Gas prices have fallen off a cliff in the last six months in the Lone Star State, and our pockets are reaping the benefits. But if you're considering buying a new car based on current gas prices, you may want to pump your brakes.
"You have to look at what fuel prices are going to be during the ownership of your car, not necessarily at the exact moment that you're buying it," Gary Silverman, a Certified Financial Planner for Personal Money Planning explained.
Silverman said when buying a new vehicle, you need to study gas trends over a two or three year span.
One option is to find out the average price of gas during that time, and calculate the real price of driving. The other is to consider a worst case scenario where gas prices remain at sky-high levels.
"If you only buy a car that only works when gas prices are low, then its not going to work when gas prices are high, then what are you going to do?" Silverman asked.
Russell Wetzel, the sales manager of Herb Easley Chevrolet, says that he hasn't seen a spike in lower mile-per-gallon cars yet like in some other parts of Texas. In San Antonio, truck sales are up 6% in the last six months.
"We run about 3 weeks behind the national average, so if the national average is showing fewer economy cars and more SUVs and trucks, we're probably about three weeks behind that," Wetzel said.
He has noticed, however, an interesting consumer trend...
"People aren't as concerned with fuel economy. The hang up is not fuel economy is this market right now."
Wetzel says people are buying vehicles with more added equipment compared to when gas was $3 per gallon.