Rising Gas Prices Causing Consumers To Finally Change What They Drive

May 13, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Americans and their love affair with trucks and SUV's make a 75 dollar fill-up an everyday reality for many around the Valley.

Some just don't have a choice, and have to keep the gas guzzlers around.

Those who have the option to sell, though, are actually starting to act on it.

Jay Toyota in Columbus has seen sales of the popular Prius hybrid quadruple over the past 90 days alone.

"We have steadily seen more people coming in looking for something good on gas... the closer we get to summer, and the more gas prices go up, more people coming in looking for gas savers," said Johnny Williams, a sales associate at Jay Toyota.

Many people are starting to park their SUV's and trucks instead choosing motorcycles, which satisfy their desire to hit the open road as well as save on gas at the same time.

"With our climate, you can ride 12 months a year, commuting back and forth to work, getting 50 miles per gallon versus getting 12-15 miles per gallon with a truck," said John Cunningham, owner of Chattahoochee Harley Davidson.

Consumers looking to make that switch are growing in numbers...people who have finally reached the breaking point, and are finally changing the way they drive.

"It's time to look at something that gets better gas mileage. I have a Yukon that gets about 16 miles a gallon, and when you have to drive about 40 miles a day, it's time to look at something less expensive," said Mike Hudson, who is buying a Harley to save on gas.

Another cheaper alternative to Harleys and hybrids would be scooters...

For those willing to majorly downsize, the smaller bikes cost just over $2,000 and get over 120 miles per gallon of gas.