Gas tax: How much does a fuel-efficient vehicle help? (SPONSORED)
There's one small saving grace for New Jersey residents dealing with the newly hiked gas tax — an increase of 23 cents (to 37.5 cents total) per gallon that may climb higher.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey drivers clock in a few fewer miles on the road than is typical for the U.S. — an average of 11,927 per year, compared to 14,425 nationwide.
That's still little comfort — especially if you're in a gas guzzler. So how much can you save with a fuel-efficient vehicle?
For a point of comparison, we took a look at the 2017 Hyundai Elantra — since we're giving away a 3-year lease on an Elantra in cooperation with DCN Hyundai this month. Hit any of the social activities at the bottom of this post to enter for free.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, various versions of the 2017 Elantra rate between 25 and 35 miles per gallon, combined city and highway travel. Let's call that 30 mpg for a typical value — a solid rating for a conventional fuel car.
The least fuel-efficient mid-size cars being sold last year all rate just 13 miles per gallon, combined city and highway. That's a pretty big difference.
Traveling those 11,927 miles per year in a Ferrari FF, flashy ride though it may be, would be mean using 917.5 gallons per year and paying $344 per year in gas taxes.
Do the same mileage in a 30-mpg Elantra, and you use just 397.5 gallons, and pay just $149 — a $195 savings. Your cost per year gets down to $128 if you're driving a version that gets closer to 35 mpg.
(Plus, if you happen to win our contest, you get the car for free, too — and that's worth a nice chunk of change. More info below.)