Monday, May 19, 2008
With oil prices topping $125 per barrel, the days of cheap gas seem to be over. But a company called Pricelock is working with Chrysler to guarantee you $2.99 per gallon of gas over the next 3 years.
The "Let's Refuel America" program lets you lock in the price of unleaded or diesel fuel at the gas pump if you buy a qualifying 2008 or 2009 Chrysler, Jeep, or Jeep vehicle. The catch is that you are limited to buying only enough gas to travel 12,000 miles each year. You also need to link your Let's Refuel America card, which apparently works at over 97%, or over 200,000, of gas stations, to a Visa or MasterCard account.
The cool part is that Pricelock lets regular consumers hedge their exposure to oil price fluctuations, which is something that only commodities traders could previously do. The not-so-cool part is that the idea is something of a gimmick like zero-percent financing or other kinds of discounts that car dealers offer. You might even be paying more all-in than if you just negotiated for a lower car price.
The idea isn't new, however. Mitsubishi ran a "Gas Comes Standard" promotion for 2005 cars, which offered free gas for a year under similar terms.