Have you changed how you drive, or what you drive?

Started by mgriffin, August 15, 2008, 04:04:30 PM

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We're all aware of what's happened with gas prices, and I've seen a lot of changes around here such as fewer big SUVs on the road, more of them parked by the road with "for sale" signs in the window, more scooters and bikes and motorcycle on the roads.

I'm getting ready to choose my next car and I've been weighing some choices that might get me even better gas mileage (even though my current car gets about 30mpg which is pretty good).

I don't really drive much less, because I haven't done a lot of casual or unnecessary driving in recent years.

My commute is too long, but I haven't done anything about it yet... that's tough to change on short notice, but maybe in the next few years or less I'll be able to do something about that.

So, my question is, are you doing anything different due to the gas price situation, or are you planning to do so?  Switching vehicles, taking the bus, carpooling, bicycling, walking, no more pleasure driving, or what?
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions


I work from home, and only drive when necessary.  I've probably put 4000 miles on my cars since last fall.  

But prior to my move to WA, I was driving 60 miles a day, 5 days a week, in a Tundra.  I figured out what I spent on gas per month, and discovered that at $3 per gallon, I could get a brand new Toyota Yaris (only 12k new, and 40mpg), park the pickup (it's paid for), and spend my gas money on a new car payment instead.  So for the same money, I get a new car, put less wear on the pickup, and produce fewer emissions.  Now, at $4 per gallon, it's an even better deal.

I read somewhere that Americans drove more than one billion fewer miles this year-to-date compared to the same period last year; I'll try to find the source.
I wish I was a Glowworm; a Glowworm's never glum. 'Cause how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?



Quote from: Immersion on August 15, 2008, 05:13:26 PM
reminded me of...


Immersion's link is to the trailer for an excellent documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?  I'd say it's a film worth renting for sure.

Many people think GM's extra-strong push to release the Volt before other competing carmakers finish their plug-in models is partly motivated by  embarrassment at their poor handling of the EV1 model, as documented in Who Killed the Electric Car?   
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions


Quote from: SunDummy on August 15, 2008, 05:15:49 PM
I read somewhere that Americans drove more than one billion fewer miles this year-to-date compared to the same period last year; I'll try to find the source.

I read something similar, and I think it's resulted in a little dip in gas prices.

I also read an article about a major freight hauling company that instituted policies about drivers going no more than 55mph, and keeping their tires fully inflated and checking the pressure frequently, and they've seen a savings of over $2.5 million per month at this company since the new policies began.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions


Quoteinstituted policies about drivers going no more than 55mph

Good god, how can anyone go that slow, esp. on an interstate?!   ::)

One of the strangest things I noticed when I moved to WA is that people obey the speed limit here.  In MN, a limit of 65 means everyone goes at LEAST 74, since any ticket within 10mph of the limit can't legally affect your insurance rate; you just pay a fine.  Here, 60 means 62.  Very hard to get used to...
I wish I was a Glowworm; a Glowworm's never glum. 'Cause how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?



I drive about 3000 miles a month. I do try to save money by driving a 2005 Toyota Corrola. This is my third Corrola. But, I would like to do better next car. The only problem is I like the efficiency combined with the pickup of my car. I do live in South Texas where things are fairly far apart and 55 seems rediculous. If they can make an affordable alternative car that I can get good mileage with, and get out of the way of 18 wheelers as I merge on the highway , then I 'll buy it!      Harry
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.


Last year I bought my fourth Saab: always have been driving Saabs and probably continue till I die. Get 31 MPG, premium gas only. Gas prices being what they are, I still value the zen-moments of my driving experience, so downscaling or compromising my driving habits is not an option. Since I live in the boonies, riding a bike/scooter on these twisted two-lane roads isn't an option either...


I was driving 60 miles a day four days a week. Now that its summer I have switched to three days a week as their is not as much to do at school during the summer. Next month when summer school ends I will cut back to two days a week until the fall quarter begins, then its back to four days. Other then that I'm not doing much, if my hours increase to full-time then I might switch to a van pool. I just paid off my Honda Element so I don't want to get a new car again for a few years. Maybe when the Volt or some other electric car is released I will consider buying again.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell


Well - just a warning - I'm not a poster-boy for high mpg...  although I'd love better mpg if I could have it!

We're still paying off my Toyota Highlander (which is an SUV built on a Camry frame - it drives like a car and reacts more like a car) - I almost got a RAV4 (which is built on a Corolla frame) - but I was downgrading from a Chrysler Town and Country and my car is the "hauling" car if that makes sense.   The Town and Country was a big huge box on wheels when you pulled the seats out and it was great when I was gigging and my wife was doing a lot of a landscaping.   

