As gas prices decrease, consumer buying habits have shifted when it comes to new cars. According to a recent report by TrueCar, the average MPG rating of purchased new cars declined for the second straight month in May as shoppers went back to larger vehicles.
"We continue to see increases in fuel economy among the major manufacturers compared to the previous years but as we've started to see a decline in gas prices in recent weeks, consumer preferences showed a slight shift toward larger, less-fuel-efficient vehicles," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at TrueCar.com.
According to the report, average MPGs of new cars bought in May totaled 23.2 MPGs, down from 23.3 in April. The figure was still higher than the 21.9 MPGs seen in May of 2011, though gas prices were higher then as well. Altogether, buyers have shifted toward more fuel-efficient cars in recent years - in May of 2008, the figure was 21.2 MPGs.
Drivers should be sure their car is achieving its maximum MPG rating by performing a car tune up, ensuring all tires are inflated, and possibly purchasing fuel injection cleaning.