We, the media, continue to cover the fact that Chrysler is offering to "Refuel America" - if only you'll buy a brand new car!
C'mon people, do the math! First, I'll admit my bias and tell you that the hair stands up on the back on my neck whenever I walk on a car dealer's lot. I've heard too many stories( from friends who have been car salesmen) that highlight just how badly most us of get ripped off when we buy a new car, even if we're smiling when we leave the lot. But anyone who falls for this latest deal just hasn't run the numbers, and you don't need new math to figure it out.
"Refuel America" offers you guaranteed $2.99 a gallon gas for three years. On it's face, it certainly sounds good with gas pushing $4.00, but as usual the devil is in the details.
The deal is in lieu of any rebate offered on most of the their cars, and you're really better off taking the cash. Take the Dodge Ram Pickup as one of the best examples, because it actually gets just about the worst gas mileage at 15 mpg.
Chrysler will let you buy 2, 400 gallons of gas over 36 months, for a $2.99 a gallon. Assuming you had to spend $3.75 a gallon for the same amount of gas, that would save you a grand total of $1824.00 over three years. Obviously, if gas goes up to $4.00 or $4.50
a gallon, you would save in excess of $2000.00.
But if you buy the Dodge Ram right now, Chrysler is offering $5,500 "consumer cash allowance", or 0 percent APR for 36 months.
Let's see, pay $22,000 for the truck and save $1800.00 on gas; or pay $16,500 for the truck, or 0.0 or 2.9 percent interest.
Or keep your old car and laugh at them.
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