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Keep on truckin’

Vail Daily Editorial Board

High fuel prices have a lot of commuters singing the pain-in-my-wallet blues, especially those who are commuting in pickups and SUVs. So it’s time to run right out and buy a hybrid or teeny-tiny fuel sipper, right?

Maybe not.

A recent story in the New York Times suggests it might be a good idea to hold on to the family truckster, at least for a little while yet.



Trade-in values of trucks and SUVs have fallen even faster than sales of new units. That’s a lot. And there are anecdotal stories floating around the Internet that some dealers are refusing to take trucks and SUVs in trade these days, because they can’t be re-sold.

Cars and trucks always depreciate, of course, but the rate of truck and SUV depreciation these days is steep even by industry standards.



Even while trucks and SUVs are gathering dust on dealer lots, fuel-sippers ” once scorned and relegated to back corners at many car stores ” have become sales darlings. That means no more screamin’ deals, even on Detroit-made small cars.

Once you factor in payments, insurance and registration fees on a new car, even an economical one, those $100-plus fill-ups can start to look like a much lesser evil, especially if your family actually uses its truck or SUV to haul people and/or stuff on a regular basis.

The folks at Edmunds.com, famous for putting all sorts of auto-related information, have put together a calculator to determine if you’re better off with your old rig or a new one. You can find it at edmunds.com/calculators/gas-guzzler.html.



Sometimes, the easy answer isn’t always the one that’s best for your family.


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