Gas Prices Have Some Shoppers Figuring Up Mileage When Buying Cars

This weekend dealerships put hundreds of new and used cars, trucks and vans up for sale at the War by the Shore in Gulfport. Some of the people out cruising for a vehicle weren't just looking at the sticker prices, they were also concerned with the gas mileage the vehicle will get.

Robert Klawitter and his wife want to buy a sports utility vehicle for its roomy interior, but with gas prices so high they are worried the cost of filling the tank could hurt their hectic travel schedules.

"Almost every other weekend we're going back and forth from Biloxi to either Louisiana or Florida," Klawitter said. "It's like a whole other bill paying for gas and everything. So we're trying to look on something to save us on that aspect so we can have a little bit extra money."

Other cost conscious customers say that gas prices have them altering their purchasing decisions. However, some car dealers say that overall, higher gas prices haven't translated into lower sales of the gas-guzzling SUVs.

"The people that are buying the full size SUV can afford the gas prices anyway. I think the gas prices has been more of an effect on the middle of the road customer," Kevin Gabbert, a car dealer, said

Dealers admit that since fuel prices started to soar, more and more people have been asking questions about fuel economy when making car purchases. Dealers have also had several people inquire about hybrid cars, which are half electric and half gas. The cars can get up to 50 miles to the gallon. Coast dealers tell us they don't have them on their lots, but they've ordered them for customers who are interested.

by Danielle Thomas