US: drivers believe low gas prices are not here to stay image

According to the latest consumer survey, while US gasoline prices are spectacularly down these months, buyers forecast they would return to their previous high levels in the near future.

The Consumer Federation of America revealed the findings of its latest research on the matter, with consumers predicting that in two years time the gasoline prices would surge back to $3.20 a gallon and to $3.90 within the next five years. The figures would be 50 percent and 80 percent above today’s average, respectively. “Not only do these consumer expectations match the last major dip and rise in gas prices (2009-14), but they show that consumers understand when gas goes down, it inevitably goes back up,” commented Mark Cooper, director of research at CFA. The industry group also did a background analysis of the last gas price fluctuation that occurred between 2009 and 2014. Back in January 2009, the monthly average price stood at $1.84 a gallon and five years later, in 2014 it was at $3.36.

Naturally, when the gas prices dipped, the US consumers flocked towards lower mileage vehicles – which proved utterly costly over the next half a decade. The buyers of a 15 mpg model would end up spending $6,400 more on gas over the period as opposed to those purchasing a 25 mpg vehicle. According to the CFA, within the same category there were vehicle choices that ranged from 15 to 25 mpg – which means drivers would not have the need to move class to buy a more efficient model. Using the same reference, people buying today an 18 mpg vehicle could end up spending $5,000 more over the next five years than those opting for one that has an average of 28 mpg.

Via Automotive News Europe