Monday, July 21, 2008

Who got that SUV you just traded in?

Many of us in Johnson County have traded in our SUV's for cars that get better fuel economy. I have several friends that have ditched their gas guzzler for newer smaller cars in the past few months. When you have money you can make that switch. I have one neighbor who just added a Prius to their garage for going to work. They chose to keep their minivan for family trips, etc. That is probaby rare in that most of us traded.

So, have you thought about where that 12 mile per gallon SUV went after you traded it in? They have the value of a paperweight in many cases. They have little value, right?

Well, I have the experience of working with and around many of our mexican and immigrant populations in the area as well as just plain working class people. Our discarded SUV's are being pushed into the hands of the people who can afford to drive them least. I talked to someone who would know describe to me that car dealers are pushing them to people with questionable credit by offering them the only deal they can afford on these type vehicles. It looks pretty good upfront with a low payment and a shiny, hot looking truck or SUV but the cost of driving it will kill them financially.

I've seen it first hand recently and specifically with the immigrant population and it is quite disturbing to see them taken advantage of especially when language might be an obstacle to making the best decision.

So, as I've blogged before about the law of unintended consequences this is yet another proof of that law. The SUV I traded costs $120 + to fill at $4 a gallon. My new car costs only $65 has better endurance per tank. Believe it or not, I giggle everytime I go to the pump because I feel like I'm saving money even as the price goes up.

I guess you can say they should know better and make better choices. Perhaps they should but it doesn't always seems so obvious when you have to get to work or get your kids to school or whatever.

Think about it.


Todd Epp at S.D. Watch said...


Thanks for the nice comment on my blog, Kansas Watch,

I have wondered what has happened to all those gas eaters that have been traded off. My wife and I traded off a Ford Expedition and a Jeep Grand Cherokee last November for vehicles that get better (but still not great) gas mileage.

It figures they might trickle down to people who can ill afford to pay for the gas or the repairs on 4WD--and get screwed to boot on the financing.

Thank you for an insightful posting. I've added your blog to my site's Kansas Blogosphere aggregation on the front page.

Best regards,

Todd Epp
Kansas Watch

SkinnyJoe said...

Gas is under $1.30 now.
Do you miss the SUV?