How much money do fuel-efficient vehicles save?

By Product Expert | Posted in Comparison, Financing on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 8:09 am
vehicle filling up at gas pump

Do Fuel Efficient Vehicles Actually Save You Money?

This is a long one, so let’s jump right in.

How much money do fuel-efficient vehicles really save you?


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How Much Money Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Save

The truth is…it depends. There are a few factors that determine how much money high fuel-efficiency saves:

  • Difference in MPG
  • Average driving mileage
  • Ownership timespan
  • Up-Front Cost

We’ll be using the US Federal Government’s Fuel Savings calculator for all the following information.

Difference in MPG

old-style gas pump

If you’re driving a gas guzzler that only get 14-15 MPG, then buying a Hybrid or a similar fuel-efficient vehicle will save you lots of money. For instance, a 2015 Ford F-150 4WD gets around 17-combined MPG. A 2015 Toyota Prius gets 48-combined MPG. If gas is $2.00 per gallon, that’s 7.6¢ saved per gallon. For people who spend about 50% of their time driving in the city and put on about 15,000 miles per year (the national average), that’s a lot of money. How much? $22.00 per week or $1,140 per year. Changing out your current vehicle for a similar vehicle won’t have that big of an effect, though.

Average Driving Mileage

You may have noticed that the national average of 15,000 miles is way more or way less than you actually drive in a year. Say you mostly do city driving (about 80%-city/20%-highway) with a few longer drives each year, which comes out to 10,000 miles. Well, that’s $16 per week and $842 per year saved. Flip those numbers around for 20%-city/80%-highway driving and around 25,000 miles per year, and the savings go higher. Those numbers come out to $31 per week and $1,568 per year. The more you drive, the better a fuel-efficient vehicle is.

Ownership Timespan

According to a global leader of information and analytics, IHS Markit, the average person owns their vehicle for around seven years. Seven years is a long time to save money over. In our original F-150 vs Prius example, it would come out to $7,980 saved. However, if you trade in your vehicle every two to three years, then that comes out $2,280 and $3,420 respectively.  

Up-Front Cost

If you planned on buying a brand new 2020 Honda Accord that gets 33-combined MPG, but bought the 2020 Accord Hybrid that gets 48-combined MPG instead, then those savings will take awhile to kick in. The base model 2020 Accord starts at $24,020, while the 2020 Accord Hybrid starts at $25,620. At 15,000 miles per year with a 50/50 ratio of city/highway driving, it would take about five years to make up the initial price difference between the two models. That means that the average driver who owns their vehicle for seven years will actually only save around $514 in total.

Want an Affordable, Fuel-Efficient Car?

Try CrossPointe Motor Cars in Winchester, VA. We have a huge selection of high-quality, affordable vehicles. And don’t forget to ask about our lifetime warranty!

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