U.S. Customers Contemplate Bigger Rides as Gas Drops, Stabilizes

By Justin Stoltzfus
Tuesday, Jul 12 2011 12:59

Autotrader.com is reporting it’s not taking American consumers much time to turn back from their focus on compact cars and other gas-sippers as gas prices decline after a major price spike this year. It’s only July, and gas is only back to about the 3.50 mark, but that’s apparently not stopping many customers across the country from starting to re-consider a truck or SUV.

On Friday, Autotrader.com released a set of “most searched for vehicle” charts showing that big trucks like the Ford F-250 and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 are gaining ground as the summer progresses. This illustrates how consumer sentiment can really turn on a dime: as soon as customers got a little relief from gas prices that seemed to be heading up into the stratosphere, many of us started to re-think the appeal of those little subcompacts and small eco-engine cars and look back toward the kinds of larger vehicles that were “automobilia non grata” in past months. This also includes the SUV, a controversial vehicle from the beginning and something that many owners want to shed as soon as they see a quarter increase at Texaco. Autotrader also indicated that vehicles including the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Explorer increased in popularity last month, as well as the mountainous Chevy Tahoe. It’s not really surprising that the Ford Explorer is getting new interest, since even in the gas doldrums of the spring, customers were still looking hard at this particular model, but a more general trend back toward SUVs is something that a lot of longer-term thinkers might see as premature, especially since the past few years have demonstrated that gasoline can experience huge price spikes for pretty abstract reasons.

One reason that consumers might be looking toward larger vehicles is related to supply and demand: in the same resource on vehicle searches in June, Autotrader.com reveals somewhat exaggerated asking prices for some fuel-efficient small cars. By the same token, buyers should be able to get deals on some pre-owned trucks and SUVs through the same principle of risk: those who don’t want to cross their fingers whenever they see gas rise a penny should be willing to offload their used trucks and SUVs at bargain prices.

Regardless of what kind of vehicle you are trying to buy, you can almost always lower the price with a combination of price research and auto financing savvy. Negotiating competitive interest rates can get you lots of money off on your auto financing deal, whether you are buying a new or CPO car, truck or SUV.

 


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