How would $9.89/gallon for gas affect your life?

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
edited July 2014 in General

Check out this chart on the highest the lowest gasoline prices around the world:

http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-02-13/highest-cheapest-gas-prices-by-country.html#slide62

Got me to thinking. What, if any adjustments, would I make if the USA had the same gas prices as say Turkey?

Would you:

--cut down driving drastically
--buy a different car
--just suck it up and drive normally
--seek alternatepublic transportation (at current fares)
--move to another country (Canada at $4.67?)
--buy a motor scooter
--OR ???

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,683

    Would you:

    Hope I die at 85 before my money runs out, rather than 95?

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  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaMember Posts: 1,222

    I couldn't afford to just suck it up, and it's too cold here in Chicago to ride a motor scooter year round. Even if I wanted to move to Venezuela or UAE, the cost of the move would wash any gas savings I might realize. Same thing with buying a different car, unless the car I own died. I'm not sure how I could expect to pay "current fares" for alternate/public transportation, as their cost would likely reflect current gas prices. So I'd probably drive less. In which case, I'd hope for the same fate as kyfdx.

    @Mr_Shiftright said:

    Would you:

    --cut down driving drastically
    --buy a different car
    --just suck it up and drive normally
    --seek alternatepublic transportation (at current fares)
    --move to another country (Canada at $4.67?)
    --buy a motor scooter
    --OR ???

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222
    edited July 2014

    That article looks to be a year old, and Turkey seems like a weird anomaly - I wonder if some kind of currency or tax issue is at play. I'd see a more apples to apples comparison with a similarly developed area to where I lived. On that idea, I'd pay German prices if I received German benefits (roadway and transit infrastructure) - but if the money went to prop up "allies" or fund more waste, nope. I might choose a smaller everyday car, but I would probably drive the old car just as much. I'd only go with a scooter if they became a dominant form of transport, otherwise, I am not willing to mix it up with the local frazzled hausfrau set in their poorly driven tall vehicles - medical bills would offset gas savings.

    However, the economy would collapse long before gas hit $9 (without viable alternatives) - I don't think there's enough slack in most budgets to support even $5. Fuel prices of 2008 were no doubt a factor in the collapse then.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    If gas jumped to $9, I'd guess that diesel would jump too.

    The heck with buying gas - think of the price increase just on milk and bread that you'd be facing.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    That chart also had a kind of "pain factor"--meaning it calculated what percentage of a day's wage one has to pay for a gallon of gas.

    So, theoretically, if your income doubled (fat chance) then gas at $9.89 would be no more painful to you than at $4.94.

    I guess what has to happen if gas went to $10 a gallon is that public transportation would have to be subsidized with these tax revenues and made incredibly cheap.

    How else could we cope? Car pooling? would you do that?

    I would be charging the extra fuel costs onto my clients, and probably turning down a few long distance jobs that I accept now.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,493

    I don't know that my habits would change a whole lot, because I don't drive alot. I drive about 10 miles per day commuting to work. I work 2.5 miles away, but go home for lunch. My Ram gets about 14 mpg, and the last time I filled up, gas was about $3.759 per gallon. So for 10 miles, that's about $2.68. If it jumped to $9.89 per gallon, then my commuting cost is now $7.06 per day.

    It's enough to whine about, but not enough to bankrupt me.

    I have a feeling one thing that would change though, is those classic car shows I go to. When I took my '67 Catalina up for the GM show the other week, it averaged about 13.2 mpg. I remember it was 280 miles round trip, plus a bit of local running around. So that's about 21.2 gallons. Cost about $82 (3.859/gal, as the car takes 93). If it went up to say, $10.90/gal (I'm figuring a bit more for hi-test) then that tank would suddenly be about $214.

    I would still be willing to make that trip, as I look at it as nice little getaway and a chance to see friends. But I have a feeling that a lot of classic car owners would stay away, and as a result a lot of those shows would die off.

    I'm sure there would still be plenty of little local cruise-ins, where the car owners only have to drive a few miles to hang out in a local parking lot. But it would probably do some damage to some of those big shows, where people often drive hundreds of miles, if not more.

