Is Chrysler's $2.99 Gas Worth It?

05.13.08 | Consumerism | 3 Comments | by junger

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Have you seen Chrysler's ads for 3 years of $2.99 gas when you purchase a new car?

Autoblog has the details:

With gas prices rapidly approaching and exceeding $4 a gallon across the nation, Chrysler is offering up a deal that just might make people who are averse to the looks of cars like the Chrysler Sebring and Jeep Compass think twice. Between now and June 2, anyone who buys any new Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle will be able to register for a "Let's Refuel America" card. Once the customer registers a credit card with the program, they will receive a new card that they can then use at participating gas stations to fuel up their new car or truck. When the card is used, the credit card that the owner has on file will be billed $2.99 a gallon for either regular gas, E85 or diesel fuel. Chrysler will pay the difference. The best part is the price is locked in for THREE years.

Obviously, this isn't as good as it sounds. Nothing in life is free — everything has a catch. Especially something has "too-good-to-be-true" as this.

Freakonomics weighed in, saying it's a brilliant move by Chrysler because consumers overreact to the price of gas.

I believe consumers systematically exaggerate the importance of gas prices to their budgets. The typical American just doesn’t spend that much money on gas.

The way we buy gas — every week or two, with the prices staring us in the face as we stand at the pump — makes price fluctuations far more visible than for other goods. Someone who signs up for this program will think about Chrysler and how they are paying part of the cost of the gas every time they fill up. I suspect that will increase the brand loyalty of people on the program.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be persuaded by this offer. Maybe I'm in a different boat than you, because I work at home and only have one car (that gets great gas mileage).

Would you buy a Chrysler to get $2.99 gas for the next 3 years?

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