Need further proof that interest in hybrid and diesel vehicles is directly linked to the average price for a gallon of gasoline? According to CarMax, the largest retailer of used cars in the States, searches for hybrid vehicles on its website are up four percent in June over May while diesel are even hotter with a seven-percent increase. Further, the used car retailer reports that visits to its Fuel Economy section are up by 17 percent.

Not coincidentally, fuel prices – while still down considerably from their plateau last summer of over $4 per gallon – rose rapidly in the lead-up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Click here for a week-by-week chart of average fuel prices in America. Ann Yauger, director of Carmax.com, said in a statement:
Online searches for hybrids and diesels indicate that customers are searching the CarMax inventory for the vehicles that have historically offered the best gas mileage.
Not surprising, but good to see nonetheless. Popular vehicles from CarMax's inventories include the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX400h, Honda Civic Hybrid and Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Hit the jump for the press release.

[Source: CarMax]


PRESS RELEASE:

Searches for Hybrid and Diesel Vehicles as Consumers Hit the Road This Summer

RICHMOND, Va. July 13, 2009; CarMax, Inc. , the nation's largest retailer of used cars, reports that searches on carmax.com for hybrid vehicles has risen four percent in June over May while diesel vehicle searches rose seven percent over the same time period. Visits to the Fuel Economy section of carmax.com have risen 17 percent over May as consumers look for ways to improve their gas mileage.

Searches on carmax.com for hybrid vehicles have continued to rise for the past several months and are up four percent in June and nine percent since March. Popular hybrid vehicles on carmax.com include the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX400h and the Honda Civic hybrid. Hybrids combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor powered by batteries. The electric motor helps increase the engine's fuel efficiency.

June searches for diesel-powered vehicles rose seven percent and are up 12 percent over March figures. Popular diesel vehicles include the Ford F350, Dodge Ram 3500 and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Currently marketed as "clean diesel," these cars and trucks are often more fuel-efficient than the majority of other vehicles on the road.

The fuel economy section of carmax.com includes important information for customers who are interested in learning which are the most fuel-efficient cars as well as an MPG savings calculator. Customers interested in trading in their cars for a more fuel-efficient model can visit CarMax for a free appraisal. CarMax will provide a free written offer good for seven days without requiring a purchase.

"Online searches for hybrids and diesels indicate that customers are searching the CarMax inventory for the vehicles that have historically offered the best gas mileage," said Ann Yauger, director of carmax.com. "Visitors to carmax.com can make use of flexible search criteria when looking for their next car. Whether it's searching by MPG, model, price or specific feature, carmax.com makes it easy to find the perfect car."

The CarMax website can be used to research information on new and used cars, including hybrids and diesels of various makes and models. The website showcases vehicles with multiple photos, the no-haggle price, and information on features, options, fuel economy and customer reviews.