    As for me, I might do a few little tricks, like bring my lunch to work so I don't have to go home. And cut out some discretionary driving...not that I do a lot of that, anyway.

    Public transportation wouldn't cut it for me. The nearest bus stop is 1.9 miles from my house. If I'm going to walk to that, I might as well just walk the extra 6/10 of a mile!

  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490

    It certainly would make electric and ethanol far more attractive...

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    It would certainly be the end of gas-guzzlers.

    I wonder if it would end up something like what I read about in the Great Depression.

    Naturally many of the rich in 1929 did not "lose everything". They still had their Duesenbergs and Cadillac V-12s---but they did not dare drive them without careful planning. There were reports, in big cities at least, of such cars being stoned.

    The car is such a social signifier in the USA. I wonder how it would feel to have to park your car for lack of enough money to fuel it.

  • cluedweaselcluedweasel Member Posts: 150

    I live in the US and the UK. IN the US, my car is an Infiniti G37x. It barely gets 15 mpg and needs premium fuel at around $4 per gallon.
    In the UK, I drive an Audi A4 TDi. It gets 36 mpg (adjusted from imperial to US). Diesel in the UK is around $8 per US gallon.
    So the Infiniti costs me around 27 cents per mile on fuel cost and the Audi 22 cents per mile.
    The point being, if fuel costs did increase to European levels, it's not the end of the world. It would just mean a change to more fuel efficient vehicles.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    I distinctly remember someone in my neighborhood making a joke about how gas prices affect the cars people drive. It was during the 1973 "gas crisis". Someone heard some sirens and asked "what's that"? Someone else said: "Oh, that's an ambulance taking the owner of the Cadillac dealership to the hospital".

    $10 a gallon would have a profound effect on what people in the USA drive, presuming this high cost endured for any length of time. Some people would definitely panic and ditch their big SUVs and trucks in a red hot minute, without even stopping to calculate the costs of making a switch in a newer vehicle.

    This is exactly what happened in 1973. For about 6 months you couldn't give away a big domestic land yacht. Owners didn't want 'em, dealers didn't want 'em---I think some shrewd people got themselves some mighty good deals on very nice large cars.

  • hammerhead68hammerhead68 Member Posts: 3

    We in Germany pay currently 8,80 US$ per gallon (1,60 € per Liter). Well, the people are used to it meanwhile. Thank god our Hennessey customers this doesn't affect, but fuel economy is the biggest criterium when "ordonary" buy car here.

  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490

    @hammerhead68 said:
    We in Germany pay currently 8,80 US$ per gallon (1,60 € per Liter). Well, the people are used to it meanwhile. Thank god our Hennessey customers this doesn't affect, but fuel economy is the biggest criterium when "ordonary" buy car here.

    The main difference between Western European countries and the US, transportation-wise, is that, with few highly-urbanized exceptions, there is no alternative transportation in the US if cars were to somehow suddenly disappear from the streets tomorrow.

    Germany has lots of mass transportation options, lots of trains, and lots of folks who don't choke at the idea of walking to the store or riding a bike to work. Granted, land use restrictions prevented Germany from what we call "highly urbanized sprawl", but that was a result of cheap gas and affordable cars with low taxation rates on them.

    Remove cars from the road overnight, and Germany could still function as a country. Not so, in the USA.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    To travel the same distance from Berlin to Leipzig in the San Francisco Bay Area by public transit --say Santa Cruz to Sonoma, would require one bus 40 miles, one train 40 miles, a 10 block walk, one ferry, another bus 30 miles and then someone to pick you up and drive you 15 miles~!!

  • au1994au1994 GAMember Posts: 2,090

    I agree with Fintail and others that 9.89/ gallon gas would crater the economy but assuming it didn't I would...

    Have to find a more fuel efficient vehicle and would probably get a Leaf and keep my ZHP for weekend fun.

    Public transport is not available to me so I would still need some form of transportation. Office is ~17 miles from home so not walkable. Groceries and dry cleaning are about 2 mi away so walkable in theory though I'm not sure how I would get a weeks worth of groceries home. Bike with a rack I guess.

    Other sundry type items are 5+ mi away at Target so going completely vehicle free isn't an option for me.

    It would be a change but as long as I had something fun to drive once in a while I could make the shift.

