Less than one year ago the national average price for regular gasoline was $2.96 per gallon, and many consumers simply wrote off monthly fuels costs as a mere annoyance. Those days are over, according to a study released today by Edmunds.com.

 

Edmunds.com data shows that with gas prices at $4.06 per gallon there are 60 vehicles in the new-vehicle market that cost consumers more than $100 to fill.

In a separate analysis, Edmunds.com has also calculated that the median household is spending 11.5 percent of its income on gasoline expenses, up from 4.6 percent five years ago.

A look at historical household incomes and fuel prices reveals the degree to which fuel prices are affecting consumers' budgets:

Date

 

Price of Gas
Per Gallon1

 

Median Yearly
Household Income2

 

Percent of Income
Spent on Fuel3

Jul-91

 

$1.09

 

$30,126

 

4.9%

Jul-95

 

$1.14

 

$34,076

 

4.6%

Jul-99

 

$1.19

 

$40,696

 

4.0%

Jul-03

 

$1.51

 

$43,318

 

4.8%

Jul-07

 

$2.96

 

$48,201

 

8.4%

Jul-08

 

$4.06

 

$48,201

 

11.5%

1 Energy Information Administration data

2 US Census Bureau data. Last reported year is 2006; 2007 and 2008 income figures are assumed the same as 2006

3 Assumes 30,000 miles driven per household per year and 22 miles-per-gallon average fuel economy

As shown by Edmunds.com data below, the number of models on the market that cost over $100 to fill is on the rise.

Price of Gas
Per Gallon

 

Number of Models Costing
Over $100 to Fill1

 

Percent of Models
Costing Over $100 to Fill

$3.00

 

20

 

6.0%

$4.06

 

60

 

18.0%

$5.00

 

149

 

44.6%

$6.00

 

243

 

72.8%

1 Assumes models are purchased with largest tank available

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