As an estimated 48.3 million Americans hit the road for Thanksgiving, they’re going to find that gasoline prices along their route are not to their liking.
Thanks to inflation, the holiday meal at their destination will be expensive to put together, and getting there will be a bit higher too. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $3.40, the highest it’s been for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend since 2012.
In an era where more cars are turbocharged and require premium, the national average price for higher-octane fuel is $4.03.
Diesel’s national average is $3.64.
California has some of the highest averages, with regular at $4.70 a gallon and premium at a hair over $5.
For historical perspective, however, that $3.40 national average for regular unleaded falls far, far short of the highest average price AAA ever recorded: $4.11 a gallon in July 2008 — which would be $5.28 in today’s dollars.
Nor are current gasoline prices forcing anyone to stay home. AAA says predicted travel volume is up 8% from last year when pandemic social distancing was being taken more seriously, though this year’s level is down 3% from 2019.
Thanksgiving really is a drivers holiday, as the number of car travelers dwarves the 4.2 million who are expected to travel by air.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden authorized the release of 50 million barrels of crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to lower prices at the pump. But any effect that move might have on retail gasoline won’t be felt right away. And that amount might not increase supply by all that much — it’s merely the amount of petroleum that Americans consume in 2½ days.
“General Motors believes in an all-electric future.”
DETROIT — General Motors outlined plans on Monday to add 20 new battery electric and fuel-cell vehicles to its global product lineup by 2023, financed by robust profits from sales of gasoline-fueled trucks and sport utility vehicles in the United States and China.
“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” GM global product development chief Mark Reuss said on Monday during a briefing at the company’s suburban Detroit technical center. Future generations of GM electric vehicles “will be profitable,” Reuss said, but added it was not clear when GM could make all its new vehicle offerings zero-emission electric cars. Regulators in China and some European countries have floated proposals to ban internal combustion engines by 2030 or 2040. “We will continue to make sure our internal combustion engines will get more and more efficient,” Reuss said.
GM shares were up more than 4 percent in midday New York trading on positive comments from Rod Lache, auto analyst at Deutsche Bank. Automakers, including electric vehicle market leader Tesla, lose money on electric cars because battery costs are still higher than comparable internal combustion engines.
The company offered sneak peeks of three EV prototypes: a Buick SUV, a sporty Cadillac wagon and a futuristic pod car wearing a Bolt badge.
GM funds its forays into new technology using a river of cash generated by old-technology vehicles popular with its core customer base in the United States heartland. In comparison, Tesla has burned through an estimated $10 billion in cash and has yet to show a full year profit. GM earned more than 90 percent of its $12.5 billion in pretax profits last year in North America, amid robust demand for its lineup of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The company’s profitable operations in China rely on consumer demand for an expanding lineup of gasoline powered SUVs.
GM has previously announced plans to make some of its future electric vehicles capable of driving themselves in robot taxi fleets. The company offered sneak peeks of three electric vehicle prototypes: a Buick brand sport utility vehicle, a sporty Cadillac wagon and a futuristic pod car wearing a Bolt badge.
GM collaborated with Korean battery maker LG Chem to build the Bolt battery system. Company officials did not say what companies would supply batteries for the larger fleet of vehicles promised by 2023.
Fuel-cell vehicles will also play a role in GM’s future, the company said. GM showed on Monday a prototype of a rolling, hydrogen-fueled truck platform called “SURUS” — Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — that could be used for multiple purposes.
The company plans to offer a fuel-cell vehicle to retail customers within five years, it said. Toyota Motor Corp, Honda and Hyundai already are marketing fuel-cell vehicles in low volume.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said last month the company plans to introduce at least 10 new electric or hybrid vehicles to the Chinese market by 2020, and open a battery plant this year with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp.
China has set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of auto sales by 2025. Some of the electric vehicles GM will offer in China are among the 20 Reuss promised by 2023. GM also hinted that it may take new steps to expand the public infrastructure for rapid recharging of electric vehicles, without offering any details.
The No. 1 U.S. automaker joins several rivals, including German automakers Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW, that have pledged to accelerate development of electric vehicles, in response to proposals in China and several European countries to ban internal combustion engines by 2030 or 2040.
GM’s announcement comes just two days before rival Ford is scheduled to roll out a new strategic plan, and as Tesla ramps up production of its high-volume Model 3 electric sedan.
Recently a customer came by our store and, in idle conversation, asked, “Why is car buying so difficult?” I understand why she said that, because it can be very challenging, not to mention a bit scary and can be as equally frustrating for both a customer and the dealer. As an insider, let me explain why.
There are three main components to buying a car: price, trade in and financing. Today I’ll review price.
Are You a Frustrated Buyer?
Price should be the easiest part of the car buying process. When a customer researches & test drives a car, truck, SUV or crossover and gets quotes from multiple dealerships, they should compare apples to apples. Meaning that you want to make sure you’re comparing the same vehicle with the same equipment and options. A simple way to do this is to make sure the MSRP’s are the same.
As a salesperson, the hardest question to answer for a customer is “what’s your best price?” When asked that question, I’ve told my sales people to show customers the invoice. This shows what the dealer paid on that car. Most good dealerships will gladly show you the invoice so you see in black & white where their numbers are coming from. You should calculate in any rebates, as well as a small profit, which all dealers are entitled to make. It’s that easy.
