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TMFFlushDraw (93.42)

How Would $8 Gas Change You?



May 09, 2011 – Comments (12) | RELATED TICKERS: ZIP.DL2

I'm working on an article idea and I'm curious about how $200/barrel oil and a rise in gas prices to around $8/gallon would change your habits? 

I drive a Honda Civic, work from home and rarely go places I can't carpool so I am an anomaly. The 200 miles or so I drive every month isn't going to change with $8 gas but I think it would have a dramatic impact on most people. 

I'll throw out a few options I've considered:

- Would you carpool more?

- Would you cancel a road trip?

- Would you consider selling a vehicle and using a service like Zipcar? 

- Would you consider purchasing an electric car?

- Would you start walking/biking more regularly?

Let me know what changes you would make in my very unscientific way of researching this topic.


Travis Hoium

Motley Fool Contributor 

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 09, 2011 at 1:50 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:

How Would $8 Gas Change You?

I would save some money as it is currently at around $8.30 here.

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#2) On May 09, 2011 at 2:02 PM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

$8 gas wouldn't make that big a change to me, I drive a Prius!

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#3) On May 09, 2011 at 2:17 PM, Acesnyper (< 20) wrote:

It wouldn't, I'm lucky enough to be in an area I can use public transit.


So my cars are for pleasure and very rare times. I already get 8mpg (assuming I'm nice) to one, so really it's not going to alter my spending habits. 

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#4) On May 09, 2011 at 2:23 PM, tekennedy (93.39) wrote:

Even with a fuel efficient car(>30 mpg) that would raise my expenses by roughly $1500-2000 per year as I drive a fair amount for my job. This would put some strain on discretionary spending and I'd likely travel less as a result. Although that wouldn't cancel the road trip I plan on taking later this year I'd consider not renting an RV.

None of the alternative means of transport would help in my case but I would more strongly consider changing jobs to get work nearer home.

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#5) On May 09, 2011 at 2:36 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Notice how the question is posed....

how would it change YOU

You is irrelvant.

The issue is how would it affect the nation....

How would it affect the nation's consumers....

How would it affect the revenues to your business....

How would it affect the value of your home....

How would it affect the business you frequent.....

How would it affect the tax receipts to your nation that provides you food and fuel and other basic nessesities to survive...

The issue requires systemic thinking......where as most Motley Fool commentators can only analyze with a specialized perspective.....

How the coffee shop was doing economically in the World Trade Center was irrelevant once the WTC system was compromised.  How the liver is functioning is irrelvant once the heart stops beating.

Systemic thinking is often overlooked...until the system starts to fail.....and at $8 gas....absent a massive rise in incomes.....our national economic system would collapse.

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#6) On May 09, 2011 at 3:38 PM, miteycasey (28.85) wrote:

blah...I hate to agree with alstry, but I agree with his post except for the last two paragraphs.

 I'd get a prius or some type of hybrid.

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#7) On May 09, 2011 at 4:30 PM, leohaas (30.08) wrote:

+1 rec for Comment #1. To add to that: Germany is a low-price country when it comes to European gasoline prices...

For me: I would cry "pillo" every time I fill up, but not drive a mile less. I'll end up eating out a little less, or put less money into my retirement account (and have to work a little longer as a consequence).

For the country as a whole (thank you alstry for bringing that up), it would be a Godsend. By the time we reach $8 we as a nation will become serious about moving away from a petroleum-based society. Let me give you a few examples.

Like it or not, major oil reserves are located in countries where they HATE our guts. Because of our dependence on oil, we claim to have "interests" in those countries. We send our engineers to those countries to develop those interests, and we send our armies to protect them. This gives those folks who already hate us just another reason to hate us even more. Bin Laden used the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia repeatedly to justify his war against us. When we no longer need foreign oil, we can withdraw our engineers from those countries and bring our troops home, saving us billions a year, and remove the main reason for hating us in the process.

Ever wondered why there are so few jobs in the US? That's because we import everything from China. How is that possible? Cheap labor in combination with cheap oil! Oil becoming more expensive will make shipping goods from the other side of the world prohibitive. That will allow American companies to become competitive again, bringing back millions of jobs.

The same works on a local level. Since transporting goods would be expensive, locally produced goods would become popular again. I live in NJ. Most of the fruits and veggies I eat are from FL or CA. Farming in NJ would become profitable again. No more strawberries in February. Not that they taste good anyway...


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#8) On May 09, 2011 at 5:20 PM, G8BigBoom (65.14) wrote:

     Gas is around $4.00/Gallon here and my car gets a little over thirty miles a gallon. I have an old F250 that get 7MPG and I can say I've driven that one less.

     Once some hybrid tech prices fall I will start looking in that direction for a vehicle. The electric sport cars seem to be the good spot even if distance is a factor for now. I did read something on a fast charging battery being tested or developed by some college in the U.S. If this tech would be rushed along it could help a great deal. Today they are talking about swapping full batteris to refuel and i can't see that working.

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#9) On May 09, 2011 at 6:33 PM, TMFFlushDraw (93.42) wrote:


YOU is very relevant to the question I am asking. This was meant to be something of a poll of Motley Fool readers not an economics debate. The macro effect you talk about is another debate entirely. I'm curious about personal answers. That's why I asked the question.

Travis Hoium 

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#10) On May 09, 2011 at 9:21 PM, GNUBEE (< 20) wrote:

to piggy back leohass, It might even make use of decaying urban centers. another plus. And new jobs to make these old areas new again

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#11) On June 08, 2011 at 2:03 PM, GrumpyGopher (49.56) wrote:

On one hand I may carpool to work with a fellow employee.  On the other had I make gasoline for a living, so I might buy a Hummer with the extra $$$.  No trip canceling or zip car stuff.  Rah^3 4 Ski-U-Mah!

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#12) On June 08, 2011 at 2:10 PM, seansockol (< 20) wrote:

Honestly i think i would be forced to buy the Volkswagon Jetta Turbo Diesel!! Can you say 50 MPG??!!? And probably would invest in a bicycle to ride to work since i live litterally like 1 mile away from my job!

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