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May 05, 2021

Instead of filling up, people just letting their cars run out of gas now

As humans, we’re not perfect. We like Fast Five. We still like Chris Brown. We know we’ve got a long way to go.

364123_gas_meter_on_empty Yet we also know what’s right and what’s wrong, and when gas prices get this high – around $1.33 per litre by the latest count – we make a stand.

Of course, and back goes the pendulum, here we are again at this post’s first point. According to Philly.com, consumers are putting their foot down against fuel prices now, but in the most groan-worthy human way possible: we’re simply just letting our cars run out of gas.

Apparently, it’s true. By the estimate of AAA MidAtlantic, which covers New Jersey to Virginia, calls from members who have run out of gas roadside were up 20 per cent over April, 2010. A local highway gas station also tells Philly.com encounters with vehicles that have run empty are up 10 to 15 per cent since February.

By the numbers, that’s a period when the price of gas jumped more than 75 cents over three months in the U.S., a place where people will do whatever they can to avoid filling up.

In this case, it appears, drivers are choosing to run out of gas instead of paying at the pumps – a decidedly stubborn approach given that, you know, such behaviour can lead to a few hundred bucks in engine and fuel system repairs down the road. Before, if you’ll remember, people were literally praying for gas prices to come down.

So laugh if you must at our foibles and flawed human reasoning, but these high gas prices are beginning to have a very serious effect on consumers’ rationale.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the soaring price of oil is getting to the “breaking point” where Canadians will a) reconsider what cars they consider for purchase based on fuel efficiency, and b) re-evaluate their driving patterns.

Have you, though?

Have high gas prices changed the way you drive, whether it’s frequency of using your car, new vehicles you eye for purchase or, yes, running around after that gas light has been on for a little longer than you normally would?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...