The EPA gas mileage guide has been updated. The EPA gas mileage guide is used as a basis to figure out what a vehicles miles per gallon rating is, and it is from that EPA gas mileage guide that a number of car dealerships are getting their numbers. With the recent installment of the cash for clunkers program by the government, many consumers have been trying to figure out just whether their vehicles are going to qualify, and if it makes sense to them to try and use their current vehicle as a trade-in. The value of the cash for clunker trade-ins has become linked to the EPA gas mileage guide, because it is this EPA guide that will dictate what mileage a vehicle is rated.
The importance of the MPG rating of a vehicle used to be just a monetary side-note to many consumers, but in recent years many people have tried to move away from vehicles that use excessive fuel in exchange for more fuel-friendly options. Not everyone wanted to give up their SUV or big truck though, and it wasn’t as easy as just buying a new vehicle, because new cars and trucks can be very expensive. Then the government decided to step in and offer the cash for clunkers program, which allows people to trade-in their old gas-guzzling vehicles and be given a flat trade-in value. Even if the car isn’t worth much on the open market, the trade-in value for some of these older vehicles has suddenly become $3,500 or $4,500 depending on the parameters of the comparison between the old and new vehicle.
While consumers decide if they want to take advantage of the new cash for clunkers program, the question becomes where the EPA gas mileage indicator is, and what the rating of their vehicle might be according to the EPA standards. The newer version of the EPA Fuel Economy Estimates came into play starting with 2008 models of vehicles. First the EPA calculates the average city miles per gallon total that a vehicle would have (using an estimated range) and then they calculate that same rating for the highway. The final calculation is the Combined Fuel Economy that the vehicle has, taking both the city and highway mpgs into consideration. A typical sticker might break down as follows now:
City MPG = 18 (range of 15 to 21)
Highway MPG = 25 (range of 21 to 29)
Combined Fuel Economy = 21
The new EPA fuel economy ratings are going to keep people on edge when it comes to the EPA gas mileage estimate, because some drivers may not even get close to what the EPA says their vehicle should be getting. In a traffic congested area, someone driving a Ford Explorer may only be getting 12 miles per gallon in the city (or worse), and a rating of 18 may hurt them overall. The other concern is that recently the EPA ratings of some vehicles have changed, making them less likely to get a full trade-in value. If the plan is to trade-in a vehicle, do the research ahead of time so that you know your vehicles EPA gas mileage rating before the dealer breaks the bad news of a change.
EPA Fuel Economy Web-Site
Cash for Clunkers Eligible Vehicles List