Gas prices keep going up.  Economists were predicting prices at the pump would reach $4 by the end of the summer.  Lots of places are already seeing prices above that and summer hasn’t even started!  Drivers of SUVs, trucks, and even people who drive cars that require premium gas are feeling the hardest hit.  Should you start thinking about trading for a vehicle with better gas mileage?  Maybe not.

These are some things you have to consider:

  • Can you find a buyer for an SUV right now?
  • Will you able to sell or trade your SUV for what it’s worth?

The answer to the first question is maybe, the answer to the second is probably not. 

Let’s say your SUV is worth $20,000.  You’re able to trade it for a car worth $15,000.  You have a $5,000 difference to make up for in gas savings.

Now, let’s say your SUV used $400/month in gas.  Your new car uses $200/month in gas.  It will take 26 months to start seeing savings.

A sell/trade is most economical when you can trade for as close to your car’s value as possible.  Otherwise, it could be years before you start realizing the gas savings.

If you’re thinking about getting a lower gas mileage car, make sure you crunch the numbers first.  In the meantime, look at these five ways to save on gas.