Make & How to Avoid Them!