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  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    To travel the same distance from Berlin to Leipzig in the San Francisco Bay Area by public transit --say Santa Cruz to Sonoma, would require one bus 40 miles, one train 40 miles, a 10 block walk, one ferry, another bus 30 miles and then someone to pick you up and drive you 15 miles~!!

    And, you're lucky, as compared to a large swath of the USA, which doesn't have ANY access to public transportation.

    This is one main reason many use to support the huge outlays we spend on the military... To make sure the petro taps stay open (at least, open to us). Those battle wagons floating around the ocean in the Mideast aren't there just because they have no place else to float around...

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    That's true---you can't rule the world using solar power--at least not yet--maybe if you were an alien race with huge solar mirrors in outer space that divert sunlight. You heard it here first!

    But I digress :)

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,493

    I think the biggest thing that scared people when the oil embargo hit in late '73 wasn't the price, but the shortage. A big, gas guzzling car becomes pretty useless when you can only buy a few gallons at a time, no matter how rich you are. Unless you're rich enough to pull some strings, I guess...

    We started getting a backlash against SUVs in the 2000's, as fuel prices went up, but they've held on a lot longer than those 70's mastodons did. By the time the 1980 model year rolled around, there was not one single car left that was "old school" full-sized. The last holdout was Lincoln in '79. Big block engines were also gone, from cars at least. The biggest engines left were in the 350-368 CID range, while engines in the 302-318 range probably made the bulk of V-8 production.

    But, with SUVs? Well, I remember gas starting to get expensive in late 1999. In fact, the first time I had to fill up my brand-new 2000 Intrepid, it came to something like $1.399/gal, and it had been a long time since I had paid that much for 87 octane. Desert Storm, maybe? Oh, wait, I did have a rental car in California, in April of '99, and I remember gas was about $1.499/gal, but CA is "special". :p

    I remember gas getting expensive enough in 2000-2001 for people to start whining about it, hitting around $2/gal. But then the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy deflated that. In late 2001/early 2002, I remember seeing it as cheap as $1.00 or so, although that wasn't destined to last. By the summer of '08, it was breaking $4/gal in areas, although once the "Great Recession" sunk in, I remember it going back down to around $1.49 by Christmas of '08.

    Anyway, here we are, back up to around $3.50-4.00 per gallon, and it seems like big SUVs are still with us. Their numbers have definitely dwindled, but I don't see them going away completely anytime soon. At least, not like the old mastodon-class, full-sized car did in the 70's.

    If gas went to $9-10/gal, I wonder how much it really would crater the economy? Years ago, I thought gas going to $4/gal, would have had a huge effect, but it doesn't seem to have. Heck, I even thought when it shot up to nearly $2/gal, it wouldn't had a major impact. I have a feeling that $9-10/gal would definitely have an impact, but also have a feeling we would find a way to adapt and bounce back, like we did with $2/gal and $4/gal.

  • au1994au1994 GAMember Posts: 2,090
    edited July 2014

    The economy probably _could_survive 9-10/ gal gas. People would eventually learn to deal with the double hit - at the pump and again in product pricing, especially food.

    What you would see is the death of what I will call the 'non-essential' big SUV and truck driver.

    We all know them and may even be one now or in the past...your accountant that drives an F-250 and hauls nothing heavier than golf clubs on the weekend. Soccer mom with 2 kids too young to be engaged in any activities in a Suburban. Not throwing stones, I drove an 07 Ram for a while and never towed a thing or carried anything heavier than bales of pinestraw.

    It would be a boon for small car and hybrid sales. A nice business might be to rent large vans, trucks and SUV's to those who needed on a short time basis.

    Basically our highways would start to look like Europe.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,493
    edited July 2014

    @au1994 said:
    We all know them and may even be one now or in the past...your accountant that drives an F-250 and hauls nothing heavier than golf clubs on the weekend. Soccer mom with 2 kids too young to be engaged in any activities in a Suburban. Not throwing stones, I drove an 07 Ram for a while and never towed a thing or carried anything heavier than bales of pinestraw.

