By on January 15, 2015


As the price at the pump continues to plummet — diesel not so much — British valuation guide Glass’s predicts big gas guzzlers new and used will return to the motorway.

According to Just-Auto, Glass’s valuation chief Rupert Pontin says that despite such vehicles with 3-liter+ engines falling out of favor in the United Kingdom since austerity took hold five years ago, falling oil prices could soon motivate consumers into ditching their Ford Fiestas for BMW 335i Sedans:

While no-one could call petrol and diesel prices exactly cheap, they are certainly falling to a level where some consumers won’t place fuel economy as high on their list of priorities as we have seen in recent years. Bigger engined cars are suddenly more viable.

Pontin adds that while this makes for a wonderful few years for bigger-engined vehicles, the environment could take a hit for the duration due to increased emissions from said vehicles.

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34 Comments on “Glass’s: Falling Fuel Prices Mean Return Of Big Gas Guzzlers...”

  • avatar

    Gas is cheap, I want a car that gets 10mpg.

    What do you mean they don’t exist?


  • avatar

    A BMW 335 gets bad fuel mileage? What’re you smoking man?
    What is it 4-5MPG less than the fiesta?

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      The 335i is not a great example, agreed. But anything > 2.0L is a gas guzzler in the eyes of the UK public, who have been conditioned to accept small engines by high fuel prices and steep emissions-based taxation.

      We’re a lot further down the road of small capacity turbo engines than you guys in the US e.g. you get a 2.5 I4 or a 3.6 V6 in your VW Passat, while we get a 1.4 turbo I4.

  • avatar

    Consumers haven’t forgotten high fuel prices yet. There’s still a huge amount of skepticism about sustained low prices among the buying public. If prices remain low through 2015, then I agree more and more consumers will care less and less about fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      danio, consumers now have a pretty good idea that the likely future price of gasoline is roughly $3/gallon with higher prices in the summer and lower prices in the winter. It would be foolish to expect current low gasoline prices to continue for years, but it would be equally foolish to pay a high price for an electric or PHEV that only pays for itself if gasoline prices stay near $5/gallon in the US. It’s clear that lots of oil can be produced at prices approaching $100/barrel and price spikes like $150/barrel in 2008 will not last very long.

  • avatar

    The Brits are overjoyed to now be paying $6/gallon (US) for gas. It’s all relative, I guess.

    • 0 avatar

      They pay more for that but less for other things. They seem to be doing better off overall than the US. :/

      • 0 avatar

        What do they pay less for? Once you factor in their astronomical sales taxes, everything at a retail level is pricey.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think they pay less for anything.

        They are most certainly not better off, their country is over-run with usurping immigrants. The government doesn’t even let them buy guns to take care of the problem.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the UK and am struggling to think of consumer goods that cost less. Beer, mobile phone and internet services are probably a better deal (Americans get hosed on broadband compared to everyone else), but certainly nothing automotive-related is cheaper.

        For what it’s worth, there is no VAT on books, which is kind of nice.

  • avatar

    The true wealthy aren’t bothered by gas prices and efficiency.

  • avatar

    The return of real cars… don’t count on it.

  • avatar

    I honestly have to say that I am a huge fan of electric cars, and I don’t think this is going to kill them off. There isn’t going to be as much pressure as before, but the real roadblock to the electric car has not been low fuel prices but battery/charging technology. As that gets sorted out, there will be a better future for the automobil, no matter how it is powered.

    • 0 avatar

      This is a nice time to buy an electric car, for those of us who pay attention. While electric cars won’t be killed off, they will certainly lose some of their allure with the masses, especially on the secondhand market…which should make them a fair bit cheaper. Then, when fuel-prices do inevitably rise again, EVs will be more desirable. That’s how you end up buying a car and selling it two years and thirty-thousand miles later for exactly what you paid for it. If I didn’t already have two cars, I might be looking at a secondhand EV right now.

      • 0 avatar

        Kyree, EVs didn’t sell worth a hoot during austere times when gas prices were high, in spite of heavy US government incentives and tax rebates. Why would anyone voluntarily buy one of these overhyped, underdelivering conveyances now, when gas prices are lower?

        If anything, I could easily make the case for more full-size 4-door pickup trucks to be sold this year over last year.

        Don’t misunderstand my view point. I believe EVs should be available for anyone who wants to buy one WITHOUT a taxpayer subsidy.

