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Car buyers seek fuel-efficient options

Newswatch 16's Emily Kress talked to car dealers in Luzerne County to see if motorists are switching up what they drive to save some money.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — We see a lot of big trucks and SUVs on the roads in our area, but with the rising costs to fill up their tanks, dealers say they're seeing more people coming in for a more fuel-efficient ride.

Getting from point A to point B is a necessity. Some drivers are looking for a more cost-effective way to get around as prices at the pump continue to set record highs. For some, that means a trip to the car lot.

"We see the larger trucks coming in to purchase a new Tundra, great gas mileage on that truck, full-size truck, and a lot of people are trading in larger SUVs," said Jay Thomas, Toyota brand manager at Motorworld.

Patricia and Bill Hooper of Honesdale are browsing for a new car at Motorworld Toyota in Wilkes-Barre, reminiscing about the days when gas prices weren't so high.

"When we got married in 1960, you could fill your tank if it was empty for $5, so for people our age, it's a little scary," Bill Hooper said.

They tell us they're looking for a similar model to what they already have, just newer with better gas-mileage technology. They have road trips in mind.

"We would stay probably with a car. I don't want one of those – Oh, what do you call them? – SUVs. We like the trunk space. Hide everything in the trunk!" Patricia Hooper said.

Wyoming Valley Motors in Plains Township is also seeing customers conscious of gas mileage on their new ride. These days, there are a lot of options for buyers to explore.

"A lot of our customers are conscious of both fuel efficiency, of their total fuel cost, so not just what kind of mileage does it get, but can I be better-served in an all-electric vehicle versus a gasoline one?" said David Centak, Wyoming Valley Motors general manager.

It's no secret electric and hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity. Dealers say even more options will soon hit the market.

"There has been a large amount of interest, so much that Subaru is coming out with their own electric car toward the end of the month, in July, called the Solterra, so we have been seeing a big push in our local market for electric," Centak said.

Dealerships we spoke with say don't fear: The need for larger trucks and SUVs is not going away anytime soon.

Check gas prices near you with the WNEP Gas Tracker.

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