CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Drivers are considering some big changes as gas prices soar. That means a new kind of car… Or not using they one they have… As much.
Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and many families are facing tighter travel budgets this year. Several said they’re starting to question whether their annual trips to visit family are still affordable, and they’ve had to set aside separate budgets just for fuel alone.
“Makes you kind-of think twice about ‘should I make this trip this time? Should I save up and maybe do it later?’” Maddy Wainwright said.
It’s on the mind of every driver who’s traveling across the country this week.
“It’s been dramatic. We come every year, and last year compared to this year, it’s 115 bucks just to fill my truck up. I got to fill up four times, so it’s been heck,” Matt Hernandez said.
Gas prices are rising, and Hernandez it’s put a strain on his annual trip between Illinois and Dallas.
“When gas was two or three dollars we were fine, but now it’s almost five dollars a gallon, so we actually have to put aside just for travel fund and gas fund. So it’s just more we have to save up for,” he said.
Some drivers are just budgeting, but others are ditching their gas-guzzling cars altogether.
“Once I can afford it, I would love to go electric. I think it would make a huge difference,” Wainwright said.
The general manager at a Champaign dealership says they’ve gotten a lot more orders than normal.
“I guess with gas the way it is, you get a lot more people who are definitely more inquisitive as far as electric vehicles… any way to save at the pump I would say for sure,” Champaign Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram general manager Aaron Hendershot said.
A new CBS News poll found 59% of Americans would or might consider buying an electric vehicle. Those who would said the environment and high gas prices were their top reasons why. But there’s an inventory shortage on both electric cars and regular cars, and another barrier to getting an electric car – demand for battery parts is skyrocketing.
Experts say there’s a shortage on the horizon, on top of the long waiting lists for certain electric models.
If you’re currently waiting to go green, there are some things you can do to save at the pump.
“Keeping up on maintenance, keeping up on oil changes, taking maybe a different pathway to work, maybe with more hills where they can coast, as simple as that might sound,” Hendershot.
He said saving money on gas is only one benefit to going hybrid, customers can also get tax credit at the end of the year.