2-Vehicle Households More Likely to Choose a Second Car With Worse Gas Mileage, MIT Study Says

One Prius and one Suburban, to balance things out.


Purchasing a fuel efficient car makes any car buyer confident in their financial decision. Unfortunately, that often leads to a little too much confidence and the subsequent purchase of a way less fuel efficient second car. According to a study done by Professor Chris Knittel of MIT Sloan School of Management, households that have a fuel efficient first car are more likely to buy a less fuel efficient second car. Those same families are also likely to log more miles if their primary vehicle was less efficient. 

Both behaviors reduce the savings made by purchasing a fuel efficient car by an average of 60 percent. The study was done through the California DMV using a query that tracked households with two cars over a period of five years. 

If you really think about it, this study makes a ton of sense as most owners feel as if they can treat themselves to a less financially sound vehicle due the "savings" they are making on the fuel efficient one. Unfortunately, that just translates to two run-of-the-mill gas guzzlers.

Do you think this study is on point? List out your vehicles in the comments below.