Gas prices have come down over the past week, but they are still $3.81/gallon at my local Speedway.  With gas eating into people’s budgets, it’s tempting to go find a hybrid with better gas mileage.  But before you do, check out this article from personal finance guru Dave Ramsey.  Here is an example to summarize his point:

The Math Doesn’t Work

Let’s say you currently drive a vehicle worth $10,000 that gets 15 miles/gallon. There’s this $25,000 hybrid you’re thinking about buying that gets 25 miles/gallon. That’s a $15,000 price difference just to get 10 more miles a gallon. If you drive 100 miles a week, that’s about a $10 difference a week.

So that would be about $40 extra you’re spending a month in gas if you stuck with the current car. A monthly car payment is MUCH more than that! To get your money back at current gas prices, it would take you almost 29 years to save $15,000 in gasoline!

I would add to Dave’s point that there is a transaction cost to buying a new car (taxes and registration) that further supports a decision to drive the car you already own.