buying a new car

Informed Decisions Make Car Buying Greener

By Lina Younes

Not long ago, I was in the market for a new car.  As with any major purchase, I decided to do some research. I had three requirements for this new vehicle. I wanted it to meet the highest safety standards. I wanted it to get good mileage and not to break the bank in the process. At the time, I consulted some valuable resources online: www.safercar.gov, www.fueleconomy.gov , and EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide . In sum, I was successful in getting a fuel efficient car for my daughter.

Just this past week, EPA proposed new labels for fuel efficiency which will help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing a new vehicle. The proposed labels will appear on the window stickers on new vehicles on sale at dealerships around the country. These new labels are an improved design over the EPA label which has appeared on new vehicles for the past thirty years. They help consumers to compare the vehicles with similar vehicles in their class. These labels help consumers to compare vehicles not only for fuel efficiency, but for their environmental impact as well. What I found most interesting is that the proposed labels are equipped with a barcode used by many Smartphones which will allow consumers to access a web page with the fuel efficiency info for that vehicle. What’s really cool is that consumers at the dealership can input their personalized estimates based on their own driving habits and fuel costs. They will have better information at the time of purchasing the vehicle and they will be in a better position to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges, or so they say. A lot of what I was searching originally on the Web, will now be available in these new window stickers.

We are encouraging consumers to visit our website and compare proposed Label 1 and propose Label 2.  We want to hear from YOU! We are accepting comments in English and in Spanish. To submit comments as part of the rulemaking process, please send your emails to newlabels@epa.gov

We really want to hear from you! With your input, we can all help the American consumer to make the best decision regarding the environment and their personal transportation needs.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.


Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Buying A New Car

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Lea la versión en español a continuación de esta entrada en inglés.
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At home, we will soon be looking into buying a new car for our eldest daughter. Her present car needs a replacement. Given the rising gas prices and the long distances she has to drive, we’re definitely looking at cars that get excellent mileage. The good thing is she’s over the stage of purchasing a vehicle just for its looks or because it’s the coolest car on the block. That makes it much easier on us. Nonetheless, we have to study our options carefully in order to spend our money wisely while ensuring fuel efficiency.

Personally, I would love to buy a hybrid. Wish all our cars at home were hybrids, but I don’t think that’s going to happen right now. As a mother, I’m looking at two main concerns. First, how safe is the vehicle. Second, the mileage. There are some good resources on the Web to help us make the right choice. For example, the site www.safercar.gov gives you extensive information on crash test and rollover ratings. You can even compare the different vehicles by class, year, make and model. Now for mileage, we have www.fueleconomy.gov and EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide where you can also explore green options for the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs.

We’re starting to narrow our options. I think we’ll be able to find a car that will be good for the environment and our family budget. My daughter also wants a fuel efficient car because she needs to save money on gas. So far, she’s been flexible during these family negotiations. There is only one non-negotiable requirement on her part: it has to have a good sound system.

We can live with that.

Al comprar un auto nuevo

Sobre la autor: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y está a cargo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Comunicaciones Multilingües. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

En casa, estamos considerando comprar un nuevo automóvil para mi hija mayor. Su carro pronto no dará para más. Dado los precios de petróleo que siguen subiendo y las largas distancias que ella tiene que recorrer, definitivamente estamos interesados en los automóviles que tengan un millaje excelente. Lo bueno es que ya ella ha pasado la etapa de interesarse en la compra de un vehículo simplemente por la apariencia exterior o porque es el último grito de la moda. Eso nos facilita el proceso enormemente. No obstante, estamos estudiando varias opciones para usar el dinero prudentemente mientras aseguramos la eficiencia del combustible.

Personalmente, a mí me encantaría tener un auto híbrido. Quisiera que todos los vehículos en casa fueran así. Obviamente eso no va a ocurrir por ahora. Como madre, tengo dos preocupaciones importantes. Primero, cuán seguro es el vehículo. Segundo, el millaje. Hay buenos recursos cibernéticos que nos ayudarán hacer la selección correcta. Por ejemplo, el sitio www.safecar.gov brinda extensa información sobre las pruebas de choques y probabilidades de volcarse que tiene el vehículo. También puede comparar los diferentes vehículos por clase, año, fabricante, modelo. En cuanto al millaje, tenemos www.fueleconomy.gov y la Guía de Vehículos Verdes de EPA donde también puede explorar opciones verdes para los vehículos más limpios y eficientes energéticamente hablando para cumplir con sus necesidades.

Ahora estamos identificando cuáles son nuestras verdaderas opciones para hacer una selección. Creo que podremos encontrar un automóvil que sea bueno para el medio ambiente y el presupuesto familiar. Mi hija también quiere un auto eficiente porque no quiere gastar tanto dinero para la gasolina. En fin, ha sido bastante flexible durante estas negociaciones familiares. Su única exigencia no-negociable es que el auto tenga un buen sistema de sonido.

Creo que eso es totalmente aceptable.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.