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C.O. Car Dealers Also Ride the Tide of Gas Prices


With the gas price roller-coaster running at full speed, many are wondering when — and whether — it will stop. And that can have a big impact on who heads to Central Oregon car dealers, when they may do so, and for what kind of new vehicle (or instead to just keep the old one running).

AAA says prices at the pump in Oregon should level off around $4.35 a gallon, a pain to many but still a far cry from the $5 predicted earlier this year.

Unlike 2008, when prices spiked and many people traded in their gas-guzzling cars for more fuel-efficient ones, this time around, it’s different.

“A lot of people took big losses when they were selling their big trucks.” Steve Sheppard of Smolich Motors in Bend said Wednesday. “They found out six months later those were the hottest thing on the market, after the prices of gas went back down.”

Many people across the country say they are looking at hybrid cars, but the steeper price tag has been turning some consumers away.

“I would like hybrid, but I’m not sure I would like to pay for hybrid, because you have to wait a couple of years for payback.” said Diane Raymond.

A national AAA survey released Tuesday showed 84 percent of drivers have changed their driving habits because of high gas prices.

Nearly nine in ten said they would change their driving habits. if prices remain at current levels for a sustained period, while 16 percent of those surveyed have leased or bought a new fuel efficient car.

“Hybrids and the electrics and those kinds of car, we are seeing interest in that. You know, those are great cars.” said Sheppard

If the price of gas remains at the current levels, 34 percent of people surveyed say they will be looking for a new car. (That’s also the question posed in our new KTVZ.COM Poll, halfway down the right side of our home page.)

AAA says while consumers may have little control over the price of gas, they can control the impact of higher prices.

They recommend drivers plan trips in advance.

“While running errands, try to combine multiple tasks into one trip,” said Marie Dodds of AAA Oregon, “Several short trips, starting with a cold engine each time, can use twice as much gas as a longer, multi-purpose trip.”

Right now, AAA says Hawaii has the highest price at $4.44 and Wyoming has the lowest at $3.33.

Oregon falls in line with the eighth-highest average in the country, at $3.99.

Be sure to vote in our new KTVZ.COM Poll on whether gas prices staying high would make you more inclined to trade in your current car or truck.

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