Getting the best bang for your money

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Car dealerships have seen people come through their doors looking for other inexpensive vehicle options recently as gas prices have risen yet again to almost five dollars in some areas.

Related Story: Gas prices close in on $5 a gallon in US, hit record in UK

Looking for the best gas mileage in cars is the key to the game nowadays. Vehicle owners are wondering if downsizing a vehicle is the best option for them overall.

Rob Hobbs, the General Sales Manager at Benna Ford in Superior, shares how the Northland compares with other cities as people think about trade-ins. “Were about a month behind the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Mankato region, and what is happening is people who have the big SUVs or the big trucks; what they are doing is there coming in the find the better way to get better gas mileage. A lot of the time, we will do a full-self assessment and do a total cost analysis to see if it makes sense, and that trend is starting to hit now that we are hitting towards the five dollars a gallon gas prices."

As things could potentially change in a few months, but for now, there are some pros and cons to consider. "At five bucks a gallon, people in large SUVs are coming into the dealership to look at getting into a Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, or a Chevy Malibu, just to downsize the car itself,” says Hobbs. Now 30 miles a gallon, there is a lot of saving on that."

The potential of downsizing into the summer months is catching the eyes of some car owners. If you are wondering if you should do it, they are a few other options Hobbs shares to keep in mind. "You have to do a total cost analysis. What is it costing you now? What is it going to cost you if you get into a smaller SUV? You have to look at all of it; what do you owe on your vehicle? What is the payment?”

If trading in your car is not an option that is okay. Another option is creating different driving habits that could help save money and gas. Neighbors Zachery Wright and Bridget Wallien help each other out, giving both the chance to save. "We try to make one trip a week if we can because prices are now way too high! I give her gas money to drive me to places if I need it because it’s so pricy," says Wright.

There is one important thing to remember when deciding on doing a trade-in. "Vehicles depreciate, so if you are quick trading, it’s not always the best option, and that’s why you got to do that total cost analysis to make sure that it’s working correctly, said Hobbs. Is this the smartest choice for the consumer to do, this trade?"

Even though gas prices are high, it is recommended to take the time and consider all the impacts of downsizing your vehicle. Especially with what could potentially happen in a few months.