Save money for the right car

Cars in a parking lot across from Griffin Hall. Many students say that having the right car can save you money at the gas pump.

Kody Kahle

Cars in a parking lot across from Griffin Hall. Many students say that having the right car can save you money at the gas pump.

Fuel Efficiency is a must for college students.

NKU is popularly-known as a commuter school, due to the amount of students that drive to and from campus every day for classes.


To be exact, there are 15,640 student cars in total on campus, according to a record of the student-parking permit list. This is a large number compared to the 1,820 students living on campus, according to Director of University Housing Arnie Slaughter.


And this difference means there are a lot of “daily drivers” who have a strong financial commitment to gasoline.


The top three most popular cars for students at NKU, according to the parking permit list, are the Honda Civic, the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Corolla, totaling over 2,300 vehicles.


Depending on which year and model you own, all three vehicles average 25 to 30 miles per gallon on the highway, according to On the website, one of the most fuel-efficient cars is the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid, which averages 44 mpg on the highway.

It’s often thought that newer cars are the only ones with good fuel efficiency, but that’s not the case, according to Alex Weiglein, sophomore psychology major. Weiglein owns a 1997 Toyota Camry and tends to use half of the car’s 18.5-gallon tank in his weekly drive. Though, he admits gas mileage wasn’t on his mind when he got the car.

“It was available and it was cheap, and I needed a car,” Weiglein said.

Kate Combs, senior art education major, had a similar idea when buying her 2001 Oldsmobile Alero.

“I just needed a car; I thought I got really lucky with it,” said Combs, who feels lucky to only go through a tank to a tank-and-a-half after coming up to school all week.

Often, the price of the car and something quick and simple outweighs fuel efficiency. However, as Philip Krinsky, a junior theatre major, recommends that a small car trumps a truck. Krinsky drives a 2012 Hyundai Elantra and estimates he spends about $40 a week on gas. There are 302 Elantras registered on campus, which makes it the seventh most popular model.

Krinsky says he chose the car with gas mileage in mind, but that wasn’t his only reason for choosing it. He said one of the things he liked is that it wasn’t an “S.U.V. gas guzzler.”


The “gas guzzlers,” such as the Ford Escape, don’t appear in the top 10 of the permit list. The Escape comes in as the 14th most-popular car, with 204 registered. The Escape could get as low as 21 mpg if you go back to the 2003 two-wheel-drive model.

When it comes to cars on campus and their gas mileage, most can fit into a certain type: sedan, wagon, truck or van. Sometimes a car doesn’t fit into any of those sections.

This includes the one Lamborghini Gallardo with a parking pass on campus. The Gallardo almost tops the scale with a starting sticker price of around $160,000, but it hits rock bottom when it comes to a high gas mileage of 20 mpg.

The reason the Gallardo only almost tops the list is because of another car that really sticks out on the list: the one Aston Martin DB9 registered in parking services. The DB9’s starting price is over $180,000, and highway gas mileage of 19 mpg.

To find out where your car stacks up against and between the cars with the best gas mileage and the facts, check out your car’s gas mileage at


Top Ten Table of most driven cars on Campus


 Make & Model                Number of Cars registered

                                 Honda Civic                                     822

                                 Toyota Camry                                  796

                                 Toyota Corolla                                  752

                                 Honda Accord                                  700

                                 Ford Focus                                       447

                                 Chevrolet Cavalier                            308

                                 Hyundai Elantra                                305

                                 Ford Taurus                                      289

                                 Nissan Altima                                    257

                                 Chevrolet Malibu                               257

Courtesy of Peyton Haralson

Director of Parking services