        But they weren’t practical in the past, are not practical now, and will not be practical in the future for the vast majority of us choosing to drive instead of walk, bike or ride the bus.

        As such, EVs will remain a toy for the idly rich and the disillusioned greenweenies who oppose anything and everything oil.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          highdesertcat, I predict that gas/electric hybrids will have some consumer appeal in luxury cars due to the excellent torque and quiet power delivery of electric motors. It allows car manufacturers to meet government fuel efficiency requirements while still providing the off-the-line acceleration of a large engine.

          • 0 avatar

            George B, ” I predict that gas/electric hybrids will have some consumer appeal in luxury cars due to the excellent torque and quiet power delivery of electric motors.”

            I agree!

            That’s why I wrote, “… EVs will remain a toy for the idly rich …”

            I have a much more positive outlook for Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, just like I did for the Prius when it first came out.

      • 0 avatar

        The figures I’ve seen are a replacement battery for a Tesla costs $45,000. I sure as hell know I wouldn’t get NEAR something like that on the used market without a long term warranty.

        For most people, that would probably pay an entire lifetimes of gasoline usage.

        The appeal of high end electric cars was never about savings at the pump, at least anyone that’s actually done the math.

        • 0 avatar

          “The appeal of high end electric cars was never about savings at the pump…”

          Exactly. Neither was a Rolls-Royce, Bentley or Ferrari.

          But please, let’s not get the taxpayers of America to subs!dize these boondoggle greenweenie pursuits.

  • avatar

    Apparently I need to figure out how to be a paid analyst instead of writing free Ur-Turn stories for fun on TTAC. Gas prices have dropped globally so buyers aren’t going to be as sensitive to MPG when buying new vehicles? Really – tell me more.


  • avatar

    When I bought my car (which takes diesel), I bought it with the knowledge that I’d be okay–if not necessarily happy–if fuel were at $6 a gallon. So for me this is a nice treat, but I don’t understand how someone could go out and purchase a guzzler strictly because of artificially-low fuel prices…and I honestly don’t think *that* many people are silly enough to do so.

    On the other hand, fuel-economy is a smaller factor in overall money savings than other factors, like reliability and depreciation, and I think people often make too big a deal out of em-pee-gees. Overall driving pleasure should be worth a certain amount of money, in my opinion. So don’t get the I-4 Accord Coupe when you *really* want the V-6 and can comfortably afford it, just in the name of being miserly.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

      I think it’s a swell idea to avoid living on the edge, even if you can afford it today. I’m living in Alberta that’s close to entering a recession from the energy prices. Its the richest province in Canada, but that wealth comes with the understanding that it’s subject to regular boom/bust cycles.

      I’m in the middle of moving from Edmonton to St.Albert (last year rated 8th and 1st best Canadian city to live by Moneysense magazine) this week, and it’s to get more square footage per dollar. Moving from an urban condo to a suburban house feels like going from a sports car to a minivan. But it’ll be a clear title, so I won’t have the burden of a mortgage anymore. Not flashy or glamorous anymore, but a good long term strategy for our family.

  • avatar

    Theres no such thing as US market black smoke belchers anymore. They’ve legislated them to death.
    There are more and less efficient vehicles, but emissions requirements have reduced engine sizes all the way ’round.

    To make a meaningful dent in vehicle emissions, despite the high numbers of them in the US, you need to look outside our borders.

  • avatar

    Finally, now I can go buy that 1977 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe!

  • avatar

    By the time they even get a guzzler designed, gas will be back to $4 a gallon.


  • avatar

    Cheap gas doesn’t motivate me to buy something thirstier than my 540i, but it does motivate me to drive around for the fun of it. This eventually drives up demand.

    • 0 avatar

      Except gas prices aren’t being driven down because of low demand. Gas prices are cheaper because new technology is making oil production cheaper. As improved oil production technology is here to stay – for the foreseeable future – so are low oil prices. Major increases in the price of oil, if any, will likely be due to government intervention.

  • avatar

    I’m loving the low gas prices even though I just bought a 4 cylinder. I’m expecting to save 20% on fuel compared to having my 528i, plus another 45% or so compared to last year (I hope). That is $1300 combined :). With the added reliability, I calculate I may just get a 10% increase in my take home cash this year!

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