Consumer Alert! Penny Wise or Pump Fuelish?

Share This Page

For Your Information


With gasoline prices rising and Memorial Day just around the corner, the Federal Trade Commission is offering some tips for travelers who want to cut the cost of driving.

“Driving your car doesn’t have to drive you into the poor house,” said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “A few easy steps can cut the cost of driving.”

Bernstein said the consumer alert, “Penny Wise or Pump Fuelish” reminds drivers that most automobiles produced in the 1990s don’t need high octane -- and higher cost -- gasoline. “There’s no reason to pay a premium price for premium gas if your car doesn’t need it,” Bernstein said.

The alert also reminds drivers that driving within posted speed limits can actually save money. Driving at 65 miles per hour rather than 55 increases fuel consumption by 20 percent. “Consumers will increase safety and savings by driving at the posted speed,” Bernstein said.

The consumer alert, produced in cooperation with the American Automobile Association, reminds consumers that properly inflated tires and well tuned engines also increase auto efficiency and save costs.

Copies of the alert, “Penny Wise or Pump Fuelish” and other consumer brochures including “Octane Ratings -- Facts for Consumers” and “Gas-Saving Products” are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 202- 326-2502. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at:

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs,
Staff Contact:

Carolyn Shanoff,
Bureau of Consumer Protection,