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Tips for Consumers: Buying a Fuel Efficient Car
Tips for Consumers
Buying a Fuel Efficient Car
As gas prices rise to shocking levels, a big consideration for car buyers in the Hagerstown area is fuel economy. Of course you still want to get a car that meets your other needs. But you may find many different models that provide fuel different models that provide fuel economy and a long list of attractive features.
To Select a Fuel-Efficient Car, visit www.fueleconomy.gov where you can see EPA mileage and emissions ratings of all the cars. Although the EPA system is somewhat outdated and "real-world" mileage could be worse, it is still a useful benchmark. Good lists of fuel-efficient cars are also provided at www.edmunds.com
Four-Cylinder vs. V6 or V8: Smaller engines usually cost less and get better fuel economy. Many smaller engines these days still have enough pep for normal driving.
Standard or Automatic Transmission: The manual (stick) shift car usually gets better gas mileage. Constant shifting may be a headache in regular city driving, but it is an alternative in more suburban roads.
Hybrids: A number of different hybrid vehicles are on the market now. Many get outstanding mileage but currently sell for inflated prices. It may take years to recover the higher prices in fuel savings. Plus they don't always have the best performance. Don't just jump into a hybrid; get all the facts first.
Diesels: In the past, diesels were often slow, smelly and noisy. But recently, technology has improved and you can barely tell you are driving a diesel. Their fuel economy rivals some hybrid cars. Look for more diesel car models soon but they are not permitted in all states.
If you decide to buy a highly fuel-efficient or hybrid car that is in hot demand, it's not unusual to be charged more than the sticker price. Talk to your dealership. You may be placed on a waiting list, asked to make a deposit and pay the full MSRP price of the car. But remember there are many other fuel-efficient cars for sale which do not have inflated prices. You might save on their price and save on gas at the same time.
Internet shopping for fuel-efficient cars can be successful, but make sure you have the final, out-the-door price in writing. Have the contract faxed to you for review so there are no last minute surprises.
(ITALICS PLEASE)Always contact the BBB to check out legitimate businesses. Visit their web site, www.baltimore.bbb.org or give them a call 24 hours a day at 410-347-3992. If you have a complaint, use the web site or write them at: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore, MD 21230. Their office serves Hagerstown and all of Washington County.
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