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Gas Guzzler Tax


The Gas Guzzler Tax is a U.S. federal tax imposed on the manufacturers of new vehicles with poor fuel efficiency. It is designed to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient vehicles, thus promoting more eco-friendly alternatives. The tax amount increases as the vehicle’s fuel efficiency decreases, making it more expensive to produce and purchase these types of vehicles.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Gas Guzzler Tax” would be:- Gas: /ɡæs/- Guzzler: /ˈɡʌzlər/- Tax: /tæks/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Gas Guzzler Tax is a federal tax imposed on the sale of new vehicles with low fuel efficiency. Its purpose is to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient vehicles, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
  2. The tax is applied only to passenger vehicles, not including trucks, minivans, or SUVs. It is calculated based on the combined city and highway fuel economy (measured in miles per gallon) of the vehicle, with higher rates applied to vehicles with lower fuel efficiency.
  3. Gas guzzler taxes can impact consumer choices in purchasing vehicles, encouraging them to opt for more fuel-efficient options. It also incentivizes manufacturers to develop and produce greener, more efficient vehicles to avoid the tax, ultimately contributing to a more environmentally friendly automotive market.


The Gas Guzzler Tax is a significant term in the business/finance realm, primarily because it serves as a tool to encourage the manufacture and use of energy-efficient vehicles, thereby contributing to environmental sustainability. It imposes a financial burden on vehicles with low fuel economy, making them more expensive to consumers compared to fuel-efficient alternatives. This tax incentivizes automakers to design and produce vehicles with better fuel economy, potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving fossil fuels, and ultimately promoting a greener outlook within the automotive industry. Furthermore, it may influence consumer behavior by steering them towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, which helps reduce environmental impact and save money on fuel costs.


The Gas Guzzler Tax serves as an important tool for promoting environmental consciousness and curbing excessive fuel consumption in the automotive industry. Implemented in the United States in 1978 under the Energy Tax Act, the tax’s primary purpose is to encourage automotive manufacturers to design and produce vehicles with better fuel efficiency, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. The tax aims to discourage the production and sale of vehicles with low gas mileage by imposing a surcharge on these “gas guzzlers,” making them less economically viable for both manufacturers and consumers.

The Gas Guzzler Tax is structured in a way that levies a higher penalty on vehicles with a lower average fuel efficiency (measured in miles per gallon or MPG). The tax acts as a financial incentive for manufacturers to prioritize eco-friendly designs and technologies that promote responsible and sustainable resource management. Consequently, environmentally conscious consumers experience cost savings over time when purchasing vehicles that are not subjected to this tax. By indirectly influencing consumer choices through its impact on vehicle pricing, the Gas Guzzler Tax forms a critical part of the government’s strategy to promote greener transportation solutions, ultimately fostering the overall well-being of the planet and future generations.


The Gas Guzzler Tax is a federal tax imposed on vehicles with low fuel efficiency in the United States. This tax was introduced in 1978 by the Energy Tax Act to encourage the production and purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles. Here are three real-world examples where the Gas Guzzler Tax impacted certain vehicles:

1. 2021 Aston Martin Vantage: The 2021 Aston Martin Vantage is a high-performance luxury sports car with powerful engines that consume a lot of fuel. As a result, the Vantage is subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax, which adds an additional cost of $1,000 to the vehicle’s overall price.

2. 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat:The 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a muscular V8-powered American car with a reputation for high-performance and high fuel consumption. As the car’s fuel economy rating is below the required threshold, it is subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax, adding an extra $2,100 to the vehicle’s price.

3. 2017 Porsche 911 GT3:The 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 is a high-performance sports car that delivers impressive power but at the cost of fuel efficiency. As the Porsche 911 GT3 falls below the fuel economy requirements set by the EPA, it was subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax, where buyers had to pay an additional $1,000 for their car.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Gas Guzzler Tax?

The Gas Guzzler Tax is a federal tax imposed on the manufacturers of certain new passenger vehicles with low fuel economy ratings. The purpose of this tax is to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient vehicles, thus promoting energy conservation by encouraging better fuel efficiency.

Which vehicles are subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax?

The Gas Guzzler Tax is applicable to passenger cars, including sedans, convertibles, and station wagons. However, it does not apply to light trucks, minivans, SUVs, or vehicles with a gross weight over 6,000 lbs.

How is the amount of Gas Guzzler Tax determined?

The amount of Gas Guzzler Tax is based on the vehicle’s fuel economy rating, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The lower the fuel efficiency rating, the higher the tax. The tax bracket ranges are outlined in the legislation and are subject to updates.

Who is responsible for paying the Gas Guzzler Tax?

The manufacturers of the vehicles subject to this tax are responsible for paying it. However, the cost may ultimately be passed on to the consumer through the vehicle’s purchase price.

Are there any exemptions or credits available to reduce the tax?

Some alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids, may be granted exemptions or credits, since they generally have a lower environmental impact. Additionally, the EPA may grant exemptions for certain advanced technology vehicles.

How did the Gas Guzzler Tax come into existence?

The Gas Guzzler Tax was enacted as a part of the Energy Tax Act of 1978. It was implemented as a response to the oil crisis in the 1970s, aiming to reduce the demand for imported oil and encourage fuel conservation.

Is the Gas Guzzler Tax effective in promoting fuel-efficient vehicles?

Opinions on the effectiveness of the tax vary. Some argue that it has positively impacted the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles, while others believe that its exclusion of trucks and SUVs undermines its purpose. The tax remains a subject of debate among policymakers and environmentalists.

Can I claim a tax deduction if I purchase a vehicle subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax?

No, the Gas Guzzler Tax is not deductible from your personal income taxes. It is paid by the manufacturer and typically incorporated into the vehicle’s purchase price.

How can I find out if a specific vehicle is subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax?

The EPA publishes information on fuel economy and Gas Guzzler Tax ratings for all new vehicles. You can check the EPA website or the window sticker on the vehicle to see if the tax applies to a specific model.

Related Finance Terms

  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Environmental Impact
  • Automotive Industry
  • Carbon Emissions
  • Energy Policy Act

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