If prices get that high in the U.S., the shock and awe would be enough to get voters of both parties to throw everyone out of the U.S. Congress and White House in the next election.
But there is another kind of shock to many drivers of SUVs--though if the owners were driving the same vehicles back in 2008 when gas prices topped $4.00 per gallon in most parts of the country, they will roll their eyes, and simply say, "Here we go again."
Visa and Mastercard still have a limit of $75 per transaction at many gas stations. That means owners of many gas guzzlers will have to swipe twice in order to fill their tank of their gas gauge is near "E."
The "Cash for Clunkers" government program that gave consumers extra cash incentives to trade older gas thirsty vehicles in for new thriftier cars took a lot of old guzzlers, mostly SUVs, off the road in late 2008. And automakers have noticed a brisk exodus by baby boomers out of Ford Explorers, Chevy Trailblazers and Toyota Sequoias into smaller crossover SUVs, sedans and hatchbacks. Gas guzzlers got such a bad name in the last gas-price hike that General Motors actually closed its Hummer brand, which became the "official car of global warming," in the words of now-retired GM vice chairman Bob Lutz.
Make no mistake, though, there are still some gas thirsty vehicles on dealer lots these days that will still bring a BP or Exxon gas pump to a slamming stop long before the tank is full, forcing the beleaguered driver to run their credit or debit card twice to top off the tank.
You've heard of the double-dip recession? We've found five vehicles that are double-dip (as in two dips of the Visa) rides today. One of them could be the replacement for the Hummer H2, which has gone out of production and served as the environmental lobby's favorite whipping boy.
Model: Chevrolet Avalanche
MPG: 15 City/21 Highway
Cost to fill: 31 gallon tank X $3.59= $111.29
You're probably not surprised by the fact that the Chevrolet Avalanche can lead to massive bills at the pump. After all, this big truck features over 300 horsepower, manages only 21 miles per gallon on the highway and features a 31 gallon fuel tank. But people who buy the Avalanche do so because they can tow, haul and tug with the Avalance as well as most vehicles on the market.
Model: Ford Expedition
MPG: 14 City/20 Highway
Cost to fill: 28 gallon tank X $3.59 = $100.52
Like the Avalanche, the Expedition is an easy choice for the two fill-up club. This big rig can carry up to eight people, it can tow most any boat and its available four-wheel drive makes this a great choice for those who live in areas that experience inclement weather. Fill up the Expedition's 28 gallon tank and you're looking at one receipt for $75 and another for an extra $25.
Model: Lexus LS 460
MPG: 16 City/24 Highway
Cost to fill: 22 gallon tank X $3.79 (premium) = $83.38
Here's the first big surprise. When we think of Lexus, we think of high-class luxury sleds that get better fuel economy than the competition. Customers who purchase the LS tend to strive for a bullet-proof luxury experience with impeccable quality and a coddling ride. But those buyers will likely want to feed their baby with the premium stuff, which can cost $3.79 or more per gallon. It's already way North of that in markets like California. Add the 22 gallon tank to the mix and you're stuck with a second swipe to fill up.
Model: Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
MPG: 20 City/24 Highway
Cost to fill: 26.4 gallon tank X $3.59 = $94.78
A hybrid that costs more than $75 to fill up? You better believe it. The Touareg Hybrid boasts a commodious interior and room for all your things, but this massive "ute" also sports a hybrid powertrain that is capable of 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. But since the Touareg Hybrid uses the same 26.4 gallon tank as the non-hybrid model, you're still looking at a $94.78 bill when filling up.
Model: Lamborghini Murcielago
MPG: 8 City/13 Highway
Cost to fill: 26.8 gallon tank X $3.79 (premium) = $101.57
Now we're talking. If we're going to pay over $100 to fill up, we want to do it while behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Murcielago. This big Italian bull is among the fastest production vehicles on the planet, with a 212 mile per hour top speed and a 0-60 time of three seconds flat. But 631 horsepower can be mighty thirsty, and this baby can manage only hit 13 mpg on the highway. Add a 26.8 gallon tank and the need for premium petrol and you're looking at a pair of lightning-fast swipes to fill up with your credit card. But hey, if you purchased a $354,000 Lamborghini, we're betting that you won't be all that upset with doubling your efforts at the pump.