Vehicle shoppers taking a closer look at cars - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Vehicle shoppers taking a closer look at cars

May 10, 2004

Albany- Signing your name to any major purchase can be scary. That includes buying a new car. Especially when gas is getting closer to two dollars a gallon every week.

"When we were buying cars last year in Florida, in Orlando at our auction and driving them back, I was on the phone saying I can't believe it's $1.75 a gallon down there and now it is here," said Bill Chambers, owner of Bill Chambers Motors in Albany.

And it just keeps going up. So some car shoppers are rethinking the SUV they've always wanted. According to a recent study, one of every six new car shoppers is rethinking his purchase because of gas prices. That's 17 percent of shoppers. About 21 percent are considering vehicles they've never considered before.

But dealers in South Georgia say they're not seeing that here.

"I think America still loves SUV's, so the SUV's are still selling," said Billy Edwards, owner of Edwards Motors in Albany. "I think they're selling as well as they ever have."

And buyers may have something on their minds other than high gas prices. The federal government is looking at raising record low interest rates and that makes a big difference on your monthly payment. But whether it's interest rates or gas prices going up, dealers say people usually have their mind made up on the vehicle they want.

"People that are stuck on getting an SUV, they're still wanting to buy the SUV, so the cars, they haven't picked back up yet for us," Chambers said.

That means, for now, salesmen will keep shaking on successful deals.

  • Click here for a comparison of the most fuel efficient cars sold in America.

updated at 10:26AM by brannon.stewart@walb.com