I drive an SUV. My parents gave it to me after our fuel efficient ford escort died. We needed a second car. I really hated it at first. Then I loved it. It's comfy, we can haul stuff like compost for our vegetable garden, and it's nice for long distance trips.
When prices started going up I looked into selling it to get a Subaru station wagon. Unfortunately because of the gas prices going up so rapidly my once excellent trade in value has plummeted and I cannot afford to get a decent car with better fuel efficiency without taking on a car note. We can't afford a car note. Both our vehicles are paid for (dh drives a compact car).
On the upside I'm currently in a position where I can afford to make lifestyle changes where I don't drive more than 2 or 3 times a week, no more than 60 miles for the week. I work full time at night, and two nights a week, I work less than 2 miles away 2 days a week, and 15 miles away once a week. We live close to downtown, close to the food co-op and locally owned supermarket, I am in good health, and we have several bikes (I actually won a bike in April
) and bike accessories like a child trailer to carry dd2 and groceries, side bags to carry other things like my scrubs for work, food, etc. It's late spring in New England, so the weather is nice. I can bike almost everywhere, and I do. The only places I drive are to work once a week, and other random places where biking isn't feasible. I have a weekly appointment 10 miles up a steep hill on a dangerous road that I can't bike on. I live in a small city in New England, surrounded by mountains and farms. There are many places where biking isn't feasible.
I can't afford to fill up my tank. I filled the tank half way last week, and I thank my lucky stars that I am able keep my SUV parked. Still, I would rather that gas prices rise more slowly. I am afraid what will happen to my friends and neighbors who are not in the favorable position that we are and cannot change their lifestyle so drastically. I worry what will happen to my friends and neighbors when it's time again to fill the oil tanks to heat all these New England homes, because the increase in crude oil prices affects the price of home heating oil, too. We heat with natural gas, but it will affect us, as well.
So all that to say, I see the good in the oil prices jumping. It makes people think about how they use their car. Ultimately it has caused to positive changes in our lifestyle (although I didn't drive the car much before anyway. Now I'm really forced not to drive.). Yay for us.
I don't think it's a good thing, though, because the prices are rising to quickly, and the economy and wages aren't keeping in line. It will cause people (in my community) already vulnerable to financial ruin to fall over the edge. It's not just a what type of car will you drive now issue. People use oil in other ways (like heating homes and water). I'd be all for prices going up if it didn't cause the price of other necessities to go up, too.