    I guess I shouldn't throw too many stones either, considering i drive a 2012 Ram Hemi. B) In my case though, it's a lot more economical than the vehicle it (mostly) replaced, an '85 Silverado. The Silverado would get as bad as 8 mpg in local driving, maybe 16 on the highway, almost 18 if you're really gentle. I think the worst the Ram has done was maybe 12.5 mpg. And on a few highway runs, it's broken 20. I don't know what kind of mileage it would get if I drove it in the same manner as I did to get 18 out of the Silverado. I hope to NEVER drive that slow on the highway again!

    I don't really need it, especially considering I never got rid of my Silverado. So I could use that whenever I needed to do any real work. But, I just don't drive enough, IMO, to really see a benefit from selling the Ram, most likely at a loss, and then having to buy something else. And, I would have to buy something else, as I can't rely on my antique cars all the time (plus they get worse MPG than the Ram). And my 2000 Park Ave isn't going to be around forever.

    And yeah, I could see being in a truck/van rental business as being a good thing. A couple months ago, one of my friends wanted to know if I could help him pick up a load from Home Depot, for a fence he was rebuilding. It consisted of a lot of lumber, concrete, cinder blocks, etc. Well, by the time I added up all the weight, it would have been too much to put in my Ram, so we would have had to make 2-3 trips. Plus, all this stuff was bundled up and on a big pallet. So in the end, it was a lot simpler to just rent one of their little flatbed trucks, have the pallet dropped right on it, bring it out, and unload it all at once.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222

    Like Europe except with a lot more LLCs :)

    The big BOF SUV movement is already gone, the new economic reality and the size of those vehicles makes them less attractive than their heyday ~15 years ago. There will always be some demand, but it has waned, and junkyards are full of them now.

    I'd still fear the consequences of $9 gas - as in 2008, gas approaching $5 helped push things over the edge IMO.

    @au1994 said:

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    I think all big economic shifts have both plus and minus effects don't you? The real estate boom, for instance, "cleaned up" devastated urban neighborhoods and at the same time destroyed the small town ambience of charming seaside and country towns.

    So $$$ gasoline might do the same in its own way.

  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490

    I agree. We've seen lots of examples in my 60 year life, the big one being due the widespread implementation of automation in every facet of life.

    Regarding gas prices, I remember an old college economics professor telling me that as long as gas was priced similarly to a gallon of milk and a gallon of Chlorox, it wasn't an overpriced product. Over the years, I've come to agree with his assessment.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    Sounds like a good rule of thumb.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    I liked the original formula of that website I posted regarding gas prices around the world--they included a "pain factor" which basically means that one has to view the price of gas in relation to the average daily wage in that country. So if say an American makes $200 a day and pays $10 for a gallon of gas, that's way less painful than the guy in Turkey making $40 a day.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222

    The latest economic unpleasantness might have popped a bubble that needed popping, but I don't know if the entire effect was positive - still plenty of never-will-be-punished financial malfeasance out there, and plenty of real estate bubbles, too (you live in one, I live in one).

    There are definite pros and cons of $$$ gasoline. However, there will be a breaking point in the US before probably most of the world, due simply to the general layout of residential housing being so relatively far from employment areas.

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    I think all big economic shifts have both plus and minus effects don't you? The real estate boom, for instance, "cleaned up" devastated urban neighborhoods and at the same time destroyed the small town ambience of charming seaside and country towns.

    So $$$ gasoline might do the same in its own way.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Well by economic shifts I wasn't including criminality. I meant more "natural" market forces.

    Corruption never ends up well for any society.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,493
    edited July 2014

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    I think all big economic shifts have both plus and minus effects don't you? The real estate boom, for instance, "cleaned up" devastated urban neighborhoods and at the same time destroyed the small town ambience of charming seaside and country towns.

    >

    I think these big booms and busts can be very profitable...if you're fortunate enough to not lose your job, and can keep on investing in the downturns, and you're still in the market to profit when it finally comes roaring back.

    Unfortunately though, what often happens is that someone loses their job, as the market is crashing. They end up being upside down on their mortgage, so there's no equity to tap. And then they have to start cashing out their retirement plans to live off of, incurring not only a penalty for early withdrawal, but the added penalty of pulling money out during a down period, often at a loss.

