Drivers Make Changes To Compensate For Rising Fuel Costs

Whenever gas prices go up, consumers' wallets ache, but as they adjust to the gradual increases, their perceptions change. A recent AAA study found that only 46 percent of drivers in the U.S. feel the cost of fuel is too high at $3.00 per gallon, which isn't too bad, considering the average gas prices have been hovering around and above that mark for more than a year. On the other hand, 90 percent of drivers feel that $4.00 per gallon is too high a price.

"It was not long ago that motorists were shocked to pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline, but now that is standard at stations nationwide," said Robert L. Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA. "Today's average consumer feels a breaking point on high gas prices closer to $3.50 per gallon, and expensive prices have forced many motorists to change their driving habits."

Approximately two-thirds of drivers handle expensive fill-ups at the pump by adjusting their other lifestyle habits. Driving less ranked as the most popular way to get the most out of each drop, as 86 percent of respondents adopted this behavior when fuel prices rose. Cutting back on shopping and dining out followed closely for 71 percent of drivers. More than half of drivers (54 percent) chose to drive more fuel efficient models to combat the increased cost of fuel. Other methods of dealing with expensive gas prices included delaying major purchases, working closer to home, carpooling and using public transportation.

If you are looking to save money at the pump, you can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of used cars, trucks and SUVs. There are plenty of fuel efficient, pre-owned models available today, such as the 2008 Honda Civic. reports the baseline model got a combined 29 miles per gallon, and Honda even offered a hybrid version that got an estimated 42 mpg combined.