My wife has a '99 Toyota Solara (also a Camry) - which she loves - and of course is approaching 10 years old now.   We're hoping it'll last a year or two more - not sure what we'll get next.

We researched a ton of vehicles when I bought my Highlander in '06 (it's an '05 year model) - and the Highlander has one of the best emissions and semi-decent gas mileage for an SUV (I average 20 to 22).    My Town and Country averaged about 16 to 18.    I test drove a Prius and absolutely loved it.   I just couldn't see us going from a Town and Country to Prius though... and I wasn't so sure of the Prius in Illinois winters...   and I really wasn't excited about the non-environmentally freindly batteries or the need to replace them in 5 to 6 years (at least according to the reasearch at that time...)

So I'd rather get a Corolla class vehicle now if I were in the market.   I love the little Matrix wagon when I rented one in Atlanta a year ago.   (If you haven't guessed - yes, we're Toyota fans...  I used to love Saturn in the early to mid 90's...)   

I really haven't changed my driving habits since the gas crunch.   I groan about the prices - but I really didn't do all that much 'needless' driving anyway.   

John Koch-Northrup .: jkn [AT] johei.com .: owner / artist .: http://relaxedmachinery.com .: http://twitter.com/jkn .: http://flickr.com/johei


On the car note, I drive a VW Passat Wagon (gasser) which does about 450 miles per tank.  I used to have a VW Jetta Sedan TDI (Diesel) which would do 600 miles per tank.  We got rid of it a few years back when the price od Diesel started to rise.

My wife and I bought our first home last year and made sure it has good access to public transportation.  I can walk to the corner and catch the bus if I want, but I usually just drive to the park and ride which is only two miles away.  From there I take the Light Rail (train) into downtown Minneapolis.  It takes the same amount of time to take the train as it does to drive downtown so there's no loss there.  I save on parking (it's free to park in the ramp) and I never have to worry about traffic or weather!  The only problem is the number of people taking the train continues to climb which makes for a very uncomfortable riding experience.  It's still worth it to save a few $$$!


I have a 60 mile a day commute...it's not the most pleasurable to begin with and am hoping to relocate closer to work soon.   My car fares around 31mpg (it's a Nissan Sentra) and I'm happy with that I suppose. 

Problem is that my girlfriend lives in the town I work in, so I'm driving more these days than I was before the prices spiked.  Nothing I can do about that!  I'm a sucker for a lady... ;D

And to top it off, my job is outside so I'm using company vehicles to boot.  So I've really become the enemy of the planet/friend of the oil men now!  But hey, I feel I'm a helpless passenger in a world of fixed prices.


I think one thing that will gradually change in the USA is not only what kind of cars we drive, but also what becomes acceptable as far as how far we live from work, shopping, and family.  People in Europe probably think we're nuts, living 25 or 35 or 50 miles from a job we have to travel to every day... or living 10 miles from a grocery store, that sort of thing.

In Portland we've seen real estate prices stay stronger, despite the recession, in areas close into town, while neighborhoods that are more distant have dropped in price.  This is the first time I've ever lived outside of town, at least since I was a child and the decision of where to live wasn't mine to make.  I kind of miss being able to walk to restaurants and shops and coffee.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions


I try to drive less. I take mass transit more often on the weekends. I want to make myself slow to 55 mph, as well. 

I hope that the temporary fall of gas prices down to 3.50 or so is not going to lull people into increasing their driving again.


With a couple kids to feed it's difficult to imagine not taking a car to the supermarket, no matter how close you live.  I usually do the grocery shopping twice a week and easily take home three to five shopping bags at a trip.  I buy "bulk" fruit and vegetables once a week.  I make a trip to Costco and one (or more) of the discount stores a couple times a month.  And I go to a clothing store or (more likely, the way young feet grow) a shoe store (or shoe department) every couple of months.  Etc., etc.  And a few times a year I take a  moderately long ride to spend an afternoon checking out used LPs at the Princeton Record Exchange -- I deserve some fun, don't I?

The biggest change I've made is planning.  It takes a little thought, but I've found that I can save quite a bit of gas if I combine a grocery trip and a discount/clothing store run or some other job.  On my last trip to Princeton I picked up sneakers for my son and a large batch of groceries on the way home.  It sounds obvious, but it's not something that comes naturally to me -- I'm not the "organized/planner" type -- and it's harder to schedule longer trips around the kids' schedules, but it saves money.  Now that I've started I'll probably keep on doing it even as gas prices come back down (at least part of the way).
Science News, Vol. 175, No. 9, April 25, 2009, page 1 -- "New mapping of the human genome shows none of us are normal."

Wayne Higgins

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