  • karhill1karhill1 Member Posts: 164

    Well, I get about 45 mpg with a BMW 328d. Average about 200 miles a week. Fill up every three weeks with about 13.3 gallons of diesal at about $3.90 a gallon. That is about $17 a week. If diesal was $10 a gallon that would be about $44 a week. Unpleasent but certainly not life changing.

  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusMember Posts: 13,026

    Just saw this thread. Oil companies and the dynamics of the industry have been a "research" item for me since I did a paper on them while in college (immmm....more years ago than I'd like to admit). I personally missed the alleged oil embargo, but certainly remember my Father's reaction to steeply rising oil prices. The news showed long lines at the gas pumps. I recall my Father having to "wait for his day" to fill up based on his license number (even or odd). I recall the financial publications spewing what the oil companies were telling them.....oil will be depleted by (pick an arbitrary year in the not so distant future). Obviously, none of that was true. But, it had the desired effect......large oil company profits, that still are being felt to this day.

    Excuse after excuse attributed to reasons for rising prices. Excuse after excuse over the course of decades have been debunked. Most recently, we've heard how disruptions because of potential middle east war, or U.S. oil dependence causing U.S. prices to be based on the whim of some country far away, or economies of oil being affected by demand in some far away country, etc.

    Fact is, we're as oil independent now than at any time during our history. With shale oil, new huge reserves being found regularly, the fact that we're now EXPORTING oil debunked all the recent theories regarding being dependent on middle east oil supplies, or any sort of unrest that could, perhaps affect oil supplies delivered to the U.S. Funny how none of those uprisings ever affected oil shipments......EVER! But, the prices still rose.

    $10/gal for gas....would plunge the world into not only an economic recession, but a global depression.....all the while economies all over the world would experience inflation levels never seen on such a large scale. Everything would be affected....from products that are made with oil and oil byproducts, to packaging, to deliveries, in addition to a gal of gas. No one would drive cars. The vast majority couldn't afford to (excepting the very rich). An entire industry would be wiped out and shrunk to be a very tiny fraction of what it is today (auto industry). Any market, company, manufacturer that supplies the auto industry would be wiped out.

    We would see an economic dark age that would make the Great Depression look like a picnic.

    And all for what? So a few companies, a few individuals can reap more economic benefit? Talk about a revolution....

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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 183,398

    @graphicguy said:
    Just saw this thread. Oil companies and the dynamics of the industry have been a "research" item for me since I did a paper on them while in college (immmm....more years ago than I'd like to admit). I personally missed the alleged oil embargo, but certainly remember my Father's reaction to steeply rising oil prices. The news showed long lines at the gas pumps. I recall my Father having to "wait for his day" to fill up based on his license number (even or odd). I recall the financial publications spewing what the oil companies were telling them.....oil will be depleted by (pick an arbitrary year in the not so distant future). Obviously, none of that was true. But, it had the desired effect......large oil company profits, that still are being felt to this day.

    Excuse after excuse attributed to reasons for rising prices. Excuse after excuse over the course of decades have been debunked. Most recently, we've heard how disruptions because of potential middle east war, or U.S. oil dependence causing U.S. prices to be based on the whim of some country far away, or economies of oil being affected by demand in some far away country, etc.

    Fact is, we're as oil independent now than at any time during our history. With shale oil, new huge reserves being found regularly, the fact that we're now EXPORTING oil debunked all the recent theories regarding being dependent on middle east oil supplies, or any sort of unrest that could, perhaps affect oil supplies delivered to the U.S. Funny how none of those uprisings ever affected oil shipments......EVER! But, the prices still rose.

    $10/gal for gas....would plunge the world into not only an economic recession, but a global depression.....all the while economies all over the world would experience inflation levels never seen on such a large scale. Everything would be affected....from products that are made with oil and oil byproducts, to packaging, to deliveries, in addition to a gal of gas. No one would drive cars. The vast majority couldn't afford to (excepting the very rich). An entire industry would be wiped out and shrunk to be a very tiny fraction of what it is today (auto industry). Any market, company, manufacturer that supplies the auto industry would be wiped out.

    We would see an economic dark age that would make the Great Depression look like a picnic.

