We all know it's coming. We read the headlines about $100 oil, and hear talk about how oil prices are closely-tied to the market at the moment, and we think, any day now.
Some analysts say it'll never happen. The man on the street is getting cynical. Indeed, a survey released yesterday reveals that a vast majority of Americans, 71%, think we'll see $4/gallon gasoline come summer.
How would $4 gas effect you? The first and most obvious would be to dramatically impact the kind of car you drive.
Unless you're rich and like to flaunt it, chances are you'll think long and hard about buying a vehicle that takes an entire Benjamin to fill up, as most every full-sized SUV and over-sized pickup will demand.
Here's a fun graphic that will show you how far you can drive on one tank of gas, and how much you'll pay, based on the car you have.
But what to drive, when even fuel-efficient cars like Toyota Camry's and Honda Accords will be pricey to fill up? Time to trade that 4-wheel in for a Vespa? Dramatic (but fun), and you wouldn't be the only one.
Maybe you like a roof over your head. Interested in buying a hybrid? Here are ten tips to consider. Now get on the waiting list.
Carpooling might grow in popularity. In some areas of the country, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, informal carpooling has been going on for years, as commuters seek to battle horrible traffic with high bridge tolls. It's harder to organize in the suburbs, however. Higher gas prices will definitely see people doubling up on the weekends, however. No sense in everyone driving up to the mountains or out to the beach. The great lost art of chipping in for gas will no doubt see a resurgence as well.
Another question is whether $4 gas affect you at all. Obviously it depends on what you earn and your driving habits. A corporate lawyer commuting downtown on the train won't care. The secretary driving her Excursion 50 miles to her office job, is going to feel the burn. When gas reached $3 a gallon in 2006, some pundits argued that since families spent only about 4% of their budgets on gasoline, the affect on the overall economy would be minimal. Two years, another dollar and a whole lot of economic slowdown later, that thesis might have to change with the times.
Let's hear your take. Will $4 gas affect you or your driving habits?
What would $4 gas mean to you?