The Cost of Cars and Oil | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Cost of Cars and Oil

Our dependence on oil and cars comes with a hefty price tag. MSN Money reports that Americans spend an average of $8,600 per year for a vehicle for car payments, repairs, insurance and gas. One way to curb costs is to purchase a car with a friend or significant other and share. If you're not in a position to do that, here are some ways to cut down on costs.

Maintenance on your vehicle can reduce repair costs in many ways. Frequent oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups and getting your fuel line cleaned can all save money on maintenance. (Source:,
Since the 1990s, the U.S. has been the world's top consumer of oil and gas products. The National Resource Defense Council estimates that the total economic penalty of our oil dependence, including loss of jobs, output and tax revenues is $297 to $305 billion annually. Currently, oil and gas supplies more than 40 percent of our total energy demands and more than 99 percent of the fuel we use in our cars and trucks.

Top five oil consuming countries vs. Top oil producing country

1. United States: uses 20.68 million barrels/day; No. 3 in production (8.3 million barrels/day)
2. China: uses 7.58 million barrels/day
3. Japan: uses 5.01 million barrels/day
4. Russia uses 2.86 million barrels/day
5. India: uses 2.72 million barrels/day

Top Producer: Saudi Arabia, 11 million barrels/day (13.9 percent of world total); No. 11 in consumers; consumes just under 2 million barrels/daily

Prices at the Pump (as of July 2)
National average: $2.75/gallon
Mississippi average: $2.52/gallon

Oil Price/Barrel: Four-year Outlook
1 barrel of crude oil=42 U.S. gallons

Alternate methods of transportation:
Public Transit (JATRAN)

Car maintenance tips
• Find the most fuel-efficient routes to your destination.
• Don't warm up your car engine.
• Drive slower for better gas mileage.
• Keep car tuned up and test car for emissions frequently.
• Extend tire life through tire rotations, balancing, proper inflation and alignments. Consider using radial tires to get better gas mileage.

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