    And all for what? So a few companies, a few individuals can reap more economic benefit? Talk about a revolution....

    GG, well aware of your crusade against rising oil (and gas) prices. I don't doubt any of what you are quoting above.

    I just read an article in Business Week (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-10/u-dot-s-dot-oil-export-ban-the-debate-heats-up#r=hp-ls) that talks about the ban on oil exports from the US - both sides make compelling arguments.

    But ... does the original article break out the tax portion of the price? I know that in most European countries, the taxes are many multiples of what we pay in the US.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    the oil companies are basically a sovereign nation of their own at this point.

  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusMember Posts: 13,026
    edited July 2014

    Micheall...thanks for the article. It says selling U.S. oil to other (perhaps less friendly) countries will add to our GDP and lower unemployment. I want to hear from BP, Chevron, Dutch Petroleum how many more people they'll hire if we allow them to refine and sell U.S. oil to foreign buyers. And, I want them to stick to their projections. If they don't, hefty fines are incurred that far exceed any sort of gain they would have by selling to foreign powers.

    Personally, after hearing for decade after decade how being oil dependent severely threatens U.S. security, losing 10s of thousands of American lives fighting in the Middle East because of that same security threat, it makes more sense to me to keep our own oil. We remove a major oil buyer from the world stage, forcing prices down for everyone. And, we become more secure in the process.

    Mr Shiftright.....agree with you.....oil companies indeed think they're sovereign countries. This shift will change that, though. It's time we embrace that shift.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Obviously the relationship between government and huge corporate entities has become way too cozy. We have been unable to come up with any kind of coherent energy policy, and I suspect that if we continue to defer on coming up with a literal, massive "Manhattan Project" scale of effort, that other countries in the future will clean our clocks.

    Energy makes the wheels go 'round after all. I'd rather pay a higher cost for energy during its developmental stages than pay a massive cost when faced with shortages.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    I distinctly remember someone in my neighborhood making a joke about how gas prices affect the cars people drive. It was during the 1973 "gas crisis". Someone heard some sirens and asked "what's that"? Someone else said: "Oh, that's an ambulance taking the owner of the Cadillac dealership to the hospital".

    $10 a gallon would have a profound effect on what people in the USA drive, presuming this high cost endured for any length of time. Some people would definitely panic and ditch their big SUVs and trucks in a red hot minute, without even stopping to calculate the costs of making a switch in a newer vehicle.

    This is exactly what happened in 1973. For about 6 months you couldn't give away a big domestic land yacht. Owners didn't want 'em, dealers didn't want 'em---I think some shrewd people got themselves some mighty good deals on very nice large cars.

    My Grandpop made a heck of a deal on a big forest green 1974 Chevrolet Impala!

  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusMember Posts: 13,026

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    Obviously the relationship between government and huge corporate entities has become way too cozy. We have been unable to come up with any kind of coherent energy policy, and I suspect that if we continue to defer on coming up with a literal, massive "Manhattan Project" scale of effort, that other countries in the future will clean our clocks.

    Energy makes the wheels go 'round after all. I'd rather pay a higher cost for energy during its developmental stages than pay a massive cost when faced with shortages.

    No disagreement there. Interestingly enough, if you look at the biggest economic booms in our recent U.S. history, it's when there were low fuel prices.

    I'm helping my sister deal on a car. We were at a a BMW dealer yesterday. They had charging stations set up in the front of their dealership. I asked the salesman when their "i" cars were coming. He said they were at the port...all of them pre-sold. Demand is outstripping supply at this point. Add in the fact that Tesla just announced a 200 mile range, $35K car, and CAFE standards accelerating, demand for oil is going to drop even further that it has already.

    Given the economic advantages of less expensive oil, and the "clean" vehicles that are on today's roads, something else is at play.

    As you point out, there's some palm greasing going on between politicians and oil companies to only pay lip service (and half-assed investigations) for price fixing.

    Say what you will about the Clinton/Gore administration, particularly given Gore's "Global Warming" itinerary, that proposed a huge cut in fossile fuel usage, no one could send enough money to Gore to prop up gas prices.

