Apr 18, 2011 7:25 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Car Trade Ins Rise with Gas Prices

Relief from the pain at the pump may not be coming to drivers just yet. In Louisiana, the price of gas per gallon has risen 3.1 cents in the past week, to an average $3.67. The state average is still below the national average, which has risen to $3.80 a gallon.

Those rising gas prices are helping business to boom at car dealerships. J.P Thibodeaux in New Iberia is currently running a commercial that says, quote, "Gas prices up, got you down. Come to the fuel efficient headquarters."

This latest marketing campaign may be working. "We're seeing a lot of business right now, due to the price of gas going up," said manager, Taras Hughes. "People are coming out and trading in their vehicles."

Hughes says the idea is to offer relief from the pain at the pump, by trying to sell new cars with better miles per gallon.

"A lot of people like the room that the SUVs have in it, but the way that the economy is they're taking into consideration that they have to downsize."

Hughes says that 50% of the vehicles that people are trading in are trucks and SUVs and most are downsizing, driving off the lot with more fuel efficient cars.

"You're starting to see them wanting to come and trade all of a sudden, like, reality hit," said Hughes. "The size of the vehicle that they're driving, it might take about $150 to fill up. And with $3.80/gallon and then hearing on the TV that it may go up to $4 by Easter weekend, more people are starting to come out."

Although new car sales are up, Hughes says there is one downside to making sales with trade-ins, that's finding a new buyer for those used trucks and SUVs.



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