I often find my family’s long line of matriarchal legacies earn credit in my writing, but today is Dad’s turn.
Cars. We are stuck with them. The fortunate pocket of folks in our society who can live deep in urban centres and rely solely on the amazing transportation infrastructure that only cities can sustain, is a small proportion of our society. As for the rest of us, well, there just isn’t quite enough space for everyone.
That doesn’t mean we are without choices. Here’s where my Dad comes in. He’s an accountant. He seeks out the numbers and the US Department of Energy provides exactly that. When I was buying my first car, Dad put me onto this fantastic interactive USDE website that allows visitors to compare the fuel economy of vehicles. Hint: Look for the highest number possible in the Fuel Economy column.
Because of this website, I own a Prius. It is my family’s only car, so my husband and I took the liberty of spending a pretty penny on it. Regardless of size or type of personal vehicle , the Prius wins, every time. My vote was uncontested.
Recognizing that not everyone has the option of being a single-car family or buying a $30,000+ vehicle, here’s today’s tip:
Just because it is a Hybrid, doesn’t mean it is your most fuel-efficient option (setting aside Prius and Electric Vehicles for the moment). A hybrid SUV and a Smart Car both send out the message: Hey, I have a lot of money, so I give back to the environment! But, the Smart car is much more fuel efficient, despite not being a hybrid.
Determine what class of car you really need. If it’s a second car, be honest with yourself, must it have seats for everyone in the family, plus the dog and cargo? Whether or not you even need a second car, well, that’s another discussion. And the topic of e-vehicles deserves it’s own post. In due time…
For now, take my Dad’s advice, and check out the USDE Fuel Economy website.
P.S. Anyone know the story behind the name of this post?
Hot tip! These numbers are lab tested and cannot accurately account for individual vehicle wear and tear, or local driving conditions. Living on the west coast guarantees that I don’t get the same MPG reported by the USDE, so the car’s longevity/durability may be another aspect you should check out, and who better to tell their personal experiences than other bloggers? As far as terrain goes, well, no matter what car I choose, I’m stuck with Vancouver climate and terrain!
Read more tips, that just might work, here.
Live within limits without limiting life
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October 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am
okay, tell me. what about ppl with four kids?
October 1st, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Minivan for you – Volt for Jon? Here’s a link to the minivan comparisons: http://tinyurl.com/8prxgh8 How nice would it be if we could put hybrid engines in minivans? Why isn’t that done? Not as much of a status symbol?