    Lots of factors involved, but the huge economic growth during that administration was due in no small part to low gas prices.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Longest continuous expansion of the GDP in U.S. history: 1991-2001

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222

    I remember paying 99 cents for mid grade around Christmas 98. Those were the days! Or as I was still a relatively broke college student at the time, maybe not.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    edited July 2014

    I live pretty close to work. It would have a small impact except for travelling outside the city, but I would still manage to get to my job with little difficulty. I would probably limit my travel for shopping needs and buy things closer to home.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    I do about 100 miles a week on my bicycle for light shopping, errands, bank, visit friends, etc.

    That's not much savings in terms of gas---maybe $70 a month--but maybe it'll pay off in keeping me healthier?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,683

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    I do about 100 miles a week on my bicycle for light shopping, errands, bank, visit friends, etc.

    That's not much savings in terms of gas---maybe $70 a month--but maybe it'll pay off in keeping me healthier?

    Unless you get hit by a car..

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Well thanks for that--LOL! I still like the odds...40,000 people are killed in cars but bicycle fatalities were only about 700. ("only" is still too many!)

    I read that the worst time to ride a bike is from 4 pm to 8 pm, and the worst state to ride a bike in would be Florida.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,683

    @Mr_Shiftright said:
    Well thanks for that--LOL! I still like the odds...40,000 people are killed in cars but bicycle fatalities were only about 700. ("only" is still too many!)

    I read that the worst time to ride a bike is from 4 pm to 8 pm, and the worst state to ride a bike in would be Florida.

    I guess it's my advancing age.... but, I feel really uncomfortable riding, any more. I could use the exercise.. but, it's not for me..

    I'm going to guess that the bicycle fatality rate per million miles traveled is a lot higher than riding in a car.. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but don't kid yourself about the safety aspect. (not sure what the fatality rate is for walking a mile home from my friend's house after 4 beers.. but, I made it last night).

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  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222
    edited July 2014

    I'm on foot about 20-25 miles a week, and I observe "drivers" in my area. Doesn't make me want to jump on a bicycle or motorcycle.

    And indeed, fatality rares are what count.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited July 2014

    "Bicyclists seem to be over-represented in the crash data, but, there is no reliable source of exposure data as we don't know how many miles bicyclists travel each year, and we don't know how long it takes them to cover those miles (and thus how long they are exposed to motor vehicle traffic)."

    Pedestrians are also over-represented in the crash data.

    Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

    My personal best to date is 140 feet on my unicycle, and yeah, I'm riding it on the public streets. Just not very far or very often. B)

  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    edited July 2014

    Don't forget that U.S. gallons are smaller than most of the rest of the world. (3.79 liters vs 4.55 liters)

    (from Wikipedia)

    "Other than the United States, the US gallon is used in Liberia, Belize, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru."

    That's it. If we're not talking about these handful of countries, it's Imperial (U.K.) gallons.

    I just paid $4.18 a gallon for fuel. This translates to $5.02 a "gallon" in the rest of the world. When I hear people moan about how cheap gas is in the U.S., it irks me a bit that they aren't bothering with the size difference. Yes, we still have low prices, but here in California, I pay more than people in Canada do. It's a major impact on my income. Doing a bit of conversion, that works out to 4.3% of the average Californian's income is spent on fuel.

    This also applies to MPG of course. My car is rated at 19/31 US MPG. In Europe that translates to 23/37 MPG.

    Q: does that Article convert fuel prices to be equivalent across all countries in terms of volume?

    A: No, it does not.

    BUT WAIT - it gets worse!
    Remember how most of the rest of the world can get these super-high mpg diesel cars? In the U.K, a Citroen C1 or C2 gets 68.9 (U.K.)mpg, combined. That's 56mpg in the U.S. If you compare that to the next closest car in the U.S.(price and size-wise), the Yaris, you get 40mpg combined.

    Yes, you can get a TDI from VW, but at $10K+ more expensive, it's really not a viable comparison.

    We get much worse choices for cars which burn lots more fuel. I calculate that the average person in the U.S.has to use 1.4x the fuel to go the same distance as the average person in Europe does. That effectively increases the fuel price to $7.03 a gallon here in California, compared to the U.K.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    There are direct effects of high fuel prices (such as % of your income spent on it) and indirect effects, such as how it raises the price of other things.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,222

    Strangely enough, from my experience, food and other household consumables are generally no more expensive in western Europe than the US.