Here, check out this video..the audio isn’t Grammy quality, but you can still learn a lot from it
Has your experience been that the price is the most difficult part of the car buying process? Share your experience here and check back for part two: trading in your vehicle. Of course, if you want to talk in person, just swing by and I’ll make it the easiest experience you’ve ever had.
I found a perfect example of the how important it is to not only use a protective child seat, but to understand how to install it properly. Read below. I found this story at consumer reports. Not only does it emphasize the importance of child restraints, but also wearing YOUR seat belt as well!
You never think it’s going to happen to you. I was driving up to visit a friend for a playdate, both kids, 2 and 4, in the back. This was a tough winter in the northeast, and the roads were not perfect.
I was trundling along at the speed limit, not talking on the phone, not texting, when I hit some ice on the road. I completely lost control of the car, which hit the snow bank on the side of the highway. The car rolled one-and-a-half times and ended up upside down on the side of the highway.
I was trapped in the seatbelt (thank goodness!) and the kids were suspended from their carseats. Four or five cars stopped, reaffirming my faith in human nature, and helped us all out of the car, which was totaled. The kind strangers stayed with us until the police and ambulance arrived. Bottom line, we were all OK (except for the car).
This is what I took away from the incident: We were very lucky, but it wasn’t just luck that protected us that day. I was driving a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. The kids were in Consumer Reports’ top-rated, carseats, which happen to be inexpensive. The seats were properly installed. The kids were correctly buckled in. My 4 year old, being just under 40 pounds (he’s a skinny one), was still using the 5-point restraint.
Things could have been, and likely would have been, very different if I didn’t use Consumer Reports ratings and follow Consumer Reports advice. My kids and I walked away from a horrific accident without a scratch. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I owe my life and my family to the people here who work day in and day out to provide this information to the public.
This is just one story out of the 1,000’s of serious accidents that happen every year. Luckily, this one had a happy ending, but not all are as lucky.
A properly used and installed car seat is paramount when driving with children. Further, you can teach them the importance of using their seatbelts as they get older. Hopefully, by the time hey start driving, using their seatbelt will be automatic.
Just have a baby? If you have any questions on how to properly install your car seat, swing by and we’ll show you!
Almost ever person I know falls into the trap of wanting more than they can really afford…or more than they should be able to afford, in some cases. That’s just human nature. It would be great if the average person hand an unlimited budget to get the car the want, but we’re not all Paris Hilton who can buy a Pink Bentley easier than we can get gum at the corner store. No matter how much you believe your new car budget is, it is still best to figure out a true budget friendly car payment when you are planning to buy a new car. In fact, with a well thought out budget and some quality car research, you may find that you can actually get more for your money.
You can obtain a Reliable Annual Percentage Rate from your bank. It is helpful if you will conduct good research with several banks. Low APR however are only granted to creditors with good credit records. Those who have bad credit records are left with no choice but to bear the burden of high interest payments.
The useful tips in the video above can help you figure out a budget friendly new car payment. If you have any questions about setting a realistic budget, call us at Freeman Grapevine and we can put you in the car you want for a price you can really afford without much stress on your wallet, or your head.
Do you know when seat belts became standard? Consider this a history lesson. I found it pretty fascinating. I can’t guarantee you will too, but if you have kids, have them read it. In my opinion, the seat belt is one of the greatest automotive inventions second only to the internal combustion engine.
DFW, did you know that there were no seat belts in cars when most of the ”baby boomer” generation was born, post World War II. For that matter, there weren’t any Interstate Highways either. That was a program championed by President Eisenhower after he took office in 1953. Here’s an interesting time line.
In 1956, Ford tried, unsuccessfully, to interest Americans in purchasing safer cars with their Lifeguard safety package. (Its attempt nevertheless earned Ford Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award for 1956.)
In 1958, the United Nations established the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, an international standards body advancing auto safety. Many of the most life saving safety innovations, like seat belts and roll cage construction were brought to market under its auspices. That same year, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented and patented the three-point lap and shoulder seat belt, which became standard equipment on all Volvo cars in 1959. Over the next several decades, three-point safety belts were gradually mandated in all vehicles by regulators throughout the industrialized world.
In 1966, the U.S. established the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) with automobile safety one of its purposes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was created as an independent organization on April 1, 1967, but was reliant on the DOT for administration and funding. However, in 1975 the organization was made completely independent by the Independent Safety Board Act.
Volvo developed the first rear-facing child seat in 1964 and introduced its own booster seat in 1978.
In 1979, NHTSA began crash-testing popular cars and publishing the results, to inform consumers and encourage manufacturers to improve the safety of their vehicles. Initially, the US NCAP crash tests examined compliance with occupant-protection provisions. Over the subsequent years, this NHTSA program was gradually expanded in scope. In 1997, the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) was established to test new vehicles’ safety performance and publish the results for vehicle shoppers’ information. The NHTSA crash tests are presently operated and published as the U.S. branch of the international NCAP program.
In 1984, New York State passed the first US law requiring seat belt use in passenger cars. Seat belt laws have since been adopted by all 50 states, and NHTSA estimates increased seat belt use as a result save 10,000 per year in the USA. In fact, fewer people died in on US roads and highways in 2008 (37,261) than in 1952 (37,500), despite an enormous increase in the number of drivers on the road.
Here’s what happens when you don’t wear your seat belt.
Hope you enjoyed this little history lesson from Freeman Grapevine. Now buckle up, or you might be History.