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Check Out a Car’s MPG before Purchase

Fuel Gauge

The last person you should listen to when it comes to how many miles to the gallon a used car gets is the car dealer. Although the dealer may be telling the truth, or the truth as well as he knows it, you need to be 100% sure of how much it will cost in gas to get you to and fro.

Fuel Economy

Fortunately, the US Government has a free tool that makes it easy for consumers to determine the gas mileage for any car (as long as the car was manufactured in or after 1984). All you need to do is visit their website Fueleconomy.gov.

Comparing Gas Mileage

It’s easy to figure out the gas mileage on any used car you’re considering. You have the option of locating the car by year, class, make or even the miles per gallon. This comes in real handy when you’re searching around.

Say, for instance, you pass a car with a 4 Sale sign in the window. The sign gives you the year, make and model of the car, along with a selling price. Before calling the seller, you check with the Fuel Economy website only to find that the particular car you are interested is a gas guzzler.

Fuel Efficiency in Reverse

If you know that you don’t want to spend excessive amounts of money on gas, you can determine the minimum MPG your pocket could afford. Once you have that number set, visit the Fuel Economy website, click on the Search by MPG link. More than likely you’ll have to select the “More Search Options ” link so that you can enter your City/Highway and/or combined MPG numbers to find the cars that fit your requirements.

Compare Options

If you’re further along in the car buying process and are having a difficult time deciding between two cars, you can do a Side-by-Side fuel comparison. After comparing the gas usage, your decision might not be so tough after all.

If you’re not sure how much of an impact shaving a few miles off of the MPG rating can make to your budget, Play around with their Fuel Cost Savings Calculator . It allows you to calculate your actual fuel costs prior to buying your car.

This is a free tool. Take advantage of it. An informed consumer usually walks away with a little more money in her pocket than one who didn’t do her homework.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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