Higher fuel-economy cars set to hit dealerships this month

Higher fuel-economy cars set to hit dealerships this monthSeveral 2012 vehicle models that are subject to new federal fuel-efficiency requirements are due to arrive in dealerships nationwide starting as early as this month.

These 2012 models are the first to comply with the new, stricter fuel economy standards passed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) two years ago, according to Consumer Reports. The new models are required to have an overall average of 29.7 miles per gallon, with light trucks being allowed to have lower fuel economy than smaller vehicles. The standards are expected to be further tightened annually, reaching minimums of 34.1 miles per gallon in 2016.

Though fuel efficient vehicles can sometimes be more expensive, as is the case with hybrid and electric cars, the new federal standards should make cars with excellent fuel economy more ubiquitous on American roads. Drivers who want to trade in their gas-guzzler for a car that will save them money at the pump may want to head to local dealerships to see the new models. They can then apply for a form of car financing, such as an auto loan.