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Three Tips for Buying the Most Fuel-Efficient Used Cars

When shopping for a used Toyota vehicle, it’s likely you’ll be looking for a car that won’t cost an arm and a leg to drive. But with ever-fluctuating gas prices, per-year costs of driving can be difficult to predict. That’s why you might want to consider buying a fuel-efficient used Toyota car, truck, SUV, or van.

A common misconception is that only cars are fuel-efficient – but no matter what vehicle type fits your needs, there are always more fuel-efficient options in that class. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save as much as $1,700 per year in fuel by choosing the most fuel-efficient vehicle in a particular class.

Here are three tips when shopping for the most fuel-efficient vehicle.

Use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy Guide. An unbiased annual publication, the guide ranks each year’s vehicles to determine the fuel economy leaders in each class. Of course, the rankings make certain assumptions – namely, that you travel 15,000 miles per year (55% under city driving conditions and 45% under highway conditions) and that fuel costs $3.30/gallon for regular unleaded gasoline and $3.66/gallon for premium. Visit to personalize your fuel costs based on your driving habits and prices in your area – and determine the fuel-efficient used Toyota SUV, car, truck, or van that’s best for you.

Go smaller and newer. Typically, the smaller the number of cylinders on an engine, the higher the miles per gallon. So, a four-cylinder car is going to get better gas mileage than an eight-cylinder SUV. However, say you have a large family who won’t all fit in a car. Look into SUVs or vans with six cylinders instead of eight. Also, consider newer vehicles. While they might cost more upfront, they have better technologies than older vehicles and thus, more fuel efficiency that can save you money in the long run.

Consider alternatives. If you can’t afford the newest vehicle or the smallest one doesn’t work for you, look at other ways of raising your fuel economy. For example, consider a hybrid vehicle – they come in all shapes and sizes now, so don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities. Another small option that affects miles per gallon is to forego luggage racks and running boards on top of your vehicle. Finally, purchasing a car with manual transmission will result in a higher fuel efficiency.
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