    I'd imagine when comparing ROW vs US, prices are based on 3.8l/US gallon, not imperial gallons.

  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    edited July 2014

    That's the problem with the article and most like it. They don't factor in the 40% extra fuel we use due to our woefully inefficient vehicle and the 20% less fuel we get in a "gallon". The actual price after you convert to equivalent measures and average economy differences, and then factor in that we drive more miles to get to work each day is nearly equal for a place like Los Angeles and London, aside from the money conversion factor.

    That's how £5.50 turns into £9.

    But that's a bit disingenuous. The average person in the U.K. makes almost the same as the average person in the U.S., in their own money. That is, a £26500 a year versus $28500 a year in the U.S. (note, both figures are median wages per worker, not average per capita, and represent a more normal comparison for working folks)

    Or, in simple terms, I use a little bit over 3 (US) gallons in my car each day to get to work. That's 2.5 (UK) gallons a day. Hardly anyone in the U.K. uses that much fuel to get to work and back. They're using closer to maybe 1.5 (UK) gallons a day due to better cars and a bit less distance.

    Last year I used 3200 liters of fuel in my car. (Fuelly.com is excellent for this)
    I wonder how many people in the U.K. use 3200 liters a year?

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,493

    @plekto said:
    Remember how most of the rest of the world can get these super-high mpg diesel cars? In the U.K, a Citroen C1 or C2 gets 68.9 (U.K.)mpg, combined. That's 56mpg in the U.S. If you compare that to the next closest car in the U.S.(price and size-wise), the Yaris, you get 40mpg combined.

    Where are you getting 40 mpg combined for the Yaris? Is that the raw, laboratory number? I'm only seeing 30/37(33 combined) for the stick and 30/36(32) for the automatic. For comparison, Wikipedia says that the C1's 68.9 mpg is 48.8 using US methodology. However, I don't know if that's the raw laboratory numbers, or the number that goes on the window sticker, which is about 20% lower?

    Also, even though they're both little cars, there's still a pretty big size difference. According to Wikipedia, a C1 is about 134" long and around 1800 lb. A Yaris is around 154" long, and 2300 pounds, according to Edmund's. So that's about a 20" and 500 lb spread. In bigger-car terms, that's about the difference between a Cruze and an Impala!

    I wonder how well something as tiny as that would sell here in the US? At current gas prices, cars as tiny as a Chevy Spark, or even a Sonic, Yaris, Fiesta, etc, are a relative niche product. So would we go even smaller? These days, there's not much difference in fuel economy between a 4-cyl midsized car and a compact or even subcompact. But then, that's partly because, as you mentioned, we don't get some of the more efficient engines here, like the Diesel that goes in the C1. Subcompact cars in the US are pretty much an afterthought. I'm sure if fuel prices shot to $9-10 per gallon though, that would change really fast.

  • plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    edited July 2014

    Well, considering that we are a captive audience, I doubt that they will bring them in even if it does get that high. They make excuses and then post billions in profits every quarter.

    About the Yaris, I meant 40mpg combined if you converted it to U.K. measurements. That gives you a comparison of how much more efficient cars are over there. It's somewhere between 20% and 40%, depending on the type of vehicle. Woe be unto you if you have a SUV, though. 14-16mpg is downright painful here in the U.S.. Most similar vehicles in Europe get at least double that due to small turbocharged diesel engines.

    Of course, my other point was that gas is $5.50 a gallon in the U.K., effectively, if you live there, due to their wages being almost exactly the same as ours before any money conversion is done.

    The last time I was over there I noticed that basically everything cost the same, just the money symbols were different (no sales tax - it was all added in and numbers were even for most things, which I wish we'd do here). When I asked, everyone was making wages that were basically equivalent, so it was no real difference at all. Of course tourists were taking a massive hit converting it over.

    If I work and $1000 is deposited into my checking account every two weeks after deductions and taxes, and I did the same job in the U.K., £1000 would be deposited in my account every two weeks.(give or take a few dollars for tax differences) They have higher taxes, but they also get paid a lot more. It's roughly a wash.

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