Many more paying $100 for gas

April 28, 2008 5:23:05 PM PDT
People who drive extra large SUVs are seeing extra large bills when they fill up. Hardest hit: those who don't buy regular gas. Patrice Ferrilla's heard about the days when gas was really cheap, from her 80 year old father.

"In 1940, when he got his first car from his older brother, he was paying 25 cents a gallon!" said Ferrilla. "And he remembers thinking, 'I've gotta save up my money to fill up this gas tank' back then!"

A quarter won't buy much gas today, as Chevy Suburban owner Jay Kennihan knows all too well. "Price has been going up for the last six months. I wish they'd go the other way, but I don't see it happening anytime soon," he said.

He told us whenever he fills up the empty twenty-seven gallon tank in his SUV, "it's gonna be a hundred dollar day, that's for sure!"

Kennihan has several good reasons for keeping such an expensive car, " I've got three kids, three dogs. I'm in the real estate business, so I take people around and I've got to have plenty of room."

Besides, he can't trade it in for a 'less thirsty' ride.

"Not right now, because the dealerships are telling me 'no' on this big SUV," said Kennihan. "I've lost value. It's strictly a commodity at this point, and I'm on the wrong side of the commodity."

On the day we met him at Chapel Hill's Eastgate BP station, while his gas bill's totaled just half a dollar shy of the century mark,"that's a full tank, and that's what it is, about a hundred dollars!"

Minivan owner Ferrilla's looking for ways to spend less time behind the wheel, with the price per gallon inching closer to four bucks. Her advice:

"Keep the driving down when we can. Encourage the kids to use public transportation. The bus system in Chapel Hill is great."

But riding the bus there, while free, is not an option for people like Kennihan. He told us he pays for the hundred dollar fill ups twice a week.


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