UPDATE--Want cheaper gas? Just buy -- or lease -- a car

Denny Amrhein elaborates on just what's involved in getting gas for under $3 a gallon.
Denny Amrhein elaborates on just what's involved in getting gas for under $3 a gallon.

TOLEDO -- How would you like gas for under $3 a gallon? You can get it -- but first you have to do a few things, reports News 11's Shelley Brown who visited the Grogan's Town Chrysler dealership on Telegraph Rd. to talk with Denny Amrhein.

The deal is part of a new program -- Refuel America -- that Chrysler rolled out Tuesday. It allows customers to lock in the price of regular unleaded gas at $2.99 a gallon -- and keep it there for up to three years. To get the deal, you do have to buy or lease a new car.

Would that be enough of an incentive? Shelley asked a few people on Tuesday.

In some cases, yes. Sam Brimmer says he pays $85 to fill up his Ford Expedition.

"It'll break $100 my guess by mid-summer," Brimmer speculates, contributing to the argument that exorbitant gas prices are forcing dealers to develop untried incentive programs.

Amrhein says you have until June 2 to buy or lease a car -- and thus get the gas card.

"It will be available on pretty much all the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeeps with the exceptions of special limited cars," Amrhein says. Those include all SRT models, basically all high performance vehicles, including the Chrysler Crossfire, the Dodge Sprinter, Challenger, Viper, Ram Chassis Cab and the Jeep Wrangler.

Some people say the deal would interest them if they were in the market for a vehicle.

"I have a Dodge, and I like my Dodge, and if I were in the market, that that would influence me," says Joan Tomczak, a Toledo area driver.

The offer is based on 12,000 miles of driving a year at the vehicle's rated fuel economy. Customers will get a card that is linked to their own charge account. They'll pay $2.99 a gallon, and Chrysler will pick up the rest.

Estimated savings for a vehicle that gets 17 miles to the gallon and a yearly allotment of around 700 gallons? More than $360 the first year and more than $1,000 over three years.

"I think that's a big savings, but you really have to appreciate the car if you're going to buy it," Brimmer says.

Posted by KO