Home > $75 Gas Fill Up

$75 Gas Fill Up

June 5th, 2008 at 01:48 pm

Oh my!!!!!

Well, to be fair, I had run it fairly long on empty (was almost 18 gallons as opposed to the usual 16 gallon full up).

But dh filled it up for me and came home and told me, "I don't know if it's full. It stopped at $75." I had to digest that for a bit. It seemed when I bought the van 2 years ago, fill ups were $45.

$75? Huh????????????

I at least assured him it was full. I had only driven it 20 miles on empty and that was a record fill-up. But probably coincidentally the same amount they cap off at.

When he told me it was for 18 gallons, that made a little more sense. But still. WOW!

That was with our wonderful grocery discount. The grocery chains have been great on staying ahead of the gas curve, but times seem to be changing. I passed a Valero that was a good few cents cheaper the other day. I would have filled up there if I had been in the correct lane to turn in. It's close enough to my work that I may frequent that one a bit more. In the past the grocery stores have won hands down. Just have to keep an eye on things. It changes with the wind. No comfort zone. Which is probably much of the shock here. I think the grocery stores absorbed the price spikes for a while, in an effort to gain loyal customers. I was actually quite shocked to see a cheaper Valero because I had gotten accustomed to the grocery gas being so much cheaper.

In the meantime we have a secret weapon. We primarily need one car and the other one last cost $35 to fill up. It will go the same distance on $35 that mine does on $75. Needless to say I am taking to driving dh's car MUCH more these days. IT is ridiculous to commute in the van and ridiculous to go on long trips with it. It's pretty much rendered useless, though fine for around town trips with the kids. It may come in handy for field trips and such. I don't know.


Which leads me to our car conundrum. I admit I didn't do my research. I glanced at the 22/25mpg EPA estimates and didn't think much about it when we bought it in 2006.

My cars have always gotten 30mpg+.

Shortly after we bought I did start to regret it. I hadn't grasped what a difference the whole 10mpg made. Likewise, I am not sure I have ever gotten 22 or 25 mpg in the van. It's much worse.

Dh is so sick of me driving his car, he told me a while back and I could just sell the van for a convertible. "Whatever!" he exclaims.

I have seen it many times mentioned that it doesn't make sense to trade in a gas guzzler that is already paid. ???? Why not? For us we got a pretty decent deal on the van and it has thus depreciated little. I would have no qualms selling it for a good $10k (looks doable. We paid closer to $12k, 3 years ago). & buying a much more reasonably priced car. My last car I paid in the realm of $1k and drove 3 years without a problem. The only reason we dropped it is we always considered it an interim car until we could afford a newer minivan. So I know I could get a pretty sweet car in the $5k range. Or $10k. Or $1k. I don't know what I would do.

I've had the "newer" minivan for 2 years and I have not much good to say about it. It is very luxurious and comfortable. That's about all it has going for it.

On an annual basis it has far more repairs than any old beater I have ever owned. The insurance is expensive. Etc., etc. So as I reached that point where I could buy more luxury, I quickly wonder why I bothered. All the reasons I loved extremely used cars are suddenly very magnified.

Dh is on board with me. We could slash our gas bills significantly and buy a less expensive car to boot. I am not sure why the general advice is to stick it out. Certainly makes no sense in our situation. Maybe it makes sense if you have a large car note. But even if you bought a new car and you ate that depreciation, I still don't agree it is your best bet to stick it out. I guess that assumes though you only buy new cars.

Having no car note and being open to a very used car means innumerable options and freedoms. Phew.

The conundrum for me is that the little compact Japanese cars are VERY tempting. I admit I am love with the mpg in dh's car but probably don't want to commit to a car that small. It personally makes me uncomfortable. But he will drive nothing bigger than a Civic. I learned to drive in a "boat" of sorts. Which is why I am stuck with the big car though it makes little sense.

We try to think how often we really need the van and what if we just rented in those instances instead. Lord knows we could live without it, easily.

We go round and round on it.

The thing is when I look at some of the more mid-size cars that would have the same advantages (more room, etc.), the gas mileage really isn't that much better.

So if I am not willing to commit to a small commuter, then there really is no point to make the jump.

In the meantime I think we will take to driving the subcompact and leaving the van for when a second vehicle is necessary. We are certainly changing our mindset. We will pretend much more that we only have once car. We've kind of gone halfway whereas on the days dh doesn't go anywhere I tend to take his car. But I think we are expanding it to on the days that we both go somewhere, the longer driver gets the subcompact.

I also don't think we can afford to drive the van on long trips anymore. The drive to LA went really well in the subcompact, so I am fine with that. We had always wanted a van and made the jump when LM was born. The whole big bulky car seat thing was not working in dh's car, whereas before that I had little issue with the car. Now that the kids are outgrowing the big bulky carseats, well, the subcompact isn't so bad.

But then you get back to square one. If the van is too expensive to drive, why keep it?

Should we just admit that we no longer see the point in having a roomy vehicle? Probably...

I think we will re-evaluate in the winter, when gas prices settle down. Dh thinks that will be a better time to sell it. He may have a point.

I am sure I can do much more research on a roomier mid-size with good gas mileage. I am sure there is much out there. Something like an older Camry may be more our speed.


But, um yeah, I was quite vocal that I thought it was premature to panic about gas prices a few months ago. Even last month. For us, prices have gone up 50 cents in about 3 weeks. & I have to say I am feeling the pinch now. Egads! I don't expect it to affect our budget much. But it will affect our driving habits, that is for sure. & I admit I could be naive in thinking it won't affect our budget much...

2 Responses to “$75 Gas Fill Up”

  1. scfr Says:

    Ouch - Yes, $75 is a lot!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    My coworker had me beat. She has the same van (older model) and paid $80 at the Arco today. !!!!

    Likewise, I was wrong. Gas, overall, is up 50 cents in just 2 weeks. The Chevron by my work that was a $3.99 holdout for quite a while was $4.49 today. Looks like the grocery stores are still the price leaders, though I will keep my eye on that Valero.

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