SANTA MONICA, CA --- Edmunds.com has released its Gas-Guzzler Trade-In Calculator, a tool designed to help consumers determine the pay-back period and fuel savings associated with trading-in a fuel-thirsty vehicle for a more fuel-efficient one.
"Car buyers think they can save money by dumping their gas-guzzler and purchasing a gas-sipper," said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com. "But when you look at the big picture -- total cash out of pocket--a very different situation is often revealed."
A common example demonstrates the potential pitfalls of ditching that SUV: A consumer trades in a four-year old GMC Yukon, worth $13,483, for a new $21,647 Toyota Prius. The difference is $8,164. If the consumer drives 1,200 miles per month and gas costs $4.07 per gallon (national average), the monthly fuel savings will be $201.34. While this may seem attractive, it will take 41 months to pay back the additional cost of the Prius over the trade-in value of the Yukon.
The Gas-Guzzler Trade-In Calculator prompts users to select the vehicle they are considering and the vehicle they would sell or trade in. The calculator automatically provides the Edmunds.com True Market Value prices (the average price that people are currently paying for each vehicle), as well as the anticipated fuel mileage of the two vehicles. Consumers then input their monthly mileage and local gas price, and the calculator displays the monthly fuel savings, as well as the number of months to break even.
"Americans hate high gas prices," said Reed. "However, it's important to calm down and look closely at the dollars and cents. If people make a panicked car-buying decision they could lose thousands of dollars just to save hundreds of bucks at the pump."
To access the Edmunds.com Gas-Guzzler Trade-In Calculator, click here.