Used Car Buyers to Get EPA Mileage Information That Will Dramatically Change Used Car Buying

Will dealers adopt this easy-to-implement consumer information program?

Washington, D.C. (September 12, 2013) - Today car dealers across the nation are being given the opportunity to offer 40 million used car buyers critical, easy to understand fuel efficiency information about the cars for sale on their lots. Starting today dealers will be provided with a totally free online tool from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowing them to easily create consumer-friendly labels that list the gas mileage and the CO2 emissions levels of used vehicles sold in the United States since 1984 (read the full announcement here).

“Providing gas mileage information to consumers will be a giant step forward in protecting American pocketbooks, addressing the nation’s dependence on oil, and reducing pollution,” said Jack Gillis, Consumer Federation of America’s Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book.

Currently, seventy-five percent of car buyers in the market choose to purchase used vehicles. Because it is hard to find, very few have any idea of the fuel economy of the vehicles they are considering.

“Consumers who are in the dark about a vehicle’s fuel economy are buying blind. They don’t know how much they’ll have to spend on gas until they’ve already made a significant purchase and a potentially costly mistake,” said Gillis.

The new labeling tool is currently being offered to dealers as an optional resource, but that could change if dealers fail to adopt this easy-to-use consumer information program.

“Used car dealers are being given the chance to jump on one of the most important rating programs available. If they fail to provide their customers with this easy-to-access information, the Consumer Federation of America will push hard to mandate the labels on every used car,” said Gillis.

A powerful tool for car buyers, the new labels will also motivate carmakers to move quickly to meet recent federal standards to increase the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. Why? Dealers know that consumers these days are scrambling to buy higher mileage cars and they want the used models of their vehicles to maintain their value.

“Vehicle fuel efficiency is an increasingly critical factor for car buyers and, if the dealers take simple steps to inform buyers, American families will reward them with their dollars for the most fuel efficient used cars,” said Gillis.

To arrange interviews with auto consumer expert Jack Gillis contact Roxanna Smith (415